Moto2 race favourite Sam Lowes (Elf Marc VDS Racing Team Kalex) didn’t put a wheel wrong on his way to victory in the first race of the 2021 Moto2 World Championship.
The 30-year-old Briton started from pole position, took the lead at the start of the third lap and was never bettered. He finally took the chequered flag 2.260 seconds ahead of 23-year-old Australian Remy Gardner (Red Bull KTM Ajo Kalex) who came through from a slow start to take second place. Gardner, son of Honda’s second 500cc World Champion Wayne Gardner, tried to hunt down Lowes but couldn’t close the gap.
The final place on the podium went to Fabio Di Giannantonio (Federal Oil Gresini Moto2 Kalex), whose third place was a wonderful tribute to team owner and twice 125cc World Champion Fausto Gresini, who lost his battle with COVID-19 at the end of last month. The 22-year-old Italian took third place from 22-year-old countryman Marco Bezzecchi (Sky Racing Team VR46 Kalex) with just four corners remaining to cross the line 0.013 seconds ahead of his rival.
Raul Fernandez (Red Bull KTM Ajo Kalex) won two of the last three Moto3 races of 2020 and this evening created a mighty impression by finishing fifth in his first Moto2 race. The 20-year-old Spaniard ran second for a while and was chased over the line by 23-year-old American Joe Roberts (Italtrans Racing Team Kalex) and 25-year-old Jake Dixon (Petronas Sprinta Racing Kalex), who is still recovering from a nasty wrist injury.
Last year’s Moto3 championship runner-up Ai Ogura (Idemitsu Honda Team Asia Kalex) also made a great Moto2 debut, finishing in 17th, a mere 1.327 seconds outside the points. The 20-year-old from Tokyo got better as the race went on and he began to better understand the bike.
Team-mate Somkiat Chantra (Idemitsu Honda Team Asia Kalex) had a great race, until he slid off in the closing stages. The 22-year-old Thai rider had shown great speed before he fell, running in the top ten for a while and looking sure to score points.