The Italian bounces back in style ahead of Martin and Gardner as more Championship shockwaves hit the intermediate class.
Sky Racing Team VR46’s Marco Bezzecchi bounced back in style after a double DNF at MotorLand Aragon by taking a second career Moto2™ victory at the Gran Premio de Europa. It was a race filled with drama, with Jorge Martin (Red Bull KTM Ajo) and Remy Gardner (ONEXOX TKKR SAG Team) locking out the podium but many a headline focused on the title fight: Enea Bastianini (Italtrans Racing Team) now leads the World Championship once again, the Italian fighting through to fourth as former points leader Sam Lowes (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) crashed out.
Petronas Sprinta Racing’s Xavi Vierge made a dream start from pole position but immediately had Joe Roberts (Tennor American Racing) attacking him at Turn 4. The Tennor American Racing rider went wide on the exit, the Spaniard taking him back at Turn 5. It didn’t stay that way for long, however, with Roberts storming back through moments later to hold the lead at the close of Lap 1. But then disaster struck, Roberts suddenly sliding out at Turn 2 and the Californian unable to re-join.
That allowed Marco Bezzecchi to take the lead, but the Italian was under severe pressure from Gardner. Sam Lowes, meanwhile, avoided some early drama with a vital save at Turn 4, as Bastianini got well stuck in battling from 15th on the grid – up to sixth in five laps.
It was a few more laps before Lowes decided to pounce on Gardner for second, but it didn’t last long with the Aussie finding an immediate reply. The World Championship leader hit back only a few seconds later though, this time making it stick.
The knock on effect of that saw Bastianini push on again, taking fifth place from Vierge with ten to go. There was a change in the fight for third too as Martin managed to squeeze through on Gardner, demoting the Australian off the podium for the moment.
And then came the shockwave. Suddenly, Lowes’ weekend was over as the Brit crashed out at Turn 6, his title lead going up in smoke as Bastianini swooped through into fourth and consequently the lead of the World Championship.
The FlexBox HP 40 duo of Lorenzo Baldassarri and Hector Garzo began to put Bastianini under pressure though, Baldassarri making a move on his compatriot and a vital couple of points at stake for the ‘Beast’. That was motivation enough if any was needed, and the number 33 hit back to reclaim fourth.
At the front though, it was all about Bezzecchi. The Italian was back on the top step in style after stamping some real authority on Sunday, also keeping himself in title contention after starting the weekend 48 points down – and ending it 29 off. Martin made it two podiums in three races as he backed up his third place finish in the Aragon Grand Prix with second in Valencia and Gardner collected his third podium finish of the year after a fifth top five finish in six races.
Bastianini was able to hold off Baldassarri for what could be a pivotal fourth place finish, putting the ‘Beast’ six points clear of Lowes in the World Championship with only two rounds left of 2020. Sky Racing Team VR46’s Luca Marini took sixth for a solid result, proving he is far from out of the title chase too. His was a last lap move on Garzo moving him to within 19 points of the top of the Championship. Garzo’s seventh nevertheless equalled his best so far.
Federal Oil Gresini Moto2’s Nicolo Bulega clinched eighth after getting the better of poleman Vierge, who eventually drifted back to ninth, before HDR Heidrun Speed Up’s Jorge Navarro rounded out the top ten.
Another seismic shift hits Moto2™, with Bastianini now back on top and six points ahead. Can Lowes bounce back next time out? Time will tell, but not much of it as we get back on track on Friday.
1 Marco Bezzecchi – Sky Racing Team VR46 – Kalex 40:06.441
2 Jorge Martin – Red Bull KTM Ajo – Kalex +1.941
3 Remy Gardner – ONEXOX TKKR SAG Team – Kalex +3.553
Marco Bezzecchi: “It was a difficult race, very long, but also wonderful. I started well, even if Gardner and Lowes were closing the line, in the middle I could overtake outside in the first corner. I risked a bit because it was still wet but I tried. Fortunately I was there. Then I passed Vierge on the straight and in braking, and when Roberts was in front I saw he was risking a lot and I thought I had to stay calm because I thought I could ride cleaner. Then unfortunately he made a mistake, I was in front and I was very focused to try to make my rhythm, so I started to ride as clean as I could, and I was gaining a bit; not much, losing a little bit; not much, there was a short distance between me and second. Then on the last three laps when I had a quite good advantage I started to feel something wrong on the bike, a problem I also had on Friday in Free Practice. In acceleration there was no power in second gear, I don’t know why, so I was scared but I started to speak to the bike and said please don’t give up now… fortunately she made it to the end! Very good, the team did an incredible job and this is for them and my family.”
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