Injured Fernandez wins, Gardner second in Aragon Moto2 race

Raul Fernandez. Picture: MotoGP.com

Raul Fernandez has overcome a broken hand to win the Aragon Moto2 Grand Prix but Remy Gardner banked solid points by making it a Red Bull KTM Ajo one-two.

Gardner spent much of the 21-lap race in third position but inherited second when Elf Marc VDS’s Sam Lowes crashed on Lap 13 at MotorLand Aragon.

Fernandez, who only underwent surgery a week earlier following a cycling accident, was already all but out of sight by then and took a sizeable win.

However, Gardner’s result minimised the damage in the championship and he will take a 39-point advantage over his team-mate into the fifth-last round of the season.

Marco Bezzecchi (Sky VR46) is still the KTM Ajo riders’ nearest rival in the standings, but he too hit the deck during the race and is now 72 points or almost three races behind Gardner.

Lowes had qualified on pole and it was an unchanged top three from the grid into the first corner, Gardner second and Fernandez behind him, while Ai Ogura (Idemitsu Jonda Team Asia) emerged from Turn 2 in fourth and Hector Garzo (Flexbox HP40) in fifth.

Fernandez passed Gardner at Turn 12 while Lowes stretched his lead to more than 0.6s by the time they completed the standing lap.

It was back under 0.4s after another lap, before Fernandez passed Lowes for the lead at the start of Lap 4.

Just behind, Gardner reclaimed third spot from Ogura having lost it to the Japanese rider on Lap 3, but then ran wide at Turn 12 and handed it back.

The Australian ceded another position, to Garzo, as they approached Turn 16 on Lap 4, although he sliced back past both the Spaniard and Ogura through Turns 4 and 5 to move back into third on Lap 5.

By then, Fernandez was dropping Lowes, whose advantage over Gardner was over 1.6s and continuing to grow.

Fernandez’s lead went past a full second on Lap 7, and Lowes was soon more than three seconds clear of the third-placed #87 Red Bull KTM Ajo entry.

But for the race leader fatiguing due to injury, Lowes looked set for a comfortable runner-up finish until he crashed on Lap 13 at Turn 7.

That meant that Gardner inherited second spot, albeit six seconds back from his team-mate, but would soon be issued a track limits warning.

Fernandez was at one point more than eight seconds to the good and took the chequered flag 5.4s up on Gardner.

Lowes’ crash meant that it was a vigorous battle for what was the final podium placing, which eventually went the way of his Marc VDS team-mate Augusto Fernandez.

It initially looked like a race in two for fourth position between Jorge Navarro (+Ego Speed Up) and Aron Canet (Kipin Energy Aspar), who were both in the top five by the end of Lap 7.

When Lowes went down, it was a stoush for third position, which they traded back and forth as the contest moved through the halfway mark.

However, Augusto Fernandez was the coming man, passing Canet on Lap 14 and then going after Navarro.

He needed multiple attempts to prise the final podium position away from Navarro from good, which he finally did so less than three laps from home.

Those two were in fact closing in on Gardner despite their dice, but the Sydney native did not look seriously threatened given how many laps remained, and would collect an important 20 championship points.

Canet finished fifth, from Fabio Di Giannantonio (Federal Oil Gresini), Fermin Aldeguer (+Ego speed Up), Ogura, Tony Arbolino (Liqui-Moly Intact), and Simone Corsi (MV Augusta Forward).

Bezzecchi eventually retired having initially remounted from his spill, while Garzo also failed to make the finish.

He too crashed at the Reserve Corkscrew, as Navarro overtook him for fifth position on Lap 5.

Round 14 is the San Marino Grand prix, at Misano, next weekend (September 17-19).

Race results: Aragon Moto2 Grand Prix

Pos Num Rider Nat Team Bike Time/Gap
1 25 Raul FERNANDEZ ESP Red Bull KTM Ajo Kalex 39:49.990
2 87 Remy GARDNER AUS Red Bull KTM Ajo Kalex +5.408
3 37 Augusto FERNANDEZ ESP Elf Marc VDS Racing Team Kalex +6.824
4 9 Jorge NAVARRO ESP +EGO Speed Up Boscoscuro +7.051
5 44 Aron CANET ESP Kipin Energy Aspar Team Boscoscuro +10.695
6 21 Fabio DI GIANNANTONIO ITA Federal Oil Gresini Moto2 Kalex +15.160
7 54 Fermín ALDEGUER ESP +EGO Speed Up Boscoscuro +16.730
8 79 Ai OGURA JPN IDEMITSU Honda Team Asia Kalex +17.085
9 14 Tony ARBOLINO ITA Liqui Moly Intact GP Kalex +17.704
10 24 Simone CORSI ITA MV Agusta Forward Racing MV Agusta +20.121
11 23 Marcel SCHROTTER GER Liqui Moly Intact GP Kalex +20.852
12 42 Marcos RAMIREZ ESP American Racing Kalex +24.602
13 16 Joe ROBERTS USA Italtrans Racing Team Kalex +26.086
14 6 Cameron BEAUBIER USA American Racing Kalex +29.101
15 13 Celestino VIETTI ITA SKY Racing Team VR46 Kalex +30.301
16 70 Barry BALTUS BEL NTS RW Racing GP NTS +30.420
17 81 Manuel GONZALEZ ESP MV Agusta Forward Racing MV Agusta +34.977
18 62 Stefano MANZI ITA Flexbox HP40 Kalex +35.789
19 55 Hafizh SYAHRIN MAS NTS RW Racing GP NTS +36.036
20 17 John MCPHEE GBR Petronas Sprinta Racing Kalex +47.756
21 18 Xavi CARDELUS AND Cerba Promoracing Team Kalex +47.834
DNF 35 Somkiat CHANTRA THA IDEMITSU Honda Team Asia Kalex 4 Laps
DNF 11 Nicolò BULEGA ITA Federal Oil Gresini Moto2 Kalex 5 Laps
DNF 22 Sam LOWES GBR Elf Marc VDS Racing Team Kalex 8 Laps
DNF 64 Bo BENDSNEYDER NED Pertamina Mandalika SAG Team Kalex 9 Laps
DNF 72 Marco BEZZECCHI ITA SKY Racing Team VR46 Kalex 9 Laps
DNF 19 Lorenzo DALLA PORTA ITA Italtrans Racing Team Kalex 14 Laps
DNF 75 Albert ARENAS ESP Kipin Energy Aspar Team Boscoscuro 16 Laps
DNF 40 Hector GARZO ESP Flexbox HP40 Kalex 17 Laps
DNF 97 Xavi VIERGE ESP Petronas Sprinta Racing Kalex 18 Laps
DNF 12 Thomas LUTHI SUI Pertamina Mandalika SAG Team Kalex 18 Laps
DNF 74 Piotr BIESIEKIRSKI POL Pertamina Mandalika SAG Euvic Kalex 19 Laps

Race winner: 21 laps

Championship points

Pos Rider Nat Pts
1 Remy GARDNER AUS 251
2 Raul FERNANDEZ ESP 212
3 Marco BEZZECCHI ITA 179
4 Sam LOWES GBR 127
5 Augusto FERNANDEZ ESP 108
6 Aron CANET ESP 103
7 Fabio DI GIANNANTONIO ITA 101
8 Ai OGURA JPN 95
9 Marcel SCHROTTER GER 80
10 Jorge NAVARRO ESP 71
11 Xavi VIERGE ESP 67
12 Joe ROBERTS USA 59
13 Celestino VIETTI ITA 47
14 Tony ARBOLINO ITA 40
15 Bo BENDSNEYDER NED 40
16 Somkiat CHANTRA THA 35
17 Cameron BEAUBIER USA 28
18 Albert ARENAS ESP 23
19 Jake DIXON GBR 21
20 Stefano MANZI ITA 20
21 Marcos RAMIREZ ESP 20
22 Thomas LUTHI SUI 16
23 Fermín ALDEGUER ESP 13
24 Simone CORSI ITA 13
25 Hector GARZO ESP 12
26 Nicolò BULEGA ITA 12
27 Lorenzo DALLA PORTA ITA 10
28 Hafizh SYAHRIN MAS 8
29 Alonso LOPEZ ESP 4
30 Lorenzo BALDASSARRI ITA 3
31 Barry BALTUS BEL 2
32 Manuel GONZALEZ ESP  
33 Yari MONTELLA ITA  
34 Tommaso MARCON ITA  
35 Miquel PONS ESP  
36 John MCPHEE GBR  
37 Fraser ROGERS GBR  
38 Taiga HADA JPN  
39 Xavi CARDELUS AND  
40 Piotr BIESIEKIRSKI POL  
41 Keminth KUBO THA  

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