Bez Is Back! The Italian Takes Victory In Style In StyriaA close-fought Moto2™ races sees the number 72 on the top step for the first time this season, joined by Canet and Augusto Fernandez on the podium.

Marco Bezzecchi (Sky Racing Team VR46) was back on the top step in style at the Red Bull Ring, the Italian hunting down his rivals and keeping just enough in reserve to secure his first win of the year. Aron Canet (Aspar Team Moto2) was the rider he just held at bay after an impressive charge from the number 44, with Augusto Fernandez (Elf Marc VDS Racing Team) back on the podium in P3 to pick up where he left off in Assen.

Initially Championship leader Remy Gardner (Red Bull KTM Ajo) got the best launch from pole, but Bezzecchi nabbed the holeshot and Gardner then overcooked it at Turn 3 trying to fight back. So the Italian blasted away, with Raul Fernandez (Red Bull KTM Ajo) up into second as Gardner was forced to slot back into third, just ahead of Canet.

Turn 3 treated Gardner better with the next move he tried, the Australian getting past his teammate to slot in behind Bezzecchi once again. Canet was the next mover as he took Raul Fernandez at the final corner, with the top four enjoying a reasonable gap back to Ai Ogura (Idemitsu Honda Team Asia) on the chase. He, in turn, had Elf Marc VDS Racing’s Sam Lowes and teammate Augusto Fernandez close on his tail.

With 19 to go, there was a big shuffle. Bezzecchi headed wide at Turn 1 and both Canet and Gardner swopped round the Italian on each side, the number 44 taking the lead. At the end of the lap Gardner then sliced through on the Boscoscuro to lead… just as Raul Fernandez (Red Bull KTM Ajo) headed wide as well. That left Gardner-Canet-Bezzecchi in a close trio at the front, allowing Ogura into fourth and Lowes and Augusto Fernandez past too.

As the laps ticked on though, Gardner was edging away from Canet, who in turn was edging away from Bezzecchi… and it was Ogura with the momentum as the Japanese rookie slammed in the fastest lap to home in. Augusto Fernandez was a couple of seconds back and had made it through on Lowes, with Raul Fernandez dropped by the frontrunners to head up a freight train stretching back to 12th.

At the front, it looked like Gardner was on for glory, but Canet and Bezzecchi were digging in and fighting back… as was Ogura, the fastest man on track. But Bezzecchi was the first to make try a move as he homed in on Canet, and with 11 to go at Turn 1 the Italian struck and made sure it stuck. Next there was a shuffle as Ogura took Canet and then had the favour returned, but the next move would come at the front…

Bezzechi had Gardner in the crosshairs and the Italian got closer and closer to the leader before putting in another impressive move at Turn 1 with 7 to go. The Australian slipped back past at Turn 3 though as the Italian headed slightly wide, but Bezzechi wasn’t done and closed the door through Turn 4, making it stick this time around… and drama hit for Gardner soon after.

Overcooking it at Turn 4 next time around, the Championship leader had to sit it up to avoid Bezzecchi and headed into the gravel. Although upright and rejoining, that left Bezzecchi leading Ogura leading Augusto Fernandez… and then there was even more drama.

After a track limits warning earlier in the race, the message came throughas Ogura was given a Long Lap penalty. That dropped him out of contention for his first podium in some late heartbreak, promoting Canet back into second and Augusto Fernandez, waiting in the wings, into third for another podium.

Bezzecchi held up under some late pressure from Canet, crossing the line for his first win of the season and, fittingly, the 46th Italian win in Moto2™. Canet in turn got back on the rostrum after another impressive race, with Augusto Fernandez showing more solid speed to take another podium, picking up where he left off in Assen.

Gardner managed to hold off Ogura to take fourth, and the Japanese rider was also given another 3-second penalty after not completing his Long Lap within the white lines. And next up, the fight for sixth went down to the wire…

From 19th on the grid, Celestino Vietti (Sky Racing Team VR46) put on an impressive charge and right at the end of the race, the Italian was able to slice past Raul Fernandez for an impressive best Moto2™ result so far: sixth.

Eighth was another best intermediate class result yet for Somkiat Chantra (Idemitsu Honda Team Asia) as the Thai rider concluded a quick weekend with quite a nice haul of points, fighting off Xavi Vierge (Petronas Sprinta Racing), Marcel Schrötter (Liqui Moly Intact GP) and a good charge up to a better postcode from Jake Dixon (Petronas Sprinta Racing). Lorenzo Dalla Porta (Italtrans Racing Team) took 12th just behind that fight, with Fabio Di Giannantonio (Federal Oil Gresini Moto2) just a tenth further back. Sam Lowes slipped to 14th after a run off for the Brit, with Albert Arenas (Aspar Team Moto2) completing the points.

Moto2™ podium:
1 Marco Bezzecchi – Sky Racing Team VR46 – Kalex – 37’29.460
2 Aron Canet – Aspar Team Moto2 – Boscoscuro – +1.171
3 Augusto Fernandez – Elf Marc VDS Racing Team – Kalex – +3.260

Marco Bezzecchi: “It was a tricky race but amazing to fight with the guys, at the beginning I started well and my rhythm was constant but not enough, Remy passed me but then I understood more and I started to push, getting closer and closer and I thought maybe today was my day. Aron was very fast at the end but I kept something in my pocket!”

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Bez Is Back! The Italian Takes Victory In Style In Styria
Moto2™ podium L-R: Canet, Bezzecchi and Augusto Fernandez

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