Ai Ogura (IDEMITSU Honda Team Asia Kalex) had another brilliant ride in his apprentice Moto2 season, fighting his way through from 12th on the grid to seventh at the chequered flag.
Even more impressive was Ogura’s closeness to the winner – at the finish he was just 6.236 seconds behind victor Raul Fernandez (Red Bull KTM Ajo Kalex), a difference of only a quarter of a second per lap.
This was excellent from the 20-year-old from Tokyo, who race after race proves he has speed and consistency, despite his lack of experience on a Moto2 bike. The result was his tenth top ten from his first 14 Moto2 races, with four races remaining in this year’s World Championship: the Grand Prix of the Americas, the Emilio Romagna GP, the Algarve GP and the Valencia GP.
Team-mate Somkiat Chantra (IDEMITSU Honda Team Asia Kalex) also fought hard today, but the 22-year-old Thai rider eventually ran out of luck, while so close to the points-scoring positions. Chantra fell at the ultra-fast Turn 11 but walked away from the accident – proof of the super protective properties of today’s motorcycle rider equipment.
Fernandez’s second consecutive win – despite a hand injury – moved him to within 34 points of his championship-leading Remy Gardner (Red Bull KTM Ajo Kalex), who came through the pack to finish just four tenths of a second behind.
The 23-year-old Australian may even have had a chance to attack the 20-year-old Spaniard in the final corners, but a huge slide through Turn 11 ended his hopes.
The podium was completed by 21-year-old Spaniard Aron Canet (Aspar Team Moto2 Boscoscuro) who lost second place to Gardner with just two laps to go. It was the rider’s fourth podium in the class.
Sam Lowes (Elf Marc Racing VDS Kalex), Marco Bezzecchi (Sky Racing Team VR46 Kalex) and Augusto Fernandez (Elf Marc Racing VDS Kalex), who is no relation to the winner, finished just ahead of Ogura.