Lowes wins after Raul Fernandez crashes out of Moto2 championship lead

Sam Lowes

Sam Lowes has won the Emilia Romagna Moto2 Grand Prix after Raul Fernandez crashed when he looked like taking the championship lead off Remy Gardner with another victory.

Red Bull KTM Ajo’s Gardner had qualified a lowly 14th and looked certain to lose first position in the standings when he was issued a long lap penalty while running seventh on Lap 15 of 25 at Misano.

However, almost as soon as that call came through, team-mate Raul Fernandez took a spectacular tumble out of the race lead at Turn 8.

Lowes inherited first position as a result of the spill and while he had to fight off Aspar’s Aron Canet, the Elf Marc VDS rider would go on to claim the victory.

Gardner finished seventh and in fact extended his points lead over Raul Fernandez to 18, with just 50 left to collect across the final two rounds of 2021.

At the start, Lowes took the initial lead from pole position, with Canet moving into second position at Turn 2 and Jorge Navarro (+Ego Speed Up) emerging third, from Augusto Fernandez (Elf Marc VDS) and Marcos Ramirez (American Racing).

Canet passed Lowes for first position when they reached Turn 8 for the first time, while Raul Fernandez had quickly moved from ninth on the grid to seventh, and Gardner also made up two spots on the opening lap to be running in 12th.

Raul Fernandez passed Ramirez at Turn 8 on Lap 2 before he, Gardner, and others inherited a position when Augusto Fernandez took a long lap penalty for impeding in qualifying.

Raul Fernandez moved into fourth when Somkiat Chanta (Idemitsu Honda Team Asia) nearly crashed through Turn 15 on Lap 2, before Navarro went down the inside of Lowes to take up second position on Lap 3 at Turn 8.

Navarro was in front of everyone when he overtook Canet exactly a lap later, but when Canet tried to fight back at Turn 14, he took both wide and it was Lowes who moved back into the race lead.

Raul Fernandez was also a beneficiary, nicking third as Navarro tried to regroup, and thus tying things up in terms of the live championship points table given Gardner was only up to ninth by that point.

Gardner passed Ramirez for eighth on Lap 5 at Turn 3 but Raul Fernandez was the outright championship leader, as live, when he went by Canet for second on Lap 6 at Turn 8.

There was a flashpoint on Lap 7 when Gardner dived down the inside of Chantra at Turn 14, making contact which put the Thai rider onto the deck.

The Australian was back down to eighth when he ran wide at Turn 8 on Lap 11 and a recovering Augusto Fernandez rode on by, while Raul Fernandez was becoming a nuisance for Lowes at the head of the field.

The rookie got a run on Lowes on Lap 14 and scythed past as they approached Turn 8, extending his live championship lead.

Gardner was then handed a long lap penalty for the contact with Chantra but, seconds after the call came through, Raul Fernandez had a big crash as he braked for Turn 8 on Lap 15.

Gardner took the long lap next time around and retained seventh position, although he would be passed by Marco Bezzecchi (Sky VR46) less than three laps later at Turn 1.

Meanwhile, Lowes had inherited the lead due to Raul Fernandez’s crash, with Canet second and Navarro third.

Canet took over first position when Lowes ran wide at Turn 8 on Lap 18, but the Briton jammed Bike #22 back past #44 on Lap 22 at Turn 2 despite a sizeable front end wobble.

Meanwhile, Navarro made an apparent error, unseen on by cameras, and had dropped back to fifth, behind Celestino Vietti (Sky VR46) and Augusto Fernandez.

The latter moved into the podium positions when he went down the inside of Vietti on Lap 21 at Turn 8, a remarkable fightback given the early long lap.

Lowes took the chequered flag just over a second up the road, as Augusto Fernandez grabbed an even more remarkable second position when he passed Canet exiting the last corner of the race.

Vietti finished fourth, from Navarro and Stefano Manzi (Flexbox HP40).

Gardner was gifted another precious point when Bezzecchi crashed out of seventh at Turn 15 with just over two laps to go, with the top 10 rounded out by Fabio Di Giannantonio (Federal Oil Gresini), Ai Ogura (Idemitsu Honda Team Asia), and Ramirez.

