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30 days ago
By motogp.com

Gardner fends off Bezzecchi to extend title lead

A crash for Raul Fernandez sees the Australian stretch his advantage to 44 points in a brilliant intermediate class Silverstone encounter

Remy Gardner (Red Bull KTM Ajo) fended off title challenger Marco Bezzecchi (SKY Racing Team VR46) to emerge victorious from a fantastic Moto2™ Monster Energy British Grand Prix, as second in the title race Raul Fernandez (Red Bull KTM Ajo) crashed out unhurt. Gardner took the win by just 0.4s, as Jorge Navarro (Lightech Speed Up) claimed a first podium of the season in third.

A brilliant battle for the podium

Bezzecchi was able to get a solid launch from pole position and held the lead into Turn 1, but it was Lowes who was soon in the lead as the British rider made a rapid start on the outside of the front row. Jorge Navarro (Lightech Speed Up) was sitting ahead of Gardner and Raul Fernandez on the opening lap as Gardner carved past teammate Fernandez at Turn 1 on Lap 2. Soon, Gardner was up to P3 past Navarro as Bezzecchi passed Lowes for P1 on Lap 3.

Gardner then found a way past Lowes for P2, with the top five – Bezzecchi, Gardner, Lowes, Navarro and Fabio Di Giannantonio (Federal Oil Gresini Moto2) – split by less than a second. Raul Fernandez was a second back of the group in P6 for now, as teammate Gardner hit the front. Not for long though. Bezzecchi pounced back half a lap later but on the exit of Turn 14, Bezzecchi was out of the seat and it caused Gardner to sit up. This handed Gardner the race lead baton, with the top five still locked together.

Just after Gardner had set the fastest lap of the race, Bezzecchi scooped up some slipstream and made a pass for the lead stick at Stowe with 10 laps remaining. Bezzecchi, Gardner and Lowes had a 0.8s lead over fourth place Navarro with nine laps to go, the podium fight was pulsating at Silverstone. Gardner, again at Turn 13, dived up the inside of Bezzecchi, and the Aussie was back in the lead.

With four laps to go, huge drama in the Championship chase unfolded. Raul Fernandez suffered a huge crash at Turn 12 and was out of the race, thankfully the Spaniard was back up on his feet. But with Gardner leading and Bezzecchi a close second, Raul Fernandez’ title hopes took a big dent.

At the front, Gardner and Bezzecchi were locked together with two laps to go, with Navarro getting the better of Lowes for P3. Navarro was 1.1s off second place Bezzecchi, Gardner’s lead was just 0.2s. Bezzecchi set his fastest lap of the race on the penultimate lap, with Navarro setting the fastest lap of the race. Stowe and Vale – two big passing places – passed by for Bezzecchi, and pushing hard, Bezzecchi was slightly wide at Turn 13.

In the end, Gardner produced a fantastic last lap and a fantastic race in general to take a crucial 25 points, with Bezzecchi 0.4s away from the win after pushing Gardner all the way. Navarro claimed a first podium since the 2019 Valencia GP, the Spaniard beat Lowes by 0.3s to deny the latter a home GP podium.

The remaining top 10

Di Giannantonio got the better of Augusto Fernandez (Elf Marc VDS Racing Team) for P5 and P6, Aron Canet (Kipin Energy Aspar Team) finished a lonely P7 as Xavi Vierge (Petronas Sprinta Racing), Ai Ogura (Idemitsu Honda Team Asia) and Joe Roberts (Italtrans Racing Team) completed the top 10 runners at the British GP.

After a disappointing couple of races at the Red Bull Ring, the Championship momentum swings back in favour of Gardner. Next up for the Moto2™ riders: MotorLand Aragon in a couple of weekends time.

Top 10:
1. Remy Gardner (Red Bull KTM Ajo)
2. Marco Bezzecchi (SKY Racing Team VR46) + 0.481
3. Jorge Navarro (Lightech Speed Up) + 1.930
4. Sam Lowes (Elf Marc VDS Racing Team) 2.284
5. Fabi Di Giannantonio (Federal Oil Gresini Moto2) + 6.952
6. Augusto Fernandez (Elf Marc VDS Racing Team) + 7.059
7. Aron Canet (Kipin Energy Aspar Team) + 10.706
8. Xavi Vierge (Petronas Sprinta Racing) + 12.842
9. Ai Ogura (Red Bull KTM Ajo) + 12.877
10. Joe Roberts (Italtrans Racing Team) + 14.344

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