Silverstone Moto2: Gardner outduels Bezzecchi, Fernandez retires

Remy Gardner emerged on top in a race-long duel with Marco Bezzecchi to claim victory in the British Moto2 round at Silverstone, as his teammate and chief title rival Raul Fernandez suffered a costly retirement.

Silverstone Moto2: Gardner outduels Bezzecchi, Fernandez retires

Gardner and Bezzecchi traded positions several times over the course of the 18-lap race, even coming to blows at one point, before the Ajo KTM rider made the decisive move with seven laps to run to seal victory.

At the start of the race, Bezzecchi got the holeshot from pole position but was pressurised by both Jorge Navarro and Remy Gardner as he exited Copse. This brought Sam Lowes into play, the home favourite immediately passing Navarro before clearing Bezzecchi at Becketts to hit the front for the first time.

Lowes’ lead, however, would turn out to be short lived, with Bezzecchi getting a great drive out from Aintree to pass the Marc VDS rider under braking for Brooklands.

All this while, Gardner was mounting a comeback after dropping to sixth behind his teammate Fernandez, returning to third position by the second lap to chase the leading duo for victory.

On lap 5, the championship leader finally made a move on Lowes into the Loop and then set about chasing Bezzecchi for the lead.

Gardner passed Bezzecchi into Village on the following tour but the VR46 rider immediately fought back, retaking the lead into Stowe.

There was contact between the two on lap 7 as Bezzecchi braked into Turn 15, with Gardner doing enough to stay on the bike as he swooped past his rival to retake the lead.

Bezzecchi and Gardner would swap positions multiple times before the Australian made a move at Village on lap 12 that would secure him a fourth win of the 2021 Moto2 season.

Bezzecchi kept the pressure up on Gardner until the final tour, setting his personal best on the penultimate tour, but ultimately couldn’t close the gap enough to attempt a last-gasp lunge on his rival.

He ultimately crossed the line 0.481s down on Gardner, securing his sixth podium finish of the season.

Behind the leading duo, SpeedUp’s Navarro denied Lowes a podium on his home turf after passing the Marc VDS rider into Village in the closing stages of the race.

Gresini’s Fabio di Giannantonio fended off the second Marc VDS bike of Augusto Fernandez to finish fifth, as Aspar’s Aron Canet, Petronas Sprinta’s Xavi Vierge, Honda Team Asia rider Ai Ogura and Italrans’ Joe Roberts rounded out the top 10.

With Fernandez crashing out of the race exiting Farms with four laps to run, Gardner has built a 44-point lead in the standings over his Ajo teammate. Bezzecchi sits third after scoring three podiums in the last five races, 52 points behind MotoGP-bound Gardner. 

Race results:

Cla # Rider Bike Gap
1 87 Australia Remy Gardner
2 72 Italy Marco Bezzecchi
Kalex 0.481
3 9 Spain Jorge Navarro
Boscoscuro B-21 1.930
4 22 United Kingdom Sam Lowes
Kalex 2.284
5 21 Italy Fabio Di Giannantonio
Kalex 6.952
6 37 Spain Augusto Fernandez
Kalex 7.059
7 44 Spain Arón Canet
Boscoscuro B-21 10.706
8 97 Spain Xavi Vierge
Kalex 12.842
9 79 Japan Ai Ogura
Kalex 12.877
10 16 United States Joe Roberts
Kalex 14.344
11 12 Switzerland Thomas Luthi
Kalex 20.112
12 13 Italy Celestino Vietti Ramus
Kalex 22.371
13 23 Germany Marcel Schrotter
Kalex 22.525
14 11 Italy Nicolo Bulega
Kalex 23.672
15 64 Netherlands Bo Bendsneyder
Kalex 24.116
16 54 Fermín Aldeguer
Boscoscuro B-21 26.847
17 35 Thailand Somkiat Chantra
Kalex 26.996
18 14 Italy Tony Arbolino
Kalex 27.206
19 75 Spain Albert Arenas
Boscoscuro B-21 27.414
20 42 Spain Marcos Ramirez
Kalex 32.368
21 55 Malaysia Hafizh Syahrin
NTS 38.614
22 24 Italy Simone Corsi
MV Agusta 39.074
23 70 Belgium Barry Baltus
NTS 39.117
25 Spain Raúl Fernández
6 United States Cameron Beaubier
77 Malaysia Adam Norrodin
62 Italy Stefano Manzi
40 Spain Hector Garzo
7 Italy Lorenzo Baldassarri
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