Austrian Moto2: Fernandez fends off Ogura for fourth win of 2021

MotoGP-bound Raul Fernandez fended off fellow Moto2 rookie Ai Ogura to win the Austrian Grand Prix and close in on his championship leading Ajo KTM teammate Remy Gardner.

Austrian Moto2: Fernandez fends off Ogura for fourth win of 2021

A week after his promotion to MotoGP in 2022 with Tech 3 KTM was announced – a move he wasn’t thrilled about – Fernandez boosted his title hopes at the Red Bull Ring on Sunday with the fourth win of his rookie season after Gardner was a distant seventh.

Sam Lowes converted pole position into the holeshot from Fernandez, while a multi-rider collision erupted at Turn 1 instigated by American Racing rider Cameron Beaubier – who was hit with a double long-lap penalty.

Fernandez found his way into the lead at Turn 3 on the third lap, while Ogura quickly followed suit on the Marc VDS rider two tours later.

Both Fernandez and Ogura quickly put eight tenths between themselves and the chasing pack, while the gap between the leaders hovered around three tenths.

Lowes was dumped out of the podium places on lap six by his Marc VDS teammate Augusto Fernandez, but the latter could do nothing to close in on Ogura and Fernandez ahead of him.

Fernandez managed to get his lead up to half a second on lap 17, but Ogura responded in the closing stages and brought that disadvantage down again.

Despite Ogura’s best intentions, Fernandez continued to resist the pressure placed on him by his fellow Moto2 rookie, breaking open the gap to almost eight tenths of a second as they started the final lap.

Fernandez came under no threat through to the chequered flag, leading Ogura by 0.845s – the Honda Team Asia rider securing his maiden MotoGP podium in second.

Augusto Fernandez completed the podium in third ahead of Lowes – who was one of only a handful of riders to race with the harder rear tyre – and VR46 rider Celestino Vietti.

The VR46 rookie thought he was celebrating a season-best fifth, but was demoted one spot to sixth for exceeding track limits on the last lap, which promoted Honda Team Asia’s Somkiat Chantra to a career-best fifth after a last-corner clash between the pair.

Gardner’s seventh was the worst of his 2021 season so far, the Australian beating Aspar’s Aron Canet, the SAG Kalex of Tom Luthi and Styrian GP winner Marco Bezzecchi to round out the top 10.

Bezzecchi’s disappointing result means he slips further behind in the championship standings to 47 adrift of Gardner going to the British GP.

Race results:

Cla # Rider Bike Gap
1 25 Spain Raúl Fernández
2 79 Japan Ai Ogura
Kalex 0.845
3 37 Spain Augusto Fernandez
Kalex 2.747
4 22 United Kingdom Sam Lowes
Kalex 4.412
5 35 Thailand Somkiat Chantra
Kalex 8.850
6 13 Italy Celestino Vietti Ramus
Kalex 8.782
7 87 Australia Remy Gardner
Kalex 13.657
8 44 Spain Arón Canet
Boscoscuro B-21 16.499
9 12 Switzerland Thomas Luthi
Kalex 17.108
10 72 Italy Marco Bezzecchi
Kalex 19.588
11 96 United Kingdom Jake Dixon
Kalex 21.283
12 21 Italy Fabio Di Giannantonio
Kalex 21.703
13 14 Italy Tony Arbolino
Kalex 21.866
14 97 Spain Xavi Vierge
Kalex 27.146
15 40 Spain Hector Garzo
Kalex 29.128
16 16 United States Joe Roberts
Kalex 33.058
17 64 Netherlands Bo Bendsneyder
Kalex 38.235
18 55 Malaysia Hafizh Syahrin
NTS 38.357
19 24 Italy Simone Corsi
MV Agusta 38.643
20 6 United States Cameron Beaubier
Kalex 44.344
21 29 Taiga Hada
Kalex 46.490
22 11 Italy Nicolo Bulega
Kalex 47.560
23 23 Germany Marcel Schrotter
Kalex 1'05.584
24 62 Italy Stefano Manzi
Kalex 1'09.436
5 Italy Yari Montella
Boscoscuro B-21
42 Spain Marcos Ramirez
70 Belgium Barry Baltus
19 Italy Lorenzo Dalla Porta
75 Spain Albert Arenas
Boscoscuro B-21
9 Spain Jorge Navarro
Boscoscuro B-21

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