Moto 2: Raul Fernandez Wins the Aragon Grand Prix

Published on September 12, 2021
By Jack Hammersley

Raul Fernandez Takes his fifth victory of the season with team-mate Remy Gardner in second

It was clear blue skies over the Aragon circuit, Sam Lowes looked to return to the top-step of the podium and take his third victory of the season and consecutive win at the Aragon circuit but he would have the Red Bull KTM Ajo’s to contend with.

Sam Lowes took the holeshot ahead of Remy Gardner and Raul Fernandez behind, Ai Ogura was looking for a second podium of the season in fourth with Hector Garzo in fifth. Raul’s endurance would be tested with his hand injury and he was attacking early as made his move on Gardner into turn 12 taking second place as Sam Lowes had already opened a gap of over half a second. Marco Bezzecchi had a poor start down in 11th place, not where the Italian would be expecting to be.

By the end of lap two Raul was pushing the pace as he was now on the back of Lowes applying the pressure to the Brit with Remy Gardner just struggling to hold on. Albert Arenas was having his best race of the season so far as he made his move on Jorge Navarro for sixth place and looked to chase after Garzo for fifth place.

On lap three Remy concede third place to Ai Ogura but was able to take the place back at turn one on lap four. Also there was a change for the lead as Raul Fernandez overtook the ELF Marc VDS at turn one and looked to try and open a gap to limit the damage he may face with his injury. Sam then ran a bit wide into turn 12 with Remy following further and dropping back to fourth then dropping to fifth down the back straight.

Gardner wasn’t giving up and retook third place at turn four on the fifth lap. Unfortunately for Garzo he lost the front at turn eight after being pushed a bit wide from Jorge Navarro. There had been two crashes in Xavi Vierge and Tom Luthi on lap four, a disappointing end for both riders.

It was a disaster for Albert Arenas as crashed out at turn eight after putting in his best performance of the season. There was now a one second lead from Raul Fernandez and Sam Lowes with Gardner 2.5 seconds behind Lowes. A battle was starting to brew with five riders in contention.

Marco Bezzecchi was now beginning to get into the race as he made way through on Ai Ogura at the final corner on lap seven, but went onto the green at the exit of the corner so he needs to be careful with his limits. But on lap 10, disaster struck for Marco as for the first time this season, the Italian who had finished in every race so far this season had now taken his first DNF and has probably ended his championship hopes.

On lap 13 Sam Lowes lost the front at turn seven trying to catch Raul Fernandez and that is his championship hopes fully gone now. Remy Gardner was over six seconds behind teammate Raul, the Australian just didn’t seem to have the pace of Fernandez and looked to be setting for second place. The on lap 14 Remy got a track limits warning so it wasn’t going to be an easy finish for him.

Augusto Fernandez who was now the sole ELF Marc VDS Kalex in the race and was mounting a podium charge as he made his way passed Aron Canet at the final corner to go into fourth place and try to catch fellow Spaniard Navarro. Augusto then overtook Navarro at turn 15, but Jorge got the better exit down the back straight and retook the place, but they continued to fight in the last corner and into turn one with Navarro coming out on top with five laps to go.

Navarro then lost the front at turn 12 but was able to stay in-front of Augusto, Jorge then ran wide again into the final turn and Augusto took third place, but Navarro got the better exit and was able to get back in-front. Augusto once again tried the move at turn 15 and was able to make it stick and was finally through on Navarro with just two laps remaining.

Injury didn’t hold Raul Fernandez back as he took his fifth victory of the season ahead of his team-mate Remy Gardner in second and Augusto Fernandez held off Navarro for the final podium spot. Aron Canet managed to bring home a top five finish with Fabio Di Giannantonio taking sixth place, Fermin Aldeguer taking an impressive seventh place for the 16-year-old. Ai Ogura finished in eighth with Tony Arbolino in ninth with Simone Corsi rounding out the top ten.

Marcel Schrotter was 11th with Marcos Ramirez in 12th, Joe Roberts and fellow American Cameron Beaubier finished 13th and 14th with Celestino Vietti in 15th. John McPhee was able to finish in 20th on his Moto 2 debut.

There were 11 riders who crashed out of the race! Two of them being Marco Bezzecchi and Sam Lowes, pretty much ending their championship hopes. Remy Gardner now leads the championship with 251 points and has a 39 point lead over Raul Fernandez in second. Marco Bezzecchi is 72 points behind Remy with Lowes 124 points behind. With five rounds left it looks set to be a battle between the two Red Bull KTM Ajo riders.

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