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19 days ago
By motogp.com

Gardner victorious after beating Raul Fernandez by 0.014s

A last lap move saw the Australian extend his Championship lead over teammate Fernandez in Italy

Remy Gardner (Red Bull KTM Ajo) picked up a memorable first win of the season after beating teammate and closest title rival Raul Fernandez by 0.014s in the Gran Premio d’Italia Oakley Moto2™ race. Home hero Marco Bezzecchi (SKY Racing Team VR46) inherited the final podium spot after Joe Roberts (Italtrans Racing Team) was demoted one position on the last lap for exceeding track limits.

How the race was won

Polesitter Raul Fernandez held station into Turn 1 to lead the race from the get-go, with teammate Gardner getting a great start from the second row to slot into P2. Fernandez then began to get his head down and slowly streak clear of Gardner, with Sam Lowes (Elf Marc VDS Racing Team) clawing his way back up to Gardner after a slower start from P2. This trio stretched clear of the chasing pack, Lowes passing Gardner for P2 on Lap 10 after a quality exchange between the British and Australian riders.

Fernandez’s lead was up to 1.9s but Lowes and Gardner reeled the rookie in, with the number 22 getting to within 0.8s before a costly crash at Turn 8 ended Lowes’ race with six laps to go. The battle for the win was then properly on as Gardner climbed onto the back of his teammate’s Kalex with three laps remaining, it was clear Gardner had superior edge grip in the closing stages. On the last lap, Gardner struck at Turn 10 and fended off Fernandez to win his first race of 2021, extending his lead to six points ahead of Round 7.

The points scorers

Bezzecchi’s podium is his third in a row, and one that keeps him P3 in the title race. Roberts was disappointed with P4 after crossing the line third, but it was a great ride from the American. Marcel Schrötter’s (Liqui Moly Intact GP) fifth place is his best finish of the year, rookies Ai Ogura (Idemitsu Honda Team Asia), Tony Arbolino (Liqui Moly Intact GP) and Cameron Beaubier (American Racing) – from 26th on the grid – claim fantastic results in P6, P7 and P8 respectively.

Shout out to Hafizh Syahrin (NTS RW Racing GP), that’s the Malaysian’s best race of the season, Stefano Manzi (Flexbox HP40) rounded out the top 10. Aron Canet (Kipin Energy Aspar Team), debutant Fermin Aldeguer (MB Conveyors Speed Up), Hector Garzo (Flexbox HP40), Jake Dixon (Petronas Sprinta Racing) and Bo Bendsneyder (Pertamina Mandalika SAG Team) completed the top 15.

The Moto2™ riders will be back in action next weekend at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya.

Top 10:
1. Remy Gardner (Red Bull KTM Ajo)
2. Raul Fernandez (Red Bull KTM Ajo) + 0.014
3. Marco Bezzecchi (SKY Racing Team VR46) + 8.021
4. Joe Roberts (Italtrans Racing Team) + 8.004*
5. Marcel Schrötter (Liqui Moly Intact GP) + 12.343
6. Ai Ogura (Idemitsu Honda Team Asia) + 23.170
7. Tony Arbolino (Liqui Moly Intact GP) + 23.764
8. Cameron Beaubier (American Racing) + 34.825
9. Hafizh Syahrin (NTS RW Racing GP) + 34.849
10. Stefano Manzi (FlexBox HP40) + 34.965

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