Motorcycles Doha Moto2: Lowes holds off Gardner for second straight win

19:50  04 april  2021
19:50  04 april  2021 Source:   msn.com

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Sam Lowes fended off Remy Gardner to claim his second-successive win in 2021 in a tense Moto2 Doha Grand Prix, as rookie Raul Fernandez bagged his first podium.

a man riding a motorcycle on a track: Sam Lowes, Marc VDS Racing Team © Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images Sam Lowes, Marc VDS Racing Team

Both Lowes and Gardner ran close on the final lap, but the former resisted pressure from the Ajo KTM rider to strengthen his championship lead.

Marco Bezzecchi jumped poleman Lowes off the line, with the VR46 rider keeping the Briton at bay across the opening lap as Ajo KTM rookie Raul Fernandez moved into third ahead of teammate Gardner.

Such was the pace of the leading quartet that they’d pulled a gap of 1.7 seconds to the rest of the pack by lap three.

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Lowes made his move for the lead in the slipstream on the run to Turn 1 at the start of lap four, while Gardner put on a risky – but successful - raid for third on Fernandez at Turn 10.

The gap between Lowes and Bezzecchi immediately opened out to six tenths, with Gardner quick to dispatch of the Italian at Turn 1 on lap six to begin his chase of the lead.

Lowes didn’t look as comfortable on his Marc VDS Kalex as he did a week ago, but managed to hold off Gardner.

Having settled into his rhythm Lowes looked more at ease on his bike at mid-distance, though Gardner regrouped in the latter stages to put pressure on the leader.

Lowes responded to this threat emphatically, the Marc VDS rider firing in a race-best lap of 1m59.026s three tours from the end to open his lead out to over half a second.

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Gardner dug deep to keep Lowes in his crosshairs, the Ajo rider improving on Lowes’ fastest lap with a 1m58.991s on the penultimate tour.

The pair ran line astern through the final corners of the race, Gardner looking at a move at Turn 15 but could find no way through.

Lowes covered his line on the way into the last corner, a small moment on acceleration for Gardner allowed the Marc VDS rider to get to the chequered flag 0.190s in front.

Fernandez took a comfortable maiden rostrum in third on the sister Ajo bike having seen off Bezzecchi, while Honda Team Asia rookie Ai Ogura was an impressive fifth.

Augusto Fernandez was sixth on the second Marc VDS Kalex, Celestino Vietti putting on another impressive rookie display in seventh on the VR46 Kalex ahead of Pons’ Stefano Manzi, Xavi Vierge (Petronas Sprinta) and Gresini’s Fabio Di Giannantonio.

Joe Roberts (Italtrans) crashed out of fifth in the early stages of the race, while fellow American Cameron Beaubier slid out of his second Moto2 start for American Racing.

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Petronas Sprinta’s Jake Dixon was involved in a collision with Intact GP’s Marcel Schrotter, while Tom Luthi (SAG), Aspar’s Aron Canet and MV Agusta stand-in Tommaso Marcon also crashed out.

Lowes heads to the third round of the season in Portugal in two weeks’ time heading the championship by 10 points from Gardner.

Race results:

122 Sam Lowes Kalex Moto2
287 Remy Gardner Kalex Moto2 0.190
325 Raúl Fernández Kalex Moto2 3.371
472 Marco Bezzecchi Kalex Moto2 6.789
579 Ai Ogura Kalex Moto2 16.640
637 Augusto Fernandez Kalex Moto2 16.887
713 Celestino Vietti Ramus Kalex Moto2 17.254
862 Stefano Manzi Kalex Moto2 17.283
997 Xavi Vierge Kalex Moto2 17.515
1021 Fabio Di Giannantonio Kalex Moto2 18.167
1114 Tony Arbolino Kalex Moto2 18.180
1264 Bo Bendsneyder Kalex Moto2 20.696
139 Jorge Navarro Boscoscuro B-21 22.016
1419 Lorenzo Dalla Porta Kalex Moto2 22.043
1575 Albert Arenas Boscoscuro B-21 26.266
1640 Hector Garzo Kalex Moto2 28.539
1711 Nicolo Bulega Kalex Moto2 29.310
185 Yari Montella Boscoscuro B-21 33.150
1935 Somkiat Chantra Kalex Moto2 39.838
207 Lorenzo Baldassarri MV Agusta F2 44.961
2155 Hafizh Syahrin NTS NH7 56.123
44 Arón Canet Boscoscuro B-21
96 Jake Dixon Kalex Moto2
23 Marcel Schrotter Kalex Moto2
12 Thomas Luthi Kalex Moto2
6 Cameron Beaubier Kalex Moto2
10 Tommaso Marcon MV Agusta F2
16 Joe Roberts Kalex Moto2
View full results

Binder was "scared" about Doha MotoGP tyre gamble .
KTM’s Brad Binder admits he was “really quite scared” of having to use the medium front tyre in the MotoGP Doha Grand Prix but “didn’t have a choice”. © Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images Brad Binder, Red Bull KTM Factory Racing All four KTM riders ran the medium front tyre in last Sunday’s Doha GP, having wrecked the soft option in the Qatar GP the week before.Binder said pre-Doha weekend that the tyre choice dealt KTM a “hard blow”, because the soft was too soft for the RC16, while its preferred hard option didn’t work in the evening conditions.

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