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Italian Moto2, Mugello RACE | Acosta in control to win, Dixon podium, Lowes punted off

Gold and Goose

Pedro Acosta clawed back ground in the fight for the 2023 Moto2 World Championship title as he romped to a clear victory from series leader Tony Arbolino in the Italian Moto2 at Mugello.

Controlling the race from the very first turn, Acosta might have had a fight on his hands but for a tangle just behind him on the opening lap that eliminated Sam Lowes and penalised another of his probable rivals for victory, Alonso Lopez.

Giving him the breathing room he needed to break away from the chasing pack as a result, while their exits ensured an easy route to victory for the Red Bull KTM Ajo rider, it did help pave the way for his title rival and championship leader Tony Arbolino to limit the damage to his advantage by finishing second.


On a mixed day for the British contingent, Lowes was wiped out of second position on the opening lap at the hands of Lopez, but Jake Dixon’s consistent pace was rewarded with an eighth career Moto2 podium.

Pedro Acosta makes amends after Le Mans flop

No sooner had Acosta only just pulled up level with Arbolino heading into Round 5 at Le Mans last month, he immediately ceded the margin of a race win by crashing out of a French race won by his main rival.

Adding pressure to his title aspirations, Acosta came into the race as the favourite despite being beaten to pole position by Aron Canet, who might have fancied his chances but for the injury to his hand he sustained in a crash shortly after setting his qualifying benchmark.

Regardless, it was Acosta that beat Canet to the first turn, as did Sam Lowes, the Marc VDS rider getting the hole-shot but running just wide enough to allow the KTM Ajo rider through into a lead that wasn’t challenged thereafter.

Part of the reason for this was the demise of Lowes and Lopez from the lead battle, the latter’s robust pass on the former sending the Briton skating down and into the gravel trap, while the Spaniard had only a lap to savour his inheritance before word from the stewards of his penalty flashed up.

Even then, he felt a dose of karma upon taking his long lap penalty after getting unsettled on the entry and running off into the gravel trap to not only lose time but force him to take it for a second time correctly.

With Lopez out of the way, Acosta’s lead exceeded two seconds just six laps into the race, the chase at the other end of the margin having now been taken up by Arbolino.

A rider who leads the standings comfortably despite qualifying inside the top six just once this season, Arbolino again had work to do from ninth on the grid but his strong start was amplified further by Lowes’ exit and Lopez’s penalty, not to mention elimination of three riders at Turn 1 on the opening lap, caused by Fermin Aldeguer folding his SpeedUp and skittling both Darryn Binder and Jeremy Alcoba spectacularly in the process.

With little chance of closing the gap down on Acosta ahead, Arbolino settled for a safe second place to restrict the dent to his series lead to just five points. It leaves him with a 20 point advantage over Acosta.


Magic 8th podium for Jake Dixon

In the fight for third, Filip Salac looked on course for back-to-back podiums on the QJMotor Gresini bike, only for his pace to drop off a cliff in the closing stages, the Czech rider running wide on several bends.

That invited Canet back into third with just over six laps remaining, the Spaniard gritting his teeth to get into a provisional podium spot. However, his form too would wane in the closing stages enough for him to be reeled in by Dixon, whose consistency on the GasGas Aspar paid dividends in the closing stages as rivals began to suffer with their tyres.

Running sixth early on, Dixon bridged a three second margin to Salac and Canet to pass both in the closing stages, earning himself an eighth podium (all thirds) and a strengthened position in the overall standings.

Canet soldiered on to take fourth place, ahead of Celestino Vietti, who like Dixon came on strong in the closing stages to breach the top five.


Despite his two long lap penalties, which dropped him to a low of 13th, Lopez showed strong pace in recovery as he hauled his way back up to sixth position, with the ailing Salac ending up in seventh.

Manuel Gonzalez brought his Yamaha VR46 MasterCamp Kalex home in a lonely eighth, ahead of a struggling Somkiat Chantra, who got the better of Sergio Garcia, the Spaniard having yo-yo'd from 16th on the grid to running as high as fifth at one stage, before fading again to tenth.

Moto2 veteran Mattia Pasini rolled back the years to put points on the board in 11th, ahead of Italtrans duo Joe Roberts and Dennis Foggia, as Bo Bendsneyder and Ai Ogura rounded out the points' paying positions.

2023 Italian Moto2, Mugello | RACE Results

Saturday | Conditions - Dry, Overcast, Warm
2023 Italian Moto2 | Mugello, Italy | RACE Results | Round 6 of 20
1Pedro AcostaESPRed Bull KTM AjoKalex19 Laps
2Tony ArbolinoITAElf Marc VDS RacingKalex+6.194
3Jake DixonