Moto2 rookie Ai Ogura (IDEMITSU Honda Team Asia Kalex) spent much of his first weekend on a Moto2 bike at Silverstone unlocking the secrets of MotoGP’s longest racetrack on his way to another excellent top-ten finish.
The 20-year-old from Tokyo learned well, taking important forward steps each and every time he ventured out on track during the chilly but dry weekend. He was 25th fastest in Friday morning’s FP1 session,16th in yesterday morning’s FP3 outing, 14th in qualifying and finally ninth in today’s race, following spirited battles with several more experience rivals.
The result followed his first podium – scored at the Austrian Grand Prix two Sunday’s ago – and continues his hugely impressive progress in the ultra-competitive intermediate category.
Team-mate Somkiat Chantra (IDEMITSU Honda Team Asia Kalex) had a clear target today: to maintain his impressive World Championship points record with another top-15 score. The 22-year-old Thai rider was in the hunt but finally finished 17th, just a few seconds outside the points.
The race was won by Remy Gardner (Red Bull KTM Ajo Kalex), the 23-year-old Australian winning a fierce duel for victory with 22-year-old Italian Marco Bezzecchi (SKY Racing Team VR46 Kalex). This was a hugely important victory for Gardner, because it extends his World Championship lead to 44 points over team-mate Raul Fernandez (Red Bull KTM Ajo Kalex) who crashed out of the race, without injury.
The final place on the podium went to Jorge Navarro (Lightech Speed Up Boscoscuro), who took his first podium of 2021 after a big battle with local hero Sam Lowes (Elf Marc VDS Racing Team Kalex), who had to be content with fourth place in front of his British fans.
The only other riders ahead of Ogura at the finish were Fabio Di Giannantonio (Federal Oil Gresini Moto2 Kalex), Augusto Fernandez (Elf Marc VDS Racing Team Kalex), Aron Canet (Kipin Energy Aspar Team Boscoscuro) and Xavi Vierge (Petronas Sprinta Racing Kalex) .
Gardner now takes his championship advantage to Aragon in Spain on 12th September, where Fernandez will hope for a home-race advantage. The 2021 Moto2 World Championship continues the following weekend with the San Marino GP at Misano.