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A seismic shift took place in the fight to be crowned 2020 Moto2™ World Champion at the Michelin Aragon Grand Prix, as both Sam Lowes (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) and Enea Bastianini (Italtrans Racing Team) took full profit off SKY Racing Team VR46's double disaster with a one-two finish. Following Luca Marini and Marco Bezzecchi's crash, now just five points seperate the top three riders in the title chase with only four rounds remaining.
As the lights went out in Aragon, it was a super start from Bezzecchi as he took the holeshot from second on the grid with Petronas Sprinta Racing's Jake Dixon swooping through to third from row two. Early drama then struck as Jorge Navarro (MB Conveyors Speed Up) crashed at the opening corner following contact with Marcos Ramirez (Tennor American Racing), but the Spaniard thankfully walked away from a scary crash.
Poleman Lowes ran slightly wide at Turn 12 from second and allowed Fabio Di Giannantonio (MB Conveyors Speed Up) through after the Italian had earlier got the better of Dixon. But Lowes was straight back up the inside as he set his sights on Bezzecchi out front. On Lap 3, the Moto2™ World Championship took its biggest twist yet as leader Luca Marini tucked the front through Turn 14 and the chase to be crowned the intermediate class King was suddenly blown wide open.
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Moto2™ title chase blown wide open after Marini crashes out
Teammate Bezzecchi would be the new Championship leader if he could hold on to victory but his task was made tougher when both Lowes and Di Giannantonio disposed of his half a second advantage to make it a three-way fight at the front. Friday’s fastest man Di Giannantonio made his move on Lowes with fourteen laps remaining at MotorLand, seemingly feeling he had the pace to strike on Bezzecchi. Further back there was an important Championship shuffle taking place when Enea Bastianini edged ahead of Jake Dixon for the final place inside the top five.
Ten laps now completed and, for the first time, we saw a change of the lead as Di Giannantonio pounced on his compatriot at Turn 14. The pair were side-by-side down the near kilometre-long back straight but the Speed Up man was able to hold on as they went through the final corner. The trio at the front started lap eleven, flicking left through Turn 1 and then, just at they went right through Turn 2, the front-end of Di Giannantonio’s Speed Up folded and his hopes of a career-first intermediate class win went up in smoke.
It left Bezzecchi and Lowes at the front, with Jorge Martin (Red Bull KTM Ajo) beginning to loom ominously in the background now only a second adrift of the Italian and the Briton. Bastianini was well in contention too, half a second off the rear wheel of Martin in fourth having escaped the attention of Dixon. Seven laps now remaining as Bastianini finally got the better of Martin with a classy move under the shadow of the MotorLand wall.
Martin wasn’t going to just sit and let Bastianini escape though, with the Red Bull KTM Ajo man immediately finding a response to take back the final podium spot. It didn’t last long though, with The Beast finding a way back past on the brakes into Turn 8.
Now five laps left and at the front Bezzzecchi was still in control, half a second clear of Lowes. Three seconds further back and Bastianini held third place, himself three tenths clear of Martin, with the pair having lost touch of the leading duo due to their squabble over third. The laps ticked by and the end drew nearer with Bezzecchi on course for victory before another monumental moment in the World Championship chase took place with Bezzecchi crashing out at Turn 2 with only two laps remaining.
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VR46 catastrophe as Bezzecchi throws away win and title lead
Jaw-dropping drama at MotorLand Aragon as Lowes swooped through to take the lead for the first time all race and incredibly took the mantle as Championship leader too. Martin got himself in front of Bastianini on the penultimate lap only for Bastianini to steal second back in the final sector on the final lap with his clinical, ruthless and vital move securing the extra four points that would see him sit atop of the Moto2™ World Championship with four rounds now remaining.
At the front, it was all about Sam Lowes, however, as the 30-year-old secured back-to-back victories for the first time in his Grand Prix career. With Bastianini crossing the line in second ahead of Martin, it meant we saw all four Championship challengers leading the title chase at one point during an incredible Aragon Grand Prix. Ahead of next weekend's second Aragon encounter, the Italian is just two points clear of Lowes with Marini only three further back in third.
Further back, Dixon well and truly bounced back from his Le Mans heartbreak by clinching a career-best finish in fourth. ONEXOX TKKR SAG Team's Remy Gardner got the better of Ramirez and Hector Garzo (FlexBox HP 40) in the fight for the final place inside the top five. Tennor American Racing's Joe Roberts ended up eighth, before Tetsuta Nagashima (Red Bull KTM Ajo) and Simone Corsi (MV Agusta Forward Racing) rounded out the top ten.
1. Sam Lowes (EG 0,0 Marc VDS)
2. Enea Bastianini (Italtrans Racing Team) + 4.195
3. Jorge Martin (Red Bull KTM Ajo) + 4.340
4. Jake Dixon (Petronas Sprinta Racing) + 9.298
5. Remy Gardner (Onexox TKKR SAG Team) + 14.765
6. Marcos Ramirez (Tennor American Racing) + 15.130
7. Hector Garzo (Flexbox HP 40) + 15.192
8. Joe Roberts (Tennor American Racing) + 17.024
9. Tetsuta Nagashima (Red Bull KTM Ajo) + 19.000
10. Simone Corsi (MV Agusta Forward Racing) + 20.206
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