Ai Ogura (IDEMITSU Honda Team Asia) finished third at Mugello today, the result taking him to the top of the 2022 Moto2 championship, after former leader Celestino Vietti (Mooney VR46 Racing Team) withdrew with a technical issue.
Ogura rode a superb race, fighting through from sixth on the grid to move into the top three at mid-distance. From there the 21-year-old from Tokyo had a real battle with several other riders, including local heroes Vietti and Tony Arbolino (Elf Marc VDS Racing Team).
Vietti dropped out in the final stages, leaving Ogura clear to follow his first-ever GP victory, in France two weeks ago, with another podium. He now stands equal with Vietti on 108 points, after eight of 20 races, with Spaniard Aron Canet (Flexbox HP40) third overall, 19 points further back, after tumbling out of the race.
Ogura’s result also reinforced IDEMITSU Honda Team Asia’s advantage in the prestigious Moto2 teams championship, despite Somkiat Chantra (IDEMITSU Honda Team Asia) sliding out of today’s race while charging through the pack following a complicated qualifying yesterday. The 23-year-old Thai rider, winner of this year’s Indonesian Moto2 race, qualified 24th, had moved up to 17th by the end of the first lap and was already inside the points when he fell at Turn Ten on lap five.
The race was won by rookie and reigning Moto3 World Champion Pedro Acosta (Red Bull KTM Ajo), whose first intermediate-class success makes history because he is the youngest-ever winner in the category, at the age of 18 years and four days, taking the record from current Repsol Honda MotoGP rider Marc Marquez, who won his first Moto2 race in 2011, at the age of 18 years and 87 days.
Acosta’s debut win was redemption for his last race at Le Mans, France, when he slid out of the lead. This afternoon the second-youngest Moto3 champion comfortably beat 24-year-old American Joe Roberts (Italtrans Racing Team), riding at his team’s home race.
The next finisher after Ogura was Arbolino, who had to take a long-lap penalty after colliding with and taking out team-mate Sam Lowes (Elf Marc VDS Racing Team). Arbolino just beat Le Mans winner Augusto Fernandez (Red Bull KTM Ajo) who was followed over the line by sixth-placed Jake Dixon (Inde GASGAS Aspar Team), Cameron Beaubier (American Racing), Alonso Lopez (MB Conveyors Speed Up), Marcel Schrotter (Liqui Moly Intact GP) and Albert Arenas (Inde GASGAS Aspar Team).
Next stop on the 2022 Moto2 tour is next weekend’s Catalan GP, then the German and Dutch rounds on June 19 and 26.