FlexBox HP40’s Augusto Fernandez battled to his second career Moto2™ victory at the GoPro British Grand Prix after a fierce fight at the front with Campetella Speed Up’s Jorge Navarro, denying his compatriot a first Grand Prix win. Meanwhile, Championship leader (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) made his first mistake of the year as he crashed out of the lead in the early stages. with Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Ajo), fresh from his win in Austria, completing the podium.
Marquez took the holeshot from pole position and, as had been the case for much of the weekend, he was joined at the front by Navarro. The Spaniards broke clear of the chasing pack, with Navarro quite happy to sit in behind Marquez during the first four laps. Then, the Speed Up rider decided it was time to make a move and slipped past his compatriot only for the number 73 to strike back immediately.
Drama of the highest order would then unfold as the previously perfect Marquez tucked the front into Brooklands whilst leading the British Grand Prix – the second none finish of the season but the first through an error of his own, handing Navarro the lead.
Binder then quickly realised back-to-back race wins were well within his reach and began posting fastest lap of the race after fastest lap of the race, with Fernandez in pursuit with him. The duo managed to latch onto the rear wheel of Navarro with less than ten laps remaining, the South African giving himself a handful of laps to eye it up before going for it, hitting the front thanks to a move into Brooklands with seven to go.
Four were left when Navarro reclaimed the lead, with Fernandez still well in contention too. Binder’s rear tyre looked like it had reached the limit as Fernandez swooped into second but the KTM rider was having none of it. The pair were then side-by-side, rubbing shoulder for nearly an entire sector at Silverstone, which only allowed Navarro the opportunity to break further away.
But Fernandez finally cemented a move on Binder and set his sights on Navarro, with the duo heading onto the final lap with Navarro at the front. Fernandez had managed to close in and then find a way through with just half a lap left, however, leaving Navarro, dreaming of a career first Moto2™ win, pushing everything into a move at Brooklands. He took the lead but it was only momentary as he headed wide, Fernandez swooping back through and then unassailable to the line for his second Grand Prix win.
KTM’s Binder held on to take the final podium place, despite some late tyre trouble and incredible pressure from a determined Remy Gardner (ONEXOX TKKR SAG Team). Now, with seven rounds remaining, Marquez’s Championship lead stands at 35 points with no less than three riders on 146 points behind him – Fernandez, Navarro and Tom Lüthi (Dynavolt Intact GP).
ONEXOX TKKR SAG Team’s Tetsuta Nagashima equalled his best Grand Prix finish although in a lonely fifth place, six seconds clear of Fabio Di Giannantonio (Campetella Speed Up) in sixth and Lorenzo Baldassarri (FlexBox HP40) in seventh. Lüthi remained second in the championship thanks to his eighth-place finish, with Luca Marini (Sky Racing Team VR46) and Xavi Vierge (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) completing the top ten.
Another little piece of history in his pocket, Fernandez will be walking tall as Moto2™ head for Misano and home turf for many. Can Marquez bounce back and extend that lead? Find out in three weeks’ time!
Augusto Fernandez: “I expected to be at the front but not to win like this, it was an awesome race, really tough, because I came from behind…I had a really bad start and I was pushing for the limit. When I saw Alex crash I saw the opportunity, and I’ve started to make up points to catch him. At the end I had a really nice battle with Brad and Jorge, it was on the limit and I really enjoyed this one. The win is for my dad, it was his birthday recently!”
1 – Augusto Fernandez (SPA – Kalex) 37’41.833
2 – Jorge Navarro (SPA – Speed Up) +0.489
3 – Brad Binder (RSA – KTM) +0.571
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