Moto2 rookie Ai Ogura (Idemitsu Honda Team Asia Kalex) had another magnificent ride in this afternoon’s Moto2 race today, battling with hugely experienced Spaniard Xavi Vierge (Petronas Sprinta Racing Kalex) and American Joe Roberts (Italtrans Racing Team Kalex) for sixth place.
The trio were together for much of the 23 laps. This kind of race – a rookie riding with riders who have many, many more Moto2 races behind them – allows Ogura to learn many details that will help him to improve his performance as he continues his apprenticeship in MotoGP’s intermediate category.
The 20-year-old from Tokyo finally took seventh place, a fraction of a second behind Vierge and a fraction of a second ahead of Roberts.
Ogura’s team-mate Somkiat Chantra (Idemitsu Honda Team Asia Kalex) didn’t have such a rewarding day. The 22-year-old Thai rider took a tumble in the early stages of the race and wasn’t able to continue.
The race was won by Fabio Di Giannantonio (Federal Oil Gresini Moto2 Kalex), who dominated from the first corner to the chequered flag to take his first victory in the class. The 22-year-old Italian’s success for the Gresini team was an emotional affair, because team owner Fausto Gresini, a twice 125cc World Champion, passed away in February after contracting COVID-19.
Di Giannantonio, who took his first GP victories in the Moto3 class when he rode a Honda NSF250RW in 2018, finished the race 1.722 second ahead of fellow 22-year-old Italian Marco Bezzecchi (Sky Racing Team VR46 Kalex), who was delighted to take his first podium of 2021.
Last man on the podium was Sam Lowes (EG 0,0 Marc VDS Kalex), the 30-year-old Briton who won the first two races of the year but crashed out of the last race in Portugal at the first corner.