2021 Emilia-Romagna Moto2 Race Result: Swings And Roundabouts

The intermediate class got a sunny welcome ahead of 25 eventful laps around the Misano circuit, although a victory from pole might not suggest the right level of drama. Although Sam Lowes was back to winning ways for the first time since way back in Qatar, it wasn’t a simple mission to get there. Even more difficult was for Augusto Fernandez to achieve a Marc VDS one-two while having to contend with a long lap penalty for irresponsible riding in Q2, but the Spaniard’s excellent pace allowed him to claim second place from Aron Canet, in a dramatic final corner move.

Lowes had made a fast start from pole, ahead of Canet and Jorge Navarro but Canet quickly got ahead at turn 9 to lead proceedings on lap 2. Augusto Fernandez had dropped to fourth at the start and swiftly took his long lap penalty, which dropped him further back to 14th position, a little over three seconds off the lead. Meanwhile, in the Ajo camp, Raul Fernandez had recovered a couple of places to climb up 7th on the opening lap, as did Gardner down in 11th.

Back ahead, Canet could not shake off the pursuers early on and was punished by Navarro by the end of lap four, his attempt to retaliate allowing the poleman to resume control of the race. The shenanigans at the front also allowed Raul Fernandez to get past Navarro and join the provisional podium positions, while teammate Gardner was making his way through the bottom of the top 10.

With Lowes attempting an escape at the front, Raul Fernandez picked up the chase on lap six, with seven tenths to find on the leader and provisionally taking over in the championship standings, while Gardner was stuck down in 8th place. The Australian’s next move on Somkiat Chantra at turn 14 was a controversial one, the late lunge nudging the Thai rider into a crash, but while the stewards were looking at that, Gardner had no time to rest, as Augusto Fernandez, the fastest man on track at that early stage, was glued to his tail.

Back at the front, Lowes made his first mistake at a wobbly turn 14, which allowed Raul Fernandez to close the gap to the leader, with Canet somewhat in tow. One second back, Celestino Vietti, cosplaying as a highlighter pen in tribute to his famous teacher, led the pursuit ahead of Navarro and Stefano Manzi, with Gardner and Augusto Fernandez trading places another second back. Once the Spaniard got past Gardner at turn 8, he quickly dropped the Australian and bridged the gap to the men ahead to join the fight for fourth.

Lowes continued to lead the way to the halfway mark of the race but Fernandez found a gap with 12 laps remaining, just as teammate Gardner was served with a long lap penalty for irresponsible riding. However, before Fernandez could even be notified of his teammate’s misfortune, the rookie rolled through the gravel trap quite dramatically at turn 8, leaving Lowes back in charge, with Canet half a second back. Navarro inherited third but had to fend off Augusto Fernandez, Vietti and Manzi to keep it, while Gardner’s gap to the men behind allowed him to take the long lap penalty without losing seventh place, albeit it was soon followed by a track limits warning. To make matters worse, Marco Bezzecchi caught up with him and demoted him to 8th place with seven laps remaining.

Meanwhile, Lowes’ reign was halted when Canet got past at turn 8 with seven laps remaining and another big wobble for the British rider dropped him over half a second behind the Spaniard. Despite Lowes’ issues, that was not his last bid for victory, the Marc VDS rider catching back up with Canet for the final handful of laps and getting past at turn 2. A couple seconds back, Navarro made a mistake of his own, dropping him out of podium contention and leaving Vietti to fend off Augusto Fernandez for the final podium spot. That proved to be a difficult challenge, the Spaniard getting past with five laps remaining and getting back in the position he started the race from. Rather than settling for third, Fernandez pushed to catch up with Canet, who allowed Lowes a one second gap at the front.

The Brit took the chequered flag quite comfortably in the lead and despite a rapid final lap for Canet, Fernandez took advantage at the very last corner to make it a Marc VDS top two. A disgruntled and fuel-less Canet settled for third, with rookie Vietti in fourth, ahead of Navarro and Manzi. Bezzecchi’s late crash at turn 15 promoted Gardner to seventh place and handed him an extra point in the championship battle, the Australian extending his advantage to 18 points over his rookie teammate.

Results:

Pos No. Rider Bike Time/Diff
1 22 Sam Lowes Kalex 40'25.180
2 37 Augusto Fernandez Kalex +1.233
3 44 Aron Canet Boscoscuro +1.400
4 13 Celestino Vietti Kalex +2.554
5 9 Jorge Navarro Boscoscuro +4.243
6 62 Stefano Manzi Kalex +5.198
7 87 Remy Gardner Kalex +14.261
8 21 Fabio Di Giannantonio Kalex +15.868
9 79 Ai Ogura Kalex +18.905
10 42 Marcos Ramirez Kalex +19.069
11 75 Albert Arenas Boscoscuro +19.675
12 64 Bo Bendsneyder Kalex +24.309
13 96 Jake Dixon Kalex +26.777
14 12 Thomas Luthi Kalex +34.699
15 23 Marcel Schrotter Kalex +36.240
16 54 Fermín Aldeguer Boscoscuro +37.590
17 70 Barry Baltus NTS +37.899
18 11 Nicolò Bulega Kalex +37.966
19 24 Simone Corsi MV Agusta +50.787
20 7 Lorenzo Baldassarri MV Agusta +1'02.974
Not Classified
  72 Marco Bezzecchi Kalex 3 Laps
  97 Xavi Vierge Kalex 9 Laps
  14 Tony Arbolino Kalex 9 Laps
  27 Mattia Casadei Kalex 10 Laps
  25 Raul Fernandez Kalex 11 Laps
  40 Hector Garzo Kalex 13 Laps
  10 Tommaso Marcon NTS 16 Laps
  6 Cameron Beaubier Kalex 17 Laps
  35 Somkiat Chantra Kalex 19 Laps
Round Number: 
16
2021
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Comments

No comments? It had several odd elements and some good racing. Contentious "pass" by Remy. Raul throws it down first touch of the brakes in a very fast spot (huge wreck!). Augusto 2nd in spite of ride through?! Fast kid! And Sam held on. 

This whole weekend was bit off kilter. 

I think the strong storylines from the MotoGP event somewhat distracted attention, on another weekend it would possibly have had a lot more attention.  It was a strange crash by Raul, but oh boy is he on fire at present.  Remy must be rueing his fall at COTA where he quite probably would have bagged 20 points and really had one hand on the title.  As it stands 18 points is not much given the momentum of each rider at present.  It's hard to see Raul not winning at least one of the remaining two, although also like Pecco the pressure will be on him to win both remaining races, so another fall is entirely possible.  Either rider would be a worthy champion but it's hard not to be impressed by Raul's rookie run - 7 wins to 4 so far.

So Remy needs to outscore Raul by 8 points, a tie will go to Raul on race wins no matter what.  If Remy wins and Raul is 3rd, Remy is champion.  Hard to see that happening at present, but "that's why they line up on Sunday".  Alternatively, if Raul wins both then Remy needs a second and a third, two thirds would tie and Raul would be champion.  Will be very interesting to see how it shakes out.

Haven't even seen the Moto2 race yet.

Sometimes real life gets in the way of motorcycling frivolity. Damn shame that.

Back to the salt mines, I'll get my hat.