Gardner dazzles for German GP victory, Fernandez falters

The Australian took a third straight win in the 200th Moto2™ race

The Moto2™ World Championship encounter at the Sachsenring was another intriguing spectacle as both Red Bull KTM Ajo machines of Remy Gardner and Raul Fernandez were once again the pre-race favourites for the 200th Moto2™ race since the class was introduced in 2010. With the dominant pairing storming away and instantly dropping the pace into the 1’23s, it would take a mistake from one of them for the others to have a look-in. In the end, it was Raul Fernandez who cracked under pressure at Turn 3 on Lap 4, leaving Remy Gardner to clear off at the front to take a third consecutive victory – the first Australian to do this in the intermediate class – ahead of Aron Canet (Aspar Team Moto2) and Marco Bezzecchi (SKY Racing Team VR46). 


As the lights went out for the 28-lap battle, it was Fernandez and Gardner who got the jump down into Turn 1, whilst Fabio Di Giannantonio (Federal Oil Gresini Moto2) got a terrible getaway and was left mired down in fifth. Xavi Vierge (Petronas Sprinta Racing) was up to third ahead of Marco Bezzecchi, who held his position from his starting place. It was also a bright start from Jorge Navarro (+EGO Speed Up), likewise holding his position from the start of the race. It was a dramatic start for Simone Corsi (MV Agusta Forward Racing), who crashed in spectacular finish at Turn 2. His teammate Lorenzo Baldassarri would crash at Turn 8 a handful of laps later.


It became clear from the early stages that the race would be between the two Red Bull KTM Ajo bikes, with Fernandez leading until Gardner got ahead of him at Turn 12 on Lap 2. Whilst both were racing away at the front at a rate of around a second a lap, it would be a mistake that would see the title pendulum swing in favour of Gardner, as Raul Fernandez tucked the front at Turn 3. The rookie faltered for the first time in 2021 but now sees the gap up to Gardner in the title surge out to 36 points. 


With Gardner now left to his own devices, it was the battle for the podium places, with Aron Canet coming on strong and now being promoted up to second place, whilst it was a Bezzecchi vs Di Giannantonio in the battle for the final podium place. Further down the field, there was drama for Augusto Fernandez (Elf Marc VDS Racing Team) and Jake Dixon (Petronas Sprinta Racing), as the two collided at Turn 12, resulting in Dixon running off and Fernandez going down; the incident is being investigated after the race. 

Back at the front and the podium battle was now starting to really ignite as Di Giannantonio put a phenomenal pass over Bezzecchi at Turn 11, only for the SKY Racing Team VR46 rider to respond at the very next corner. Within the final five laps, it was a battle for the top five as Japanese rookie Ai Ogura (Idemitsu Honda Team Asia) got ahead of Vierge at Turn 12 to break into the front positions after a very consistent race. Vierge, whilst dropping back, remained strong and was now safe in sixth, having been a top six runner all weekend. Just up ahead, having consolidated third, Bezzecchi set his sights on Canet and closed him down in the closing stages but wasn’t able to capitalise on it. 


The final lap would see numerous positions squandered, as Xavi Vierge crashed out of sixth place at Turn 1, tossing away a safe top six after a podium at the last round in Barcelona. Then, further down the order, Joe Roberts (Italtrans Racing Team) crashed from 11th, also at Turn 1. Then, at Turn 8, it was Ai Ogura who crashed out, which therefore promoted Sam Lowes (Elf Marc VDS Racing Team) who took fifth. 


Despite the drama all around him, Remy Gardner kept a cool head to take a third consecutive win, the tenth rider in the Moto2™ class history to achieve this. Aron Canet took a second podium of the year whilst Marco Bezzecchi put in a strong ride to take third, having initially looked off the pace throughout the weekend. Fourth went to Di Giannantonio, whilst Sam Lowes pinched fifth place in the closing stages to deny Marcel Schrotter, although home-hero Schrotter fought valiantly from 17th on the grid. Jorge Navarro, Albert Arenas (Aspar Team Moto2), Marcos Ramirez (American Racing) and Cameron Beaubier (American Racing) completed the top ten, with Arenas taking a first Moto2™ top ten and Beaubier giving America a third top ten of 2021.

Top 10 after 28-lap Moto2™ race: 

1. Remy Gardner (Red Bull KTM Ajo)
2. Aron Canet (Aspar Team Moto2) + 6.158
3. Marco Bezzecchi (SKY Racing Team VR46)
4. Fabio Di Giannantonio (Federal Oil Gresini Moto2) + 8.145
5. Sam Lowes (ELF Marc VDS Racing Team) + 9.888
6. Marcel Schrotter (Liqui Moly Intact GP) + 10.000
7. Jorge Navarro (+EGO Speed Up) + 16.039
8. Albert Arenas (Aspar Team Moto2) + 19.394
9. Marcos Ramirez (American Racing) + 21.718
10. Cameron Beaubier (American Racing) + 26.393


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