Raul Fernandez wins in Moto2, Gardner survives big scare

Raul Fernandez. Picture: MotoGP.com

Raul Fernandez has won the San Marino Moto2 Grand Prix while Remy Gardner very nearly crashed as he gave chase on the final lap.

The Australian survived the big moment through Curvone, the fastest corner of the Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli, and took the chequered flag 0.402s behind Raul Fernandez after 25 laps in a second straight Red Bull KTM Ajo one-two.

The result means that Gardner leads the championship by 34 points over his team-mate with four rounds to go and thus 100 points still on offer.

For Raul Fernandez, it is a perfect 50 points in the two races since he broke his right hand in a cycling accident, and the Spanish rookie was clearly feeling the effects in pit lane afterwards.

He had taken the initial lead from pole position, but handed it to Sam Lowes (Elf Marc VDS) when he ran wide at Turn 8 and could not make the attempt to reclaim the position at Turn 9 stick.

Trailing them at the end of the standing lap was Aron Canet (Inde Aspar), from Marco Bezzecchi (Sky VR46), Xavi Vierge (Petronas Sprinta), and Gardner, the latter of whom had been third until he was held wide at Turn 4 and lost three spots.

Vierge scythed past Bezzecchi at Turn 2 on Lap 2, before Gardner also overtook the Italian, at his second attempt, at Turn 9 on Lap 3.

Canet moved into second position when he went by Raul Fernandez at Turn 14 on Lap 4, before Gardner passed Vierge for fourth at Turn 4 on Lap 6.

Canet needed little time to catch up to Lowes and gladly accepted the invitation to snatch the lead when the Briton ran wide at Turn 14 on Lap 8.

Raul Fernandez relegated Lowes to third at the start of the following lap, and the Marc VDS rider would then begin to come under threat from the other KTM Ajo entry, still running fourth in the hands of Gardner.

Bezzecchi passed Vierge for fifth at Turn 14 on Lap 12, by which time Gardner was more than a second up the road, at the back of a top four which was tightening up again.

The leading quartet continued to gap Bezzecchi and there was change at the very front when Raul Fernandez went up the inside of Canet at Turn 1 on Lap 15.

Two laps later, Gardner was finally back into the podium positions when he nipped past Lowes at the switchback into Turn 2, a move he needed to make in order to have a chance of keeping in touch with #25 and #44.

As if to respond, Raul Fernandez reset the fastest lap on both Laps 18 and 19, and continued to gap Canet in the following laps.

Gardner prised second spot from Canet through Turn 2/Turn 3 on the penultimate lap, despite the Spaniard’s best efforts to hold him off.

The Australian was almost a full second back from Raul Fernandez at that point, but pared the deficit back to 0.650s with a lap to go, and was 0.310s next time they tripped Sector 2.

However, Gardner was just about out of the saddle through Curvone and, once he gathered up Bike #87, had to switch focus to holding off Canet.

In the end, the top three was indeed Raul Fernandez, Gardner, and Canet, with Sam Lowes a second further back in fourth.

Bezzecchi finished fifth and Augusto Fernandez (Elf Marc VDS) ended up sixth having got away slowly from the front row.

Ai Ogura (Idemitsu Honda Team Asia) came home in seventh, Vierge faded to eighth, Fabio Di Giannantonio (Federal Oil Gresini) finished ninth, and Celestino Vietti (Sky VR46) rounded out the top 10.

Despite the grey clouds hanging overhead, and evidence suggesting very isolated spots of rain, the race essentially ran in dry conditions throughout.

Round 15 is the Grand Prix of the Americas, at the Circuit of The Americas, on October 1-3 (local time).

Race results: San Marino Moto2 Grand Prix

Pos Num Rider Nat Team Bike Time/Gap
1 25 Raul FERNANDEZ ESP Red Bull KTM Ajo Kalex 40:40.563
2 87 Remy GARDNER AUS Red Bull KTM Ajo Kalex +0.402
3 44 Aron CANET ESP Inde Aspar Team Boscoscuro +0.569
4 22 Sam LOWES GBR Elf Marc VDS Racing Team Kalex +1.578
5 72 Marco BEZZECCHI ITA SKY Racing Team VR46 Kalex +4.920
6 37 Augusto FERNANDEZ ESP Elf Marc VDS Racing Team Kalex +5.361
7 79 Ai OGURA JPN IDEMITSU Honda Team Asia Kalex +6.236
8 97 Xavi VIERGE ESP Petronas Sprinta Racing Kalex +7.468
9 21 Fabio DI GIANNANTONIO ITA Federal Oil Gresini Moto2 Kalex +7.562
10 13 Celestino VIETTI ITA SKY Racing Team VR46 Kalex +13.230
11 12 Thomas LUTHI SUI Pertamina Mandalika SAG Team Kalex +15.596
12 23 Marcel SCHROTTER GER Liqui Moly Intact GP Kalex +16.172
13 9 Jorge NAVARRO ESP +EGO Speed Up Boscoscuro +20.234
14 42 Marcos RAMIREZ ESP American Racing Kalex +22.819
15 14 Tony ARBOLINO ITA Liqui Moly Intact GP Kalex +23.015
16 62 Stefano MANZI ITA Flexbox HP40 Kalex +26.152
17 11 Nicolò BULEGA ITA Federal Oil Gresini Moto2 Kalex +26.987
18 55 Hafizh SYAHRIN MAS NTS RW Racing GP NTS +27.231
19 96 Jake DIXON GBR Petronas Sprinta Racing Kalex +28.150
20 40 Hector GARZO ESP Flexbox HP40 Kalex +28.526
21 6 Cameron BEAUBIER USA American Racing Kalex +29.864
22 75 Albert ARENAS ESP Inde Aspar Team Boscoscuro +33.140
23 16 Joe ROBERTS USA Italtrans Racing Team Kalex +36.098
24 7 Lorenzo BALDASSARRI ITA MV Agusta Forward Racing MV Agusta +43.861
25 64 Bo BENDSNEYDER NED Pertamina Mandalika SAG Team Kalex +47.329
DNF 35 Somkiat CHANTRA THA IDEMITSU Honda Team Asia Kalex 3 Laps
DNF 19 Lorenzo DALLA PORTA ITA Italtrans Racing Team Kalex 6 Laps
DNF 70 Barry BALTUS BEL NTS RW Racing GP NTS 13 Laps
DNF 5 Yari MONTELLA ITA +EGO Speed Up Boscoscuro 13 Laps
DNF 24 Simone CORSI ITA MV Agusta Forward Racing MV Agusta 23 Laps

Race winner: 25 laps

Championship points

Pos Rider Nat Pts
1 Remy GARDNER AUS 271
2 Raul FERNANDEZ ESP 237
3 Marco BEZZECCHI ITA 190
4 Sam LOWES GBR 140
5 Aron CANET ESP 119
6 Augusto FERNANDEZ ESP 118
7 Fabio DI GIANNANTONIO ITA 108
8 Ai OGURA JPN 104
9 Marcel SCHROTTER GER 84
10 Xavi VIERGE ESP 75
11 Jorge NAVARRO ESP 74
12 Joe ROBERTS USA 59
13 Celestino VIETTI ITA 53
14 Tony ARBOLINO ITA 41
15 Bo BENDSNEYDER NED 40
16 Somkiat CHANTRA THA 35
17 Cameron BEAUBIER USA 28
18 Albert ARENAS ESP 23
19 Marcos RAMIREZ ESP 22
20 Jake DIXON GBR 21
21 Thomas LUTHI SUI 21
22 Stefano MANZI ITA 20
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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