The penultimate round of the season is the Algarve Grand Prix, at Portimao, on November 5-7.

Race results: Emilia Romagna Moto2 Grand Prix

Pos Num Rider Nat Team Bike Time/Gap
1 22 Sam LOWES GBR Elf Marc VDS Racing Team Kalex 40:25.180
2 37 Augusto FERNANDEZ ESP Elf Marc VDS Racing Team Kalex +1.233
3 44 Aron CANET ESP Aspar Team Moto2 Boscoscuro +1.400
4 13 Celestino VIETTI ITA SKY Racing Team VR46 Kalex +2.554
5 9 Jorge NAVARRO ESP +EGO Speed Up Boscoscuro +4.243
6 62 Stefano MANZI ITA Flexbox HP40 Kalex +5.198
7 87 Remy GARDNER AUS Red Bull KTM Ajo Kalex +14.261
8 21 Fabio DI GIANNANTONIO ITA Federal Oil Gresini Moto2 Kalex +15.868
9 79 Ai OGURA JPN IDEMITSU Honda Team Asia Kalex +18.905
10 42 Marcos RAMIREZ ESP American Racing Kalex +19.069
11 75 Albert ARENAS ESP Aspar Team Moto2 Boscoscuro +19.675
12 64 Bo BENDSNEYDER NED Pertamina Mandalika SAG Team Kalex +24.309
13 96 Jake DIXON GBR Petronas Sprinta Racing Kalex +26.777
14 12 Thomas LUTHI SUI Pertamina Mandalika SAG Team Kalex +34.699
15 23 Marcel SCHROTTER GER Liqui Moly Intact GP Kalex +36.240
16 54 Fermín ALDEGUER ESP +EGO Speed Up Boscoscuro +37.590
17 70 Barry BALTUS BEL NTS RW Racing GP NTS +37.899
18 11 Nicolò BULEGA ITA Federal Oil Gresini Moto2 Kalex +37.966
19 24 Simone CORSI ITA MV Agusta Forward Racing MV Agusta +50.787
20 7 Lorenzo BALDASSARRI ITA MV Agusta Forward Racing MV Agusta +1:02.974
DNF 72 Marco BEZZECCHI ITA SKY Racing Team VR46 Kalex 3 Laps
DNF 97 Xavi VIERGE ESP Petronas Sprinta Racing Kalex 9 Laps
DNF 14 Tony ARBOLINO ITA Liqui Moly Intact GP Kalex 9 Laps
DNF 27 Mattia CASADEI ITA Italtrans Racing Team Kalex 10 Laps
DNF 25 Raul FERNANDEZ ESP Red Bull KTM Ajo Kalex 11 Laps
DNF 40 Hector GARZO ESP Flexbox HP40 Kalex 13 Laps
DNF 10 Tommaso MARCON ITA NTS RW Racing GP NTS 16 Laps
DNF 6 Cameron BEAUBIER USA American Racing Kalex 17 Laps
DNF 35 Somkiat CHANTRA THA IDEMITSU Honda Team Asia Kalex 19 Laps

Race winner: 25 laps

Championship points

Pos Rider Nat Pts
1 Remy GARDNER AUS 280
4 Sam LOWES GBR 165
5 Augusto FERNANDEZ ESP 151
6 Aron CANET ESP 140
8 Ai OGURA JPN 120
9 Jorge NAVARRO ESP 89
10 Marcel SCHROTTER GER 85
11 Xavi VIERGE ESP 83
12 Celestino VIETTI ITA 66
16 Cameron BEAUBIER USA 39
17 Somkiat CHANTRA THA 37
18 Marcos RAMIREZ ESP 35
19 Stefano MANZI ITA 30
20 Jake DIXON GBR 30
21 Albert ARENAS ESP 28
22 Thomas LUTHI SUI 23
23 Simone CORSI ITA 16
24 Fermín ALDEGUER ESP 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
31 Barry BALTUS BEL 2
35 Tommaso MARCON ITA
36 Miquel PONS ESP
38 Fraser ROGERS GBR
39 Taiga HADA JPN
43 Keminth KUBO THA

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