World championship leader suffers while competitors flourish and another rookie to look out for.
With the weather still clear and rain free, the Moto2 riders are ready to go racing. Most of the riders who are fighting for a win aren’t in championship contention, but are in need of securing a spot for the Moto2 2022 round up.
There’s a new tire on the track, a much softer option that is completely new to the grid. Only about four riders have decided to stay on the harder rear tire, including the poleman Sam Lowes.
All riders on the front row get a good start to the race, Lowes taking the lead ahead of Raul Fernandez, Ai Ogura and Augusto Fernandez.
The championship leader Remy Gardner, on the other hand, got a horrible start to his race. He is down in 11th place, being swallowed up by the pack on the first corner.
Speaking of first corner- at turn 1, on the first lap, there was a crash that involved multiple riders. Cameron Beaubier, Joe Roberts, Jorge Navarro and Stefano Manzi were the riders in that incident, but it was Beaubier who got a double long lap penalty.
A lap later, Albert Arenas would not be able to continue racing due to technical problems.
On lap 4, R. Fernandez is leading the race ahead of Lowes, followed by Ogura and A. Fernandez. Ogura lunges up the inside of Lowes, who is definitely not having the race he wanted.
As for the others leading the world championship, Marco Bezzecchi is in 9th place while Gardner is still down on the grid, this time in 10th place.
The man in 6th place, Somkiat Chantra, is putting in the fastest laps of the race, needing to get through Marcel Schrotter and Lowes. Once he does, he can fight for the podium.
On lap 6, Lorenzo Della Porta crashes out of the race, not at all benefitting from his good qualifying session.
What’s interesting is that R. Fernandez, who is 2nd in the championship, is getting a warning on his dashboard about Ogura. Ogura doesn’t have any claim on the championship, which makes him particularly dangerous to R. Fernandez’s race winning hopes. When there is nothing for a rider to lose, then they throw everything on the track.
And if he does decide to fight R. Fernandez for the lead, does the KTM rider fight back, or take 2nd place and the points that go with it? If it’s Gardner, he would fight. But since it’s R. Fernandez, he might settle.
Marcel Schrotter crashes out of 5th on lap 9 of the race, Chantra taking that as an advantage.
Behind them, A. Fernandez is slowly creeping up on on Ogura and R. Fernandez. It doesn’t look like teammate Lowes is going to make much of an impact atop the Marc VDS bike. Could his fall from the lead be the result of him going for the harder tire option? If he begins to pick up pace, then maybe, but 12 laps into the race should have his tires warmed up.
The softer tire option was definitely the better option, as there are only two riders in the top 15 with the harder option tire. There could be some benefits to it later on in the race, but for now the soft is the superior tire.
17 laps into the race, not much has changed. R. Fernandez is still leading the race, Ogura waiting for an opportunity behind him with A. Fernandez still in 3rd. Chantra and Vietti are both fighting for career best 5th places in Moto2.
The Austrian GP’s have done well for the Marc VDS riders of Sam Lowes and Augusto Fernandez. While their presence in the top 5 isn’t terribly abnormal, it is new to see both riders continually in the top 5.
Ogura, with 5 laps to go, has decided to make his final push towards R. Fernandez. If Ogura can get to him and start a fight for 1st, then that could bring A. Fernandez into contention. It needs to happen sooner than later, though A. Fernandez would be happy with another podium.
On the last lap of the race, it’s clear that R. Fernandez will take the race win while Gardner will finish the race in 7th.
The race winner is Raul Fernandez, followed by Ai Ogura and Augusto Fernandez.
How will Gardner respond? With the championship down to just 19 points in between the two KTM’s, everything is on the line.
Tune in in two weeks to find out!