Sam Lowes has extended his lead at the top of the Moto2 world championship after a comfortable victory in the Spanish Grand Prix at Jerez. The Briton converted pole position into his first win of the season ahead of Jonas Folger and Alex Rins to move ten points clear of the Spaniard.
Folger, winner of this Grand Prix last year, looked dangerous in the early going after outdragging Lowes on the approach to the first corner but Simone Corsi almost proved dangerous in a literal sense after leaving his braking later than anyone at the first corner, coming perilously close to wiping out Lorenzo Baldassarri. The Speed Up rider wouldn’t pester the leaders for much longer though, crashing out at turn two on the second lap.
As the temperatures rose, grip levels appeared to drop and Folger was the next to be caught out, sliding wide at the Dry Sac hairpin and allowing Lowes through into the lead but things would get even worse for Dynavolt Intact GP three laps later when Sandro Cortese tumbled out of fifth. Reigning Moto3 champion Danny Kent was another to come unstuck, crashing out on the same lap.
The high rate of attrition didn’t affect Lowes whose relentless pace eventually proved too much for Folger, the Briton winning by 2.4s. Folger took a comfortable second in the end with Alex Rins fading after setting the fastest lap in the early exchanges while Franco Morbidelli claimed his best result since joining Marc VDS in fourth.
After toiling through practice and qualifying, Johann Zarco looked set to lose serious ground to his title rivals but the luck turned in the nick of the time for the Frenchman as the spate of crashes continued. Miguel Oliveira, who ran as high as sixth at one stage, completed a disastrous day for Leopard with a late tumble at turn three before a last lap crash for Lorenzo Baldassarri promoted the defending champion to fifth, thanks in part to a late pass on Thomas Luthi.
Takaaki Nakagami stayed out of trouble to finish seventh ahead of Dominique Aegerter and Luis Salom while Xavier Simeon was the only Speed Up rider to see the chequered flag in tenth.
Moto2 Gran Premio Red Bull de Espana (Race Result)
|1||22. Sam Lowes||Kalex||Federal Oil Gresini Moto2||44:58.624||25|
|2||94. Jonas Folger||Kalex||Dynavolt Intact GP||+2.480||20|
|3||40. Alex Rins||Kalex||Paginas Amarillas HP 40||+8.113||16|
|4||21. Franco Morbidelli||Kalex||EG 0,0 Marc VDS||+10.659||13|
|5||5. Johann Zarco||Kalex||Ajo Motorsport||+14.594||11|
|6||12. Thomas Luthi||Kalex||Garage Plus Interwetten||+16.019||10|
|7||30. Takaaki Nakagami||Kalex||Idemitsu Honda Team Asia||+16.352||9|
|8||77. Dominique Aegerter||Kalex||CarXpert Interwetten||+18.433||8|
|9||39. Luis Salom||Kalex||SAG Team||+21.502||7|
|10||19. Xavier Simeon||Speed Up||QMMF Racing Team||+31.300||6|
|11||55. Hafizh Syahrin||Kalex||Petronas Raceline Malaysia||+35.980||5|
|12||54. Mattia Pasini||Kalex||Italtrans Racing Team||+37.348||4|
|13||32. Isaac Vinales||Tech 3||Tech 3 Racing||+37.454||3|
|14||2. Jesko Raffin||Kalex||sports-millions-EMWE-SAG||+48.923||2|
|15||70. Robin Mulhauser||Kalex||CarXpert Interwetten||+55.832||1|
|16||10. Luca Marini||Kalex||Forward Team||+1:01.795|
|17||7. Lorenzo Baldassarri||Kalex||Forward Team||+1:09.465|
|18||42. Federico Fuligni||Kalex||Team Ciatti||+1:10.201|
|19||33. Alessandro Tonucci||Kalex||Tasca Racing Scuderia Moto2||+1:10.642|
|NC||44. Miguel Oliveira||Kalex||Leopard Racing||+6 Laps|
|NC||23. Marcel Schrotter||Kalex||AGR Team||+15 Laps|
|NC||52. Danny Kent||Kalex||Leopard Racing||+21 Laps|
|NC||49. Axel Pons||Kalex||AGR Team||+21 Laps|
|NC||11. Sandro Cortese||Kalex||Dynavolt Intact GP||+22 Laps|
|NC||73. Alex Marquez||Kalex||EG 0,0 Marc VDS||+24 Laps|
|NC||24. Simone Corsi||Speed Up||Speed Up||+25 Laps|
|NC||14. Ratthapark Wilairot||Kalex||Idemitsu Honda Team Asia||+26 Laps|
|NC||97. Xavi Vierge||Tech 3||Tech 3 Racing||+26 Laps|
|NS||57. Edgar Pons||Kalex||Paginas Amarillas HP 40|
|NS||60. Julian Simon||Speed Up||QMMF Racing Team||Injured|