Sachsenring Moto2: Gardner dominates, Fernandez crashes out
MotoGP-bound Remy Gardner dominated the Moto2 German Grand Prix at the Sachsenring to extend his championship lead after Ajo KTM teammate Raul Fernandez crashed out early on.
The last three Moto2 races have been duels between Gardner and Fernandez, with Sunday’s Sachsenring encounter set to follow a similar pattern until the latter crashed on lap five and opened the door for Gardner to ease to his third victory of 2021.
Gardner’s victory is also the second for the Ajo squad in Germany after Pedro Acosta won in Moto3, both riders doing so on the same day the partnership between KTM and Ajo was renewed through to 2026.
Poleman Fernandez got the jump into Turn 1 at the start with Gardner slotting behind him ahead of a fast-starting Xavi Vierge on the Petronas Sprinta Kalex from fifth.
Such was the leading KTM Ajo duo’s pace in the opening laps that the gap between them and Vierge stood at seven tenths after the first tour, with Fernandez and Gardner lapping a second quicker than the rest of the field.
Gardner nailed his run through the Ralf Waldmann right-hander at Turn 11 to line up Fernandez into the Sachsen Kurve left at the bottom of the hill.
Cleanly pulling off a move for the lead, Gardner started to stretch his legs and forced Fernandez to push hard to keep in his wheel tracks.
The pair were 1.5s clear of Vierge by lap three, though the gap out front would extend dramatically to over five seconds on lap five when Fernandez crashed out at the Omega right-hander at Turn 3.
Gardner settled into a rhythm that would prove impossible to surmount, his lead extending to over seven seconds on his way to the chequered flag to secure his third win of the campaign and become the first Australian to win three-successive grands prix since Casey Stoner in MotoGP in 2011.
Aspar’s Aron Canet had worked his way up to second from 10th on the grid by the fifth tour, with Canet easing away from the battle behind featuring VR46’s Marco Bezzecchi, Gresini’s MotoGP-bound Fabio Di Giannantonio and Vierge.
Canet managed his 1.6s gap ahead of this group for a good chunk of the 28 laps, but Bezzecchi and Honda Team Asia rookie Ai Ogura began to reel him in with four laps to go.
Bezzecchi cut the gap down to 1.2s on lap 25 of 28, which was reduced further to a second next time around.
But Canet resisted the late charge from Bezzecchi to hold second to equal his best result of 2021, with Bezzecchi completing the top three.
Ogura’s hopes of a first Moto2 podium were dashed on the last lap when he crashed at Turn 8, with Vierge also falling out of the race at Turn 1 on the final tour.
Di Giannantonio was fourth ahead of Marc VDS’ Sam Lowes and home rider Marcel Schrotter on the Intact GP Kales.
Jorge Navarro was seventh on the Speed Up machine, with Aspar rookie Albert Arenas, American racing rider Marcos Ramirez and his rookie teammate Cameron Beaubier completing the top 10.
Gardner has strengthened his championship lead to 36 points over Fernandez heading to next weekend’s Dutch TT.
Fabio Di Giannantonio
Celestino Vietti Ramus
Lorenzo Dalla Porta
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