Qatar Moto2: Lowes takes dominant win, podium for Gresini

Sam Lowes dominated the Moto2 Qatar Grand Prix for his seventh career win, while Fabio Di Giannantonio gave the Gresini team an emotional podium in third.

Qatar Moto2: Lowes takes dominant win, podium for Gresini

The paddock was left stunned by the tragic passing of veteran team boss and double 125cc world champion Fausto Gresini in February after he lost his battle with COVID-19.

Ahead of Sunday’s racing, the paddock in Qatar observed a minute of silence in honour of the late Gresini.

VR46 rider Marco Bezzecchi grabbed the holeshot off the line, with Bo Bendsneyder capitalising on a poor launch for Lowes to jump ahead into second at the first corner.

Lowes responded straight away at Turn 6 and began his chase on Bezzecchi, while rookie Raul Fernandez moved ahead of Bendsneyder’s SAG Kalex to occupy a podium place at the start of lap two.

Bezzecchi could do nothing to stop Lowes coming through at Turn 1 on the following tour, with the Marc VDS rider immediately opening up a gap of half a second.

Fernandez soon piled the pressure on Bezzecchi and eased his Ajo KTM Kalex ahead at Turn 1 at the start of lap four.

Lowes extended his advantage at the front to a second by the fifth tour, while Gardner recovered from being roughed up at the start to move ahead of Bezzecchi for third on the eighth tour.

A mistake for Lowes on lap six allowed Fernandez to close back in, but it proved a momentary blip and the Briton’s lead once again extended to over a second.

Fernandez would succumb to Ajo teammate Gardner’s advances at Turn 6 on lap nine, the Australian starting his chase of race leader Lowes.

But despite strong pace, Gardner could do nothing to bridge the gap to Lowes, the Marc VDS rider easing away to a lead of over two seconds to open the 2021 season with victory.

Bezzecchi came under threat from a late-charge from Di Giannantonio on his first outing for Gresini on the Kalex chassis, and scythed past the VR46 rider at the Turn 10 left-hander on the last lap.

The pair were line astern on the run out of the final corner, with Di Giannantonio holding Bezzecchi at bay by just 0.013 seconds.

Fernandez ended his debut Moto2 outing in fifth ahead of Italtrans’ Joe Roberts, while Jake Dixon (Petronas Sprinta) was seventh on his return from a career-threatening wrist injury.

Marcel Schrotter (Intact GP), Bendsneyder and Speed Up’s Jorge Navarro rounded out the top 10, while five-time MotoAmerica Superbike champion Cameron Beaubier ended his debut Moto2 outing for American Racing in 11th.

Results:

Cla # Rider Bike Time
1 22 United Kingdom Sam Lowes Kalex Moto2  
2 87 Australia Remy Gardner Kalex Moto2 2.260
3 21 Italy Fabio Di Giannantonio Kalex Moto2 5.228
4 72 Italy Marco Bezzecchi Kalex Moto2 5.241
5 25 Spain Raúl Fernández Kalex Moto2 6.145
6 16 United States Joe Roberts Kalex Moto2 6.786
7 96 United Kingdom Jake Dixon Kalex Moto2 8.721
8 23 Germany Marcel Schrotter Kalex Moto2 10.911
9 64 Netherlands Bo Bendsneyder Kalex Moto2 12.493
10 9 Spain Jorge Navarro Boscoscuro B-21 16.800
11 6 United States Cameron Beaubier Kalex Moto2 17.147
12 13 Italy Celestino Vietti Ramus Kalex Moto2 17.289
13 44 Spain Arón Canet Boscoscuro B-21 17.527
14 37 Spain Augusto Fernandez Kalex Moto2 17.540
15 12 Switzerland Thomas Luthi Kalex Moto2 17.816
16 14 Italy Tony Arbolino Kalex Moto2 18.211
17 79 Japan Ai Ogura Kalex Moto2 19.143
18 19 Italy Lorenzo Dalla Porta Kalex Moto2 19.220
19 62 Italy Stefano Manzi Kalex Moto2 25.806
20 5 Italy Yari Montella Boscoscuro B-21 30.664
21 75 Spain Albert Arenas Boscoscuro B-21 30.708
22 11 Italy Nicolo Bulega Kalex Moto2 32.764
  35 Thailand Somkiat Chantra Kalex Moto2  
  97 Spain Xavi Vierge Kalex Moto2  
  40 Spain Hector Garzo Kalex Moto2  
  55 Malaysia Hafizh Syahrin NTS NH7  
  7 Italy Lorenzo Baldassarri MV Agusta F2  
  42 Spain Marcos Ramirez Kalex Moto2  

 

 

 

 

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