2022 Le Mans Moto2 Race Result: Perfect Weather For A Cruise

After the weather gods exerted some revenge over the lightweight class, they were much kinder on Moto2 riders, who lined up on a sunny grid but missing one of the main characters, Sam Lowes declared unfit after his crash in qualifying. Regardless of who the rivals were, the spotlight was firmly on the Red Bull KTM Ajo duo that led from start to finish – but it’s the finish that matters most and that went Augusto Fernandez’s way. Benefiting from a mistake from his rookie teammate, the Spaniard climbed onto the top step of the podium for the first time since 2019 and was joined up there by Aron Canet and Somkiat Chantra, whose race-long battle was decided in the last few laps.

Poleman Pedro Acosta was the star for the first part of the session, the rookie making a perfect start to lead the way from teammate Fernandez, while fellow front row starter Jake Dixon lost ground off the line and was demoted by Albert Arenas, Alonso Lopez, Canet and a fast-starting Marcos Ramirez, who went from 13th to 5th on the opening lap. Ai Ogura also lost some positions at the start and dropped to 12th, while championship leader Celestino Vietti was lingering down in 20th. Things went even worse for two other stars of the season, Tony Arbolino and Fermín Aldueguer sliding out on the second lap, in separate synchronised incidents at turn six.

By lap four, the Ajo boys had extended a gap of over two seconds at the front, leaving Lopez to defend the final podium position from a sizeable group including Arenas, Canet, Ramirez, Beaubier, and Chantra, with Dixon crashing out of that fight at turn 13 at the end of that same lap. With Acosta and Fernandez untouchable at the front and biding their time for some friendly fire, the poleman could even afford a big moment out of the final corner and still increase their advantage. Five seconds behind, Canet had picked up the faraway pursuit by lap six and Lopez immediately threw away all the good work in a tangle with Arenas at turn seven, reducing the battle for third even further. After the sluggish start, Vietti was almost knocking on the doors of the top 10 with 16 laps remaining, but a ride through the gravel at Garage Vert instantly dropped him right back down to 20th.

After the calm of the first few laps, the (thankfully-metaphorical) storm suddenly arrived at the front on lap 11, when Acosta lost the front at La Chapelle and left Fernandez as the lone leader, six seconds ahead of the pending battle between Canet, Beaubier and Chantra. Another six seconds behind, Ramirez crashed out of fifth at the halfway point of proceedings, leaving Marcel Schrotter to fend off Ogura, while Vietti was still trying to rejoin the top 15.

With Fernandez thoroughly enjoying his gift at the front, Canet was eventually robbed of third by both Chantra and Beaubier at turn eight, dropping the Spaniard off the provisional podium with 10 laps remaining. Canet remedied that by attacking Beaubier at turn three a couple laps later and then a mistake from Chantra running wide at Garage Vert allowed both his rivals to breeze past. Meanwhile, teammate Ogura had gotten past Schrotter in the fight for fifth and championship leader Vietti found some late pace to approach the top 10 once again.

Fernandez easily managed a six-second gap over the last handful of laps, while all eyes were on Canet, who was under pressure from Beaubier, but the American was the first to crack, a wide approach at turn six dropping him half a second behind with two laps remaining and with Chantra glued to his rear tyre. The Thai rider showed a wheel here and there and was eventually successful at the penultimate corner going into the final lap. Fernandez and Canet cruised untroubled to the chequered flag over that last lap and Chantra held off Beaubier to keep the final podium position, but the American racer still scored a career-best fourth. After getting past Schrotter, Ogura enjoyed a pretty lonely ride to fifth, Schrotter settling for sixth ahead of Joe Roberts. Vietti made quick progress over the final couple of laps, climbing as high as eighth place after a yoyo of a race, with Jorge Navarro and Stefano Manzi rounding out the top 10.

Vietti’s late comeback helped limit the damage in the championship standings, the Italian still leading the way by 16 points from Ogura, while Canet climbs to third, 19 points back. Arbolino’s misfortune drops him to fourth, 38 points behind his leading compatriot.

Results:

Pos No. Rider Bike Time/Diff
1 37 Augusto Fernandez Kalex 40:31.7260
2 40 Aron Canet Kalex 3.746
3 35 Somkiat Chantra Kalex 4.628
4 6 Cameron Beaubier Kalex 4.745
5 79 Ai Ogura Kalex 15.376
6 23 Marcel Schrotter Kalex 17.547
7 16 Joe Roberts Kalex 19.035
8 13 Celestino Vietti Kalex 19.854
9 9 Jorge Navarro Kalex 20.766
10 62 Stefano Manzi Kalex 20.879
11 18 Manuel Gonzalez Kalex 21.381
12 19 Lorenzo Dalla Porta Kalex 23.892
13 52 Jeremy Alcoba Kalex 26.881
14 64 Bo Bendsneyder Kalex 26.952
15 12 Filip Salac Kalex 32.063
16 24 Simone Corsi MV Agusta 36.712
17 84 Zonta Van Den Goorbergh Kalex 50.822
18 61 Alessandro Zaccone Kalex 59.691
19 75 Albert Arenas Kalex 0.000
20 4 Sean Dylan Kelly Kalex 0.000
21 96 Jake Dixon Kalex 0.000
Not Classified
  2 Gabriel Rodrigo Kalex 14:50.4020
  28 Niccolò Antonelli Kalex  
  51 Pedro Acosta Kalex 16:08.5220
  42 Marcos Ramirez MV Agusta 19:34.6170
  54 Fermín Aldeguer Boscoscuro 01:44.2900
  14 Tony Arbolino Kalex 01:44.5140
  7 Barry Baltus Kalex 31:05.1420
  21 Alonso Lopez Boscoscuro 14:08.2590
Round Number: 
7
2022
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