Qatar Moto2: Vietti takes dominant win, Lowes snatches third

Celestino Vietti dominated the Moto2 Qatar Grand Prix for Valentino Rossi’s VR46 team to claim his first win, as Sam Lowes snatched a podium in a dramatic final corner.

Qatar Moto2: Vietti takes dominant win, Lowes snatches third
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VR46 rider Vietti was promoted to pole at the end of qualifying on Saturday when original Q2 pacesetter Sam Lowes was demoted to third for exceeding track limits.  

The Moto2 sophomore converted pole to the holeshot at the start, as new Pons rider Aron Canet moved into second on lap two to give chase on the Italian.  

However, Vietti’s lead was already at six tenths and was quickly out to over a second by the third tour of 20.  

Vietti’s charge at the front carried on as his lead would soon swell to over two seconds, with Canet only able to respond for a brief phase mid-race.  

But Canet could do nothing to put any pressure on Vietti, whose lead was out to over four seconds as he led the field onto the penultimate lap.  

Vietti’s pace showed no signs of relenting as his gap extended to over six seconds as he comfortably took the chequered flag to make it back-to-back VR46 Academy wins following Andrea Migno’s Moto3 victory earlier in the day.   

Canet held onto a lonely second to kick off his time with Pons Racing in fine fashion, while Marc VDS rider Lowes completed the podium in dramatic fashion.  

Lowes was embroiled in the battle for the final podium spot with former teammate Augusto Fernandez, who has moved to Ajo KTM this year, and Honda Team Asia rider Ai Ogura.  

Fernandez snatched third on the final lap but was knocked wide at the last corner when Ogura lost the front of his Kalex and clattered into the side of the Spaniard.

This stopped Ogura from crashing out, while Fernandez stayed mounted – though Lowes came through to steal third, the Britain gritting his teeth through a tendinitis issue that has dogged him this weekend.  

Fernandez was fourth ahead of the second Marc VDS bike of Tony Arbolino, who was lucky to stay on his bike after suffering a big front-end slide at Turn 4 on the final lap while he was battling for third.  

Ogura completed the top six after his wild final corner moment, with the second Pons bike of Jorge Navarro seventh ahead of Italtrans’ Joe Roberts and American Racing rider Cameron Beaubier.  

Marcel Schrotter rounded out the top 10 on his Intact GP bike, with Aspar’s Jack Dixon recovering to 11th after he was nudged wide at Turn 1 on the opening lap.  

Reigning Moto3 world champion and hot favourite for the Moto2 title Pedro Acosta also got forced off track at Turn 1 on the first lap and dropped down to the back of the field.  

The 17-year-old recovered aboard his Ajo KTM machine to end his Moto2 debut in 12th.  

Moto2 Qatar Grand Prix - Full results:

Cla # Rider Bike Gap
1 13 Italy Celestino Vietti Ramus Kalex  
2 40 Spain Arón Canet Kalex 6.154
3 22 United Kingdom Sam Lowes Kalex 10.181
4 37 Spain Augusto Fernandez Kalex 10.259
5 14 Italy Tony Arbolino Kalex 11.421
6 79 Japan Ai Ogura Kalex 12.331
7 9 Spain Jorge Navarro Kalex 14.866
8 16 United States Joe Roberts Kalex 15.371
9 6 United States Cameron Beaubier Kalex 17.368
10 23 Germany Marcel Schrotter Kalex 18.908
11 96 United Kingdom Jake Dixon Kalex 18.958
12 51 Spain Pedro Acosta Kalex 26.051
13 75 Spain Albert Arenas Kalex 26.139
14 52 Spain Jeremy Alcoba Kalex 31.755
15 5 Italy Romano Fenati Boscoscuro B-21 33.639
16 54 Fermín Aldeguer Boscoscuro B-21 34.155
17 24 Italy Simone Corsi MV Agusta 34.699
18 42 Spain Marcos Ramirez MV Agusta 36.282
19 64 Netherlands Bo Bendsneyder Kalex 40.594
20 18 Manuel Gonzalez Kalex 43.946
21 2 Argentina Gabriel Rodrigo Kalex 44.347
22 61 Italy Alessandro Zaccone Kalex 49.180
23 81 Keminth Kubo Kalex 50.203
24 84 Zonta Van Kalex 56.194
25 4 Sean Dylan Kalex 56.336
26 28 Italy Niccolo Antonelli Kalex 56.357
  7 Belgium Barry Baltus Kalex  
  19 Italy Lorenzo Dalla Porta Kalex  
  12 Czech Republic Filip Salač Kalex  

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