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French Moto2 Race Results | Arbolino in control for Le Mans win as Acosta, Lowes fall


Tony Arbolino has stolen a march over Pedro Acosta at the head of the 2023 Moto2 World Championship standings after keeping his cool to take his second victory of the season at Le Mans, as his title rival failed to finish after a crash.

In a race shortened to just 14 laps following a red flag period, Arbolino was in control from the restart, leading from Turn 1 to the flag with Filip Salac and Alonso Lopez chasing him home to secure second and third on the rostrum.

A bruising race for several of the leading protagonists, Acosta crashed out five laps into the restart - ceding the championship lead he shared with Arbolino coming into the French event - while falls for Sam Lowes and Aron meant three of the erstwhile top five in the standings were in the wars.


The original race start began with Lowes on pole position, though he'd be overhauled by both Arbolino and Lopez through the Turn 2/3 flip-flop, with the latter SpeedUp rider eventually prevailing to lead the field round to complete the opening lap.

Bidding for back-to-back wins on the Marc VDS Kalex following his dominant charge to victory in Jerez, Lowes' afternoon instead hit the skids at the start of lap two when he folded his squirming machine under braking for Turn 2. Sending both man and machine skating up the hill, both Arbolino and Lopez ahead were lucky not to be skittles by the errant bike.

Leaving Lowes disconsolate on the asphalt, in the end the race would be brought to a halt just second later following a massive crash involving Albert Arenas, Manuel Gonzalez and Aron Canet at Turn 4.

Triggered by Arenas losing his KTM Ajo on the cambered right-hander, it left the close-following Gonzalez and Canet with nowhere to go but directly into the stricken bike sending both barrelling through the gravel trap and prompting red flags to be deployed.

After a period of concern for Gonzalez and Canet especially, eventually Gonzalez was back up on his feet, while Canet was taken to the medical centre with an ankle injury.

With officials confirming a full restart using original grid positions over a shorter 14 laps, the stoppage should have represented a dash of good fortune for Lowes to get a second chance from pole having returned to the pit-lane within the allotted time window.

However, the quick restart procedure came just a little too soon for the Marc VDS mechanics to complete repairs and get Lowes out. Missing out by only a couple of seconds, it meant Lowes would start from the pit-lane.

With the pole position spot left empty, the restart got underway with Arbolino assuming the baton for Marc VDS by getting the hole-shot into Turn 1 from Lopez, Acosta and Salac.

With an untidy Lopez allowing Arbolino to escape over the initial laps, it also invited Acosta through into second place on lap two. However, just Acosta was beginning to make in-roads into his rival's lead, the KTM Ajo rider became the latest rider to fall foul of the tricky Turn 7 left-hander with the bike's damaging somersault through the gravel trap putting paid to any hopes of remounting.


Acosta's exit left Arbolino with a healthy lead over now Salac in second place, the Czech rider having dispatched of Lopez on lap four.

While a mistake by Arbolino that wiped +1.5s from his lead over Salac gave the Gresini rider the briefest sniff of a maiden Moto2 win, the 2020 Moto3 runner-up remained in control over the remaining laps, taking the flag for his fourth career win.

One of the year's surprise packages, Salac's head-turning sophomore campaign added a second career podium - a first in the dry - to his tally, while Lopez notched up his third rostrum of the year to consolidate the same position in the overall standings.

Following a run of disappointing results and DNFs, Celestino Vietti collected his first top five finish since the 2022 Dutch Moto2 race in fourth, with Jake Dixon getting the better of Somkiat Chantra late on for fifth.


Another rider that has turned heads with his sizeable step forward in performance this year, Barry Baltus secured a career-best Moto2 result in seventh, while Fermin Aldeguer recovered to eighth following a long lap penalty.

Ai Ogura and Sergio Garcia completed the top ten, with Lukas Tulovic another to set a new personal best for Husqvarna IntactGP in 11th, as Joe Roberts, Jeremy Alcoba, Dennis Foggia and a frustrated Lowes completed the points' paying positions.

Having battled a virus all weekend, Rory Skinner's French Moto2 weekend came to an disappointing conclusion with a crash at Turn 6 on lap five

CLICK HERE to view the 2023 Moto2 World Championship standings after Round 5 of 20 at Le Mans [2023 French Moto2]

French Moto2 | Race Results

2023 French Moto2 | Le Mans, France | RACE Results | Round 5 of 20
1Tony ArbolinoITAElf Marc VDS RacingKalex14 Laps
2Filip SalacCZEQJMOTOR GresiniKalex+0.620
3Alonso LopezESPSpeedUp RacingBoscoscuro+1.537
4Celestino ViettiITAFantic RacingKalex+2.193
5Jake DixonGBRAutosolar GasGas AsparKalex+3.041
6Somkiat ChantraTHAIDEMITSU Honda AsiaKalex+4.175
7Barry BaltusBELFieten Olie Racing GPKalex+8.853
8Fermin AldeguerESPSpeedUp RacingBoscoscuro+9.437
9Ai OguraJPNIDEMITSU Honda AsiaKalex+10.696
10Sergio GarciaESPPons Wegow Los40Kalex+10.817
11Lukas TulovicGERHusqvarna IntactGPKalex+11.588
12Joe RobertsUSAItaltrans Racing TeamKalex+12.128
13Jeremy AlcobaESPQJMOTOR GresiniKalex+12.337
14Dennis FoggiaITAItaltrans Racing TeamKalex+13.061
15Sam LowesGBRElf Marc VDS RacingKalex+13.695
16Sean Dylan KellyUSAAmerican RacingKalex+14.633
17Marcos RamirezESPForward TeamForward+18.244
18Bo BendsneyderNEDPertamina SAG TeamKalex+19.880
19Zonta van den GoorberghNEDFieten Olie Racing GPKalex+22.615
20Senna AgiusAUSHusqvarna IntactGPKalex+22.684
21Lorenzo Dalla PortaITAPertamina SAG TeamKalex+25.265
22Izan GuevaraESPAutosolar GasGas AsparKalex+25.347
25Borja GomezESPFantic RacingKalex+30.208
DNFAlex EscrigESPForward TeamForward
DNFPedro AcostaESPRed Bull KTM AjoKalex
DNFRory SkinnerGBRAmerican RacingKalex
DNSManuel GonzalezJPNYamaha VR46 MasterCampKalex
DNSAlbert ArenasESPRed Bull KTM AjoKalex
DNSAron CanetESPPons Wegow Los40Kalex
WKohta NozaneJPNYamaha VR46 MasterCampKalex

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