Sachsenring Moto2: Gardner dominates, Fernandez crashes out

MotoGP-bound Remy Gardner dominated the Moto2 German Grand Prix at the Sachsenring to extend his championship lead after Ajo KTM teammate Raul Fernandez crashed out early on.

Sachsenring Moto2: Gardner dominates, Fernandez crashes out
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The last three Moto2 races have been duels between Gardner and Fernandez, with Sunday’s Sachsenring encounter set to follow a similar pattern until the latter crashed on lap five and opened the door for Gardner to ease to his third victory of 2021.

Gardner’s victory is also the second for the Ajo squad in Germany after Pedro Acosta won in Moto3, both riders doing so on the same day the partnership between KTM and Ajo was renewed through to 2026.

Poleman Fernandez got the jump into Turn 1 at the start with Gardner slotting behind him ahead of a fast-starting Xavi Vierge on the Petronas Sprinta Kalex from fifth.

Such was the leading KTM Ajo duo’s pace in the opening laps that the gap between them and Vierge stood at seven tenths after the first tour, with Fernandez and Gardner lapping a second quicker than the rest of the field.

Gardner nailed his run through the Ralf Waldmann right-hander at Turn 11 to line up Fernandez into the Sachsen Kurve left at the bottom of the hill.

Cleanly pulling off a move for the lead, Gardner started to stretch his legs and forced Fernandez to push hard to keep in his wheel tracks.

The pair were 1.5s clear of Vierge by lap three, though the gap out front would extend dramatically to over five seconds on lap five when Fernandez crashed out at the Omega right-hander at Turn 3.

Gardner settled into a rhythm that would prove impossible to surmount, his lead extending to over seven seconds on his way to the chequered flag to secure his third win of the campaign and become the first Australian to win three-successive grands prix since Casey Stoner in MotoGP in 2011.

Aspar’s Aron Canet had worked his way up to second from 10th on the grid by the fifth tour, with Canet easing away from the battle behind featuring VR46’s Marco Bezzecchi, Gresini’s MotoGP-bound Fabio Di Giannantonio and Vierge.

Canet managed his 1.6s gap ahead of this group for a good chunk of the 28 laps, but Bezzecchi and Honda Team Asia rookie Ai Ogura began to reel him in with four laps to go.

Bezzecchi cut the gap down to 1.2s on lap 25 of 28, which was reduced further to a second next time around.

But Canet resisted the late charge from Bezzecchi to hold second to equal his best result of 2021, with Bezzecchi completing the top three.

Ogura’s hopes of a first Moto2 podium were dashed on the last lap when he crashed at Turn 8, with Vierge also falling out of the race at Turn 1 on the final tour.

Di Giannantonio was fourth ahead of Marc VDS’ Sam Lowes and home rider Marcel Schrotter on the Intact GP Kales.

Jorge Navarro was seventh on the Speed Up machine, with Aspar rookie Albert Arenas, American racing rider Marcos Ramirez and his rookie teammate Cameron Beaubier completing the top 10.

Gardner has strengthened his championship lead to 36 points over Fernandez heading to next weekend’s Dutch TT. 

Race results:

Cla # Rider Bike Time
1 87 Australia Remy Gardner Kalex -
2 44 Spain Arón Canet Boscoscuro B-21 6.158
3 72 Italy Marco Bezzecchi Kalex 7.030
4 21 Italy Fabio Di Giannantonio Kalex 8.145
5 22 United Kingdom Sam Lowes Kalex 9.888
6 23 Germany Marcel Schrotter Kalex 10.000
7 9 Spain Jorge Navarro Boscoscuro B-21 16.039
8 75 Spain Albert Arenas Boscoscuro B-21 19.394
9 42 Spain Marcos Ramirez Kalex 21.718
10 6 United States Cameron Beaubier Kalex 26.393
11 11 Italy Nicolo Bulega Kalex 26.732
12 2 Spain Alonso López Kalex 26.835
13 64 Netherlands Bo Bendsneyder Kalex 28.034
14 70 Belgium Barry Baltus NTS 28.984
15 13 Italy Celestino Vietti Ramus Kalex 31.414
16 14 Italy Tony Arbolino Kalex 33.176
17 55 Malaysia Hafizh Syahrin NTS 33.425
18 35 Thailand Somkiat Chantra Kalex 39.638
19 12 Switzerland Thomas Luthi Kalex 39.682
20 62 Italy Stefano Manzi Kalex 44.613
21 96 United Kingdom Jake Dixon Kalex 47.416
  79 Japan Ai Ogura Kalex  
  97 Spain Xavi Vierge Kalex  
  16 United States Joe Roberts Kalex  
  19 Italy Lorenzo Dalla Porta Kalex  
  37 Spain Augusto Fernandez Kalex  
  7 Italy Lorenzo Baldassarri MV Agusta  
  25 Spain Raúl Fernández Kalex  
  54 Fermín Aldeguer Boscoscuro B-21  
  24 Italy Simone Corsi MV Agusta  

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