Gardner second to team-mate Fernandez in Dutch Moto2 GP
Monday 28th June, 2021 - 9:24am
Remy Gardner has finished second to Red Bull KTM Ajo team-mate Raul Fernandez in the Moto2 race at Assen.
While the result represents the end of a three-race winning streak for Gardner, the Australian’s championship lead into the summer break is a healthy 31 points, over Fernandez.
It was Aron Canet (Aspar) who took the initial lead from the second row on the grid, ahead of Sam Lowes (Elf Marc VDS) and Gardner, and they would be involved in an early battle.
Fernandez had already dropped from pole to fifth when he ran wide on Lap 2 through Turn 7 and fell all the way back to ninth.
Almost as soon as the Spaniard made that mistake, Gardner put a move on Canet to take first position, and Lowes moved into second spot on Lap 3 of 24.
Lowes attacked #87 at the end of Lap 5 but they succeeded only in slowing each other enough such that Augusto Fernandez moved into the lead on the other Marc VDS entry.
Raul Fernandez passed Canet to move back into fourth at the start of Lap 7, and Lowes moved by Augusto Fernandez at the end of the lap.
Next time around, Augusto Fernandez ran wide at the Strubben hairpin and Gardner capitalised by pinching second place.
The gap from first to fourth had closed to less than a second on Lap 10, then Augusto Fernandez passed Gardner when #87 was wide at Turn 3/Turn 4.
On Lap 14, Raul Fernandez moved through on Gardner and Augusto Fernandez through Lowes for first.
Raul Fernandez was second when he went down the inside of Lowes on Lap 16 at Turn 1, and then up to first when he overtook Augusto Fernandez at the same spot on Lap 18.
Augusto Fernandez ceded second to Lowes out of Strubben on Lap 19 but reclaimed it at the start of Lap 22 and, in doing so, helped Gardner to follow.
By then, Raul Fernandez was about 1.5s up the road, and #25 would duly go on to take a much-needed victory after crashing out seven days earlier at the Sachsenring.
Gardner went under Augusto Fernandez into the Timmer chicane on the penultimate lap and was then able to hold off #37 as they completed the podium, a second back from the winner.
“Raul was very strong, and we knew that this weekend he had something extra compared to us,” said Gardner.
“We gave everything we had, but the fight with the rest of the rivals didn’t allow us to set a high pace either. It was enough of a struggle to stay with the group.
“However, I knew that normally I am strong on the last three laps; I started to hunt them down one by one and I passed them to take second.
“We did a good job and the other riders didn’t take many points from us. I’m going into the summer break with a smile on my face.”
Lowes and Marco Bezzecchi (Sky VR46) rounded out the top five, while Canet failed to take the chequered flag after going down inside the final laps.
In Moto3, Dennis Foggia beat Sergio Garcia by 0.078s while championship leader Pedro Acosta finished fourth, a day after a big practice crash meant he was unable to partake in qualifying.
Australian Joel Kelso, still riding as an injury replacement at the CIP Green Power team, made it two finishes in as many grand prix starts, this time in 22nd.
Round 10 for all grand prix classes is the Styria event at the Red Bull Ring on August 6-8.
Race results: Dutch Moto2 Grand Prix
|1||25||Raul FERNANDEZ||ESP||Red Bull KTM Ajo||Kalex||39:01.832|
|2||87||Remy GARDNER||AUS||Red Bull KTM Ajo||Kalex||+1.066|
|3||37||Augusto FERNANDEZ||ESP||Elf Marc VDS Racing Team||Kalex||+1.265|
|4||22||Sam LOWES||GBR||Elf Marc VDS Racing Team||Kalex||+1.879|
|5||72||Marco BEZZECCHI||ITA||SKY Racing Team VR46||Kalex||+8.329|
|6||79||Ai OGURA||JPN||IDEMITSU Honda Team Asia||Kalex||+10.960|
|7||9||Jorge NAVARRO||ESP||+EGO Speed Up||Boscoscuro||+13.993|
|8||97||Xavi VIERGE||ESP||Petronas Sprinta Racing||Kalex||+16.052|
|9||23||Marcel SCHROTTER||GER||Liqui Moly Intact GP||Kalex||+16.094|
|10||13||Celestino VIETTI||ITA||SKY Racing Team VR46||Kalex||+17.585|
|11||35||Somkiat CHANTRA||THA||IDEMITSU Honda Team Asia||Kalex||+18.286|
|12||75||Albert ARENAS||ESP||Aspar Team Moto2||Boscoscuro||+18.812|
|13||62||Stefano MANZI||ITA||Flexbox HP40||Kalex||+19.273|
|14||12||Thomas LUTHI||SUI||Pertamina Mandalika SAG Team||Kalex||+19.649|
|15||64||Bo BENDSNEYDER||NED||Pertamina Mandalika SAG Team||Kalex||+22.162|
|16||6||Cameron BEAUBIER||USA||American Racing||Kalex||+22.223|
|17||2||Alonso LOPEZ||ESP||+EGO Speed Up||Boscoscuro||+25.569|
|18||96||Jake DIXON||GBR||Petronas Sprinta Racing||Kalex||+26.245|
|19||11||Nicolò BULEGA||ITA||Federal Oil Gresini Moto2||Kalex||+27.323|
|20||42||Marcos RAMIREZ||ESP||American Racing||Kalex||+27.463|
|21||24||Simone CORSI||ITA||MV Agusta Forward Racing||MV Agusta||+27.638|
|22||18||Manuel GONZALEZ||ESP||MV Agusta Forward Racing||MV Agusta||+35.908|
|23||55||Hafizh SYAHRIN||MAS||NTS RW Racing GP||NTS||+38.517|
|24||70||Barry BALTUS||BEL||NTS RW Racing GP||NTS||+46.728|
|DNF||44||Aron CANET||ESP||Aspar Team Moto2||Boscoscuro||5 Laps|
|DNF||21||Fabio DI GIANNANTONIO||ITA||Federal Oil Gresini Moto2||Kalex||9 Laps|
|DNF||16||Joe ROBERTS||USA||Italtrans Racing Team||Kalex||17 Laps|
|DNF||19||Lorenzo DALLA PORTA||ITA||Italtrans Racing Team||Kalex||0 Lap|
|DNF||14||Tony ARBOLINO||ITA||Liqui Moly Intact GP||Kalex||0 Lap|
Race winner: 24 laps
|5||Fabio DI GIANNANTONIO||ITA||73|
|26||Lorenzo DALLA PORTA||ITA||6|