Pedro Acosta (Red Bull KTM Ajo) made his intentions clear in the title fight as he put in an inch-perfect performance to take victory at the IndianOil Grand Prix of India. The Spaniard controlled the race perfectly as he cleared off at the front and left his title rival Tony Arbolino (Elf MarcVDS Racing Team) to pick up the pieces in P2 – the Italian took his first podium since the German GP. Joe Roberts (Italtrans Racing Team) was embroiled in an epic last-lap scrap with Sergio Garcia (Pons Wegow Los40) as the American also made a return to the Moto2™ rostrum.
As the race got underway it was all-drama into Turn 1 with big moves being made. It all got a bit heated when paths crossed between a number of riders and a big pile-up saw the red flags come out.
💥 @somkiat35, @jeremyalcoba, Vietti @24Marcosramirez and Hada are the riders involved and they are all conscious— MotoGP™🏁 (@MotoGP) September 24, 2023
The race will be shortened to a 12-lap distance, with original grid positions and quick re-start procedure 🚦#IndianGP 🇮🇳 pic.twitter.com/GaSYwrcAw5
The track was cleared and the race was back underway – and what a treat it gave us!
It was all action on lap 1 as Alonso Lopez (GT Trevisan SpeedUp) fired his way into Turn 1 to push Jake Dixon (Inde GASGAS Aspar Team) wide and pave the way for Sergio Garcia to take the lead.
It all got very hectic as the elbows came out on lap 1. Acosta quickly pounced on Garcia, eager to hit the front as soon as possible.
Meanwhile, Arbolino in 3rd was keen to get passed the Pons machine as well. A couple of exchanges eventually saw the Italian get the better of the rookie. It was too little too late for the title contender however as his rival had already stretched out over a second lead to break away from the chasing pack.
It was curtains early on for Aron Canet (PonsWegow Los40), Sam Lowes (Elf MarcVDS Racing Team), and Ai Ogura (IDEMITSU Honda Team Asia) who all went down at Turn 4.
The Lopez-Dixon needle then went one step further as the Brit tried to make a move on the Spaniard. The door was then left slightly ajar on the corner exit which excited the Spaniard a little too much as he powered into the side of the Brit seeing both riders hit the deck.
Meanwhile, Acosta had stretched out a two-second lead over Arbolino who also pulled away from Garcia in 3rd. The battle for 3rd was then well and truly on as Garcia had Joe Roberts for company.
Acosta went on to strengthen his Championship charge as the KTM prodigy took a commanding victory by 3.543s.
Arbolino brought home a lonely 2nd place. A positive return to form the Italian, but not enough to get the better of his title rival.
The battle for third was on though as Roberts showed Garcia a wheel with 2 laps to go. The gloves were off as Roberts saw his opportunity and pounced on the Rookie ahead of the last lap.
Last lap time and Garcia made his intentions known, shooting up the inside at Turn 1. The pair began to swap and change positions as the lap went on. Garcia then went wide which gifted the podium to the American, as he made an important return to the rostrum.
Manuel Gonzalez (Correos Prepago Yamaha VR46 Mastercamp) got the better of Zonta van den Goorgbergh (Fieten Olie Racing GP) to round out the top five after the pair were swapping paintwork mid-race. The Dutchman took his first point-scoring finish in Moto2™ in P6.
The attention now turns to the Mobility Resort Motegi in Japan as the next challenge on the GP calendar awaits the Moto2™ grid. You can keep up to date with all the action at the Motul Grand Prix of Japan from the 29th of September to the 1st of October!
|1||Pedro Acosta (Red Bull KTM Ajo)|
|2||Tony Arbolino (Elf MarcVDS Racing Team)||+3.543|
|3||Joe Roberts (Italtrans Racing Team)||+6.506|
|4||Sergio Garcia (Pons Wegow Los40)||+7.377|
|5||Manuel Gonzalez (Correos Prepago Yamaha VR46 Mastercamp)||+7.903|
|6||Zonta van den Goorgbergh (Fieten Olie Racing GP)||+11.437|
|7||Darryn Binder (Liqui Moly Husqvarna Intact GP)||+11.644|
|8||Barry Baltus (Fieten Olie RacingGP)||+12.255|
|9||Marcos Ramirez (OnlyFans American Racing)||+12.578|
|10||Filip Salac (QJMOTOR Gresini Moto2™)||+12.790|