With the final title on the line, the intermediate class race was always going to be a tense affair but the drama started early with the first race aborted after the opening lap and followed by 16 nervous laps where both Red Bull KTM Ajo boys were making their best case for the world title. Raul Fernandez was a threat from the beginning and put in an impressive ride to secure an 8th victory of his rookie season, but the bigger celebrations happened nine seconds after the Spaniard took the chequered flag, when teammate Remy Gardner crossed the finish line in 10th place to become Moto2 world champion. Although Gardner stole everyone’s thunder, Fabio Di Giannantonio and Augusto Fernandez also joined the Ajo boys in parc fermé as the podium men.
The story started with poleman Simone Corsi making a solid start and keeping the lead despite a lunge from Di Giannantonio into the first corner, while Raul Fernandez swiftly climbed into second position. However, the action was short and not particularly sweet as a crash at turn 2 involving Xavi Vierge, Marco Bezzecchi and Lorenzo Baldassarri brought out red flags due to considerable oil spillage on the racing line. Without a lap being completed and after a thorough clean-up operation, a new race started for 16 laps, with the original grid configuration and all riders making the start, although Bezzecchi had to start at the back of the grid after missing the cut for the quick-start procedure while his bike got mended.
After an excellent start at the first attempt, Corsi did not even make the grid the second time around, the poleman pulling into pitlane with a technical issue after the warm-up lap and leaving the pole spot empty. Augusto Fernandez made the best start from third on the grid and led into turn 1, with Raul Fernandez replicating his first start to immediately follow his namesake, ahead of Di Giannantonio, Aron Canet and Tom Luthi.
Rookie Fernandez took the lead of the race from his namesake by the end of the first lap and the duo engaged in a little dance over the next couple of laps, while teammate Gardner kept quiet in 9th place. If Augusto Fernandez wasn’t enough of a challenge for the leading rookie, Di Giannantonio also picked up the pace and attacked for the lead on lap 4. The Italian led the pack for the next few laps, while the cameras swapped to the bottom of the top 10, where Jorge Navarro and Sam Lowes made life more difficult for Gardner and dropped the Australian to 11th position.
By lap 7, a lead group including Di Giannantonio, Raul and Augusto Fernandez, Celestino Vietti and Vierge stretched a gap of one second over the sizeable chase led by Navarro. The Spaniard had company from Lowes and Schrotter, but Luthi was fading one second back and holding up Gardner, who had Tetsuta Nagashima to contend with. Gardner eventually made it past Luthi with 6 laps remaining to reclaim 10th place, leaving the Australian with clear air ahead but still in the company of Nagashima.
Back at the front, only the Fernandez duo managed to hold onto Di Giannantonio going into the final handful of laps, the rest of the group dropping one second behind. Raul bided his time for an attack until four laps remaining, when the rookie took control at the first corner and quickly found a handful of tenths over the Italian, who was under pressure from Augusto. Raul Fernandez started the final lap quite firmly in the lead and secured victory ahead of Di Giannantonio and Augusto Fernandez, with Vietti best of the rest in fourth. Canet, Vierge, Lowes, Navarro and Marcel Schrotter completed a top 10 closed by brand new Moto2 world champion Gardner, while Luthi bows out of the circus with a 12th place.
|2||21||Fabio Di Giannantonio||Kalex||+0.517|
|40||Hector Garzo||Kalex||5 Laps|
|20||Dimas Ekky Pratama||Kalex||14 Laps|
|24||Simone Corsi||MV Agusta||0 Lap|
|7||Lorenzo Baldassarri||MV Agusta||0 Lap|