Valencia Moto2: Gardner clinches title as Fernandez wins

Remy Gardner is the 2021 Moto2 world champion after finishing a safe 10th in a Valencia Grand Prix finale won by title rival and Ajo teammate Raul Fernandez.

Valencia Moto2: Gardner clinches title as Fernandez wins
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Fernandez had to win Sunday’s race to have any hope of winning the title having come into the final round 23 points behind Gardner, who in turn simply needed to finish 13th or higher to seal the deal.

The race was red-flagged on the opening lap after oil was dropped at Turn 3 following a crash involving VR46’s Marco Bezzecchi, Xavi Vierge (Petronas Sprinta) and MV Agusta’s Lorenzo Baldassarri.

Poleman Simone Corsi had taken the lead from Raul Fernandez, while his Ajo KTM teammate and chief title rival Gardner had dropped to 15th.

The race was shortened to 16 laps from 25 for the restart, but Corsi’s first pole in nine years would come to nothing as he was forced to pull out on the warm-up lap with a technical issue on his MV Agusta.

Off the line Augusto Fernandez took the lead on his Marc VDS Kalex followed by Raul Fernandez and Gresini’s Fabio Di Giannantonio.

Raul Fernandez took the lead at Turn 6 on the second lap for the first time, while Gardner circulated in ninth and doing enough to win the championship.

The two Fernandezs engaged on laps three for the lead, with Raul losing out to both Augusto Fernandez and Di Giannantonio on the following tour.

Di Giannantonio would lead from lap four through to the 13th tour, when Raul Fernandez came through into Turn 2.

But Gardner continued to do what he needed to secure the championship as he ran in a safe 10th on the second of the Ajo KTM machines.

Fernandez had pulled out a gap of almost four tenths as he began the final lap in the lead and would take the chequered flag for the eighth and last win of his Moto2 career before he steps up to MotoGP next year.

But it was all futile, as Gardner crossed the line in 10th to become the 2021 Moto2 world champion and join his 1987 500cc title-winning father Wayne Gardner as just the second father/son pairing to win grand prix championships in any class.

Di Giannantonio held off Augusto Fernandez to take second ahead of his step up to MotoGP alongside Raul Fernandez and Gardner in 2022.

Celestino Vietti ended his rookie Moto2 campaign with a strong run to fourth on the VR46 Kalex ahead of Aspar’s Aron Canet and World Superbike-bound Xavi Vierge on the Petronas Sprinta Kalex.

The top 10 was completed by Marc VDS’ Sam Lowes, Speed Up’s Jorge Navarro, Intact GP’s Marcel Schrotter and Gardner. 

Race results:

Cla # Rider Bike Gap
1 25 Spain Raúl Fernández Kalex  
2 21 Italy Fabio Di Giannantonio Kalex 0.517
3 37 Spain Augusto Fernandez Kalex 0.786
4 13 Italy Celestino Vietti Ramus Kalex 2.393
5 44 Spain Arón Canet Boscoscuro B-21 4.978
6 97 Spain Xavi Vierge Kalex 5.091
7 22 United Kingdom Sam Lowes Kalex 5.415
8 9 Spain Jorge Navarro Boscoscuro B-21 5.808
9 23 Germany Marcel Schrotter Kalex 7.941
10 87 Australia Remy Gardner Kalex 9.112
11 45 Japan Tetsuta Nagashima Kalex 9.420
12 12 Switzerland Thomas Luthi Kalex 10.355
13 62 Italy Stefano Manzi Kalex 11.898
14 42 Spain Marcos Ramirez Kalex 12.088
15 55 Malaysia Hafizh Syahrin NTS 12.361
16 96 United Kingdom Jake Dixon Kalex 13.982
17 54 Fermín Aldeguer Boscoscuro B-21 14.022
18 70 Belgium Barry Baltus NTS 14.145
19 35 Thailand Somkiat Chantra Kalex 17.111
20 72 Italy Marco Bezzecchi Kalex 19.273
21 6 United States Cameron Beaubier Kalex 19.426
22 75 Spain Albert Arenas Boscoscuro B-21 19.608
23 14 Italy Tony Arbolino Kalex 19.986
24 11 Italy Nicolo Bulega Kalex 23.805
25 64 Netherlands Bo Bendsneyder Kalex 31.559
  40 Spain Hector Garzo Kalex  
  20 Indonesia Dimas Ekky Pratama Kalex  
  24 Italy Simone Corsi MV Agusta  
  7 Italy Lorenzo Baldassarri MV Agusta  
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