European Moto2: Bezzecchi dominates, Lowes crashes out

Marco Bezzecchi dominated the Moto2 European Grand Prix while fourth-placed Enea Bastianini took the lead in the championship after a crash for Sam Lowes.

European Moto2: Bezzecchi dominates, Lowes crashes out

Lowes' golden run of three-successive victories put him seven points clear in the standings ahead of Sunday’s Valencia race, but he now trails Bastianini by six following a crash while chasing down the leader.

Xavi Vierge converted pole to the holeshot off the line at the start, though would lose the lead to American Racing’s Joe Roberts at the Nieto left-hander. 

Roberts’ bid to become the first American grand prix winner since 2011 came to an at Turn 2 on the second lap when he crashed out, releasing Bezzecchi into the lead with SAG’s Remy Gardner giving chase. 

Lowes got stuck behind Vierge in the early stages and had several front end moments on his Marc VDS Kalex as he attempted to take third away from the Pertonas Sprinta rider.

The Briton finally got the job done at Turn 2 on lap five and immediately closed in on Gardner ahead, as Vierge soon came under threat from the Ajo KTM of Jorge Martin.

Lowes got ahead of Gardner at Turn 11 on the 10th tour and tried to pressure Bezzecchi out front.

But the gap between the pair hovered around the 0.5-0.7-seconds margin until lap 16, when Lowes crashed out at Turn 6.

The proved to be a gift for VR46’s Bezzecchi, who managed his gap at the head of the pack and eased to the chequered flag by 1.9s to claim his second win of the year and bring himself back into championship contention. 

Bezzecchi’s race wasn’t completely without incident, as he admitted in parc ferme he was struck by a small technical issue in the closing stages. Fortunately, the problem didn’t worsen.

Martin held onto second for his fifth podium of the season, with Gardner on the 2019-spec Kalex chassis completing the rostrum in third. 

Bastianini’s charge from 15th on the grid concluded in fourth, putting him six points clear of Lowes in the championship, while a sixth for an injured Luca Marini - who will step up to MotoGP in 2021 with VR46 and Avintia - means he’s now 19 points behind the new standings leader.

Lorenzo Baldassarri scored his best result since he was second in Qatar back in March in fifth on his Pons Kalex, with teammate Hector Garzo seventh after Marini pipped him late on for sixth. 

Nicolo Bulega was eighth on the Gresini Kalex, with Vierge fading to ninth at the chequered flag ahead of the Speed Up of Jorge Navarro.

Results:

Cla # Rider Bike Gap
1 72 Italy Marco Bezzecchi Kalex  
2 88 Spain Jorge Martin Kalex 1.941
3 87 Australia Remy Gardner Kalex 3.553
4 33 Italy Enea Bastianini Kalex 4.494
5 7 Italy Lorenzo Baldassarri Kalex 4.648
6 10 Italy Luca Marini Kalex 5.142
7 40 Spain Hector Garzo Kalex 5.224
8 11 Italy Nicolo Bulega Kalex 8.104
9 97 Spain Xavi Vierge Kalex 8.746
10 9 Spain Jorge Navarro Speed Up 11.930
11 44 Spain Arón Canet Speed Up 12.451
12 45 Japan Tetsuta Nagashima Kalex 13.209
13 23 Germany Marcel Schrotter Kalex 13.585
14 64 Netherlands Bo Bendsneyder NTS 15.528
15 62 Italy Stefano Manzi MV Agusta 19.284
16 42 Spain Marcos Ramirez Kalex 20.085
17 57 Spain Edgar Pons Kalex 21.512
18 27 Indonesia Andi Gilang Kalex 22.965
19 12 Switzerland Thomas Luthi Kalex 24.769
20 19 Italy Lorenzo Dalla Porta Kalex 34.173
21 99 Malaysia Kasma Daniel Kasmayudin Kalex 44.355
22 74 Piotr Biesiekirski NTS 59.450
  22 United Kingdom Sam Lowes Kalex  
  35 Thailand Somkiat Chantra Kalex  
  24 Italy Simone Corsi MV Agusta  
  21 Italy Fabio Di Giannantonio Speed Up  
  16 United States Joe Roberts Kalex  
  55 Malaysia Hafizh Syahrin Speed Up  
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