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.
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:
|1||13||Celestino Vietti Ramus||Kalex|
|15||5||Romano Fenati||Boscoscuro B-21||33.639|
|16||54||Fermín Aldeguer||Boscoscuro B-21||34.155|
|17||24||Simone Corsi||MV Agusta||34.699|
|18||42||Marcos Ramirez||MV Agusta||36.282|
|19||Lorenzo Dalla Porta||Kalex|
|View full results|
Gardner "expected worse" from KTM MotoGP bike
Indonesia Moto2: Chantra claims historic win in shortened race
Le Mans Moto3: Vietti wins to reignite title bid, McPhee crashes
Le Mans Moto3: Vietti wins to reignite title bid, McPhee crashes Le Mans Moto3: Vietti wins to reignite title bid, McPhee crashes
Styria Moto3: Rossi protege Vietti scores first win
Styria Moto3: Rossi protege Vietti scores first win Styria Moto3: Rossi protege Vietti scores first win
Rossi in disbelief at VR46 riders' post-race "disaster"
Rossi in disbelief at VR46 riders' post-race "disaster" Rossi in disbelief at VR46 riders' post-race "disaster"
Cindric: International drivers should try NASCAR oval racing
Cindric: International drivers should try NASCAR oval racing Cindric: International drivers should try NASCAR oval racing
Van Gisbergen's frank admission amid Skaife drama
Van Gisbergen's frank admission amid Skaife drama Van Gisbergen's frank admission amid Skaife drama
Yamaha “still far away” from what it needs from 2023 MotoGP engine
Yamaha “still far away” from what it needs from 2023 MotoGP engine Yamaha “still far away” from what it needs from 2023 MotoGP engine
Bagnaia must “respect” #1 plate to defend his MotoGP crown in 2023
Bagnaia must “respect” #1 plate to defend his MotoGP crown in 2023 Bagnaia must “respect” #1 plate to defend his MotoGP crown in 2023
Subscribe and access Motorsport.com with your ad-blocker.
From Formula 1 to MotoGP we report straight from the paddock because we love our sport, just like you. In order to keep delivering our expert journalism, our website uses advertising. Still, we want to give you the opportunity to enjoy an ad-free and tracker-free website and to continue using your adblocker.