Moto2: Sam Lowes Takes First Moto2 Victory in Four Years at a Sketchy Le Mans
Britain’s Sam Lowes was able to manage the sketchy track conditions and be able to win his first Moto 2 race since Aragon 2016.
Sam had a lot of pressure early on from Jake Dixon and Lowes made a big mistake into turn eight locking the front and running on to the green. He caught up Jake and closed the gap down to one second then took the lead after Dixon crashed out of the lead at turn 14 on lap 21. This was the perfect place for Lowes to take a win to close down the championship leader Luca Marini as they head to one of Sam’s strongest circuits on the calendar.
It was heartbreak for Jake Dixon as he set a flying pace early on getting from eighth to second in three laps, then taking the lead for the first time in his Moto 2 career on lap seven after Lowes locked up the front into turn eight. Jake continued his impressive pace holding off Lowes by a second for 13 laps until he tucked the front in turn 14, ending his hopes of a maiden victory and podium finish. Jake will be looking to bounce back at Aragon.
Australia’s Remy Gardner was fighting with Marco Bezzecchi and Augusto Fernandez for most of the race for the final podium place. That was changed when Dixon crashed making the battle for second. Remy was trailing Marco for most of the race until he made his move at turn 13 on the final lap, pinching an equalling best finish of second for Remy and taking four crucial points that Bezzecchi would have wanted. It’s been Remy’s best finish since Argentina 2019. Can he go one better as they head to Aragon?
Pole man Joe Roberts was unable to start from pole position as his team were too late in changing the tyres from wets to slicks causing the American start the race going through the last corner as the grid set off. Joe made an incredible recovery setting fastest laps during the race, eventually finishing in sixth position. A great ride for Joe although bitter sweet for him knowing that a podium and potential race win was on the cards had it not been for the mishap on the grid.
Championship leader Luca Marini did not have the weekend he was hoping for, Le Mans has never been a place of success for Luca and it continued as he crossed the line in 17th position, meaning he scored no points and lost very important points to his rivals who all finished inside the points. Luca will need to rest and reset as they head to Aragon where the Italian will be hoping to return to fighting for race victory.
Enea Bastianini initially struggled with the tricky track conditions as he was outside the top 10 for the first half of the race, but Enea was able to make a charge on the final laps and managed to cross the line in ninth place. However, Enea ran on at turn nine and did not lose time, meaning that he was given a three-second time penalty dropping him from ninth to eleventh. Enea is now 15 points behind Marini was they head to Aragon.
After having a strong weekend despite a couple of crashes, Jorge Martin was looking strong and in the battle for the podium positions until a highside coming out of turn ten on lap three ended his chances. Jorge showed strong pace all weekend but was caught out by the cold weather conditions. He’ll be looking to return to the form he had in Austria as they head to Aragon.
Jake Dixon’s teammate at Petronas Sprinta Racing Xavi Vierge met the same fate as his teammate as well as fellow Spaniard Jorge Martin as Xavi was running in third position until he also had a massive highside coming out of turn ten on lap five, making it a double Petronas DNF for a second time in a row for the Moto 2 squad. They’ll be looking to get the results they’ve been showing in the practice and qualifying sessions to get their first podium of the season in Moto 2 at Aragon.
The first four riders are now separated by 22 points at the top of the championship as they head to Aragon. Who will be able to take charge of the championship once they leave the double Aragon weekend?
Featured Image: motogp.com