Ai Ogura (IDEMITSU Honda Team Asia Kalex) and team-mate Somkiat Chantra (IDEMITSU Honda Team Asia Kalex) had thrilling rides at Le Mans today, both of them in the group fighting for sixth place. At the end of the 25 laps Ogura took seventh place and Chantra 12th.
After two days of mostly wet practice and qualifying the Moto2 race started with all riders on slicks, despite cool track temperatures and a few damp patches around the circuit.
Both Ogura and Chantra were impressive from the start, climbing through the order from 14th and 16th at the end of the first lap. The pair spent much of the race in the eight-man group contesting sixth. At one point Ogura fought himself to the front of the bunch, the 20-year-old Moto2 rookie from Tokyo finally crossing the line in seventh. His third top ten from his first five Moto2 races was another great result, which puts him ninth overall in the 2021 World Championship.
Chantra was delighted with his race, which gave him his first points of 2021, after showing some promising speed in recent races. The 22-year-old Thai rider was in fine form, finishing less than a second behind his team-mate after starting from 26th on the grid.
The race was won by rookie Raul Fernandez (Red Bull KTM Ajo Kalex), the 20-year-old Spaniard taking his second win in three races to close to within one point of team-mate and championship leader Remy Gardner (Red Bull KTM Ajo Kalex), who chased Fernandez throughout the closing laps to take second place.
Third place went to Marco Bezzecchi (Sky Racing Team VR46 Kalex), who moved into third overall in the points chase, taking the position from Sam Lowes (Elf Marc VDS Racing Team Kalex), who crashed out for the second time in three races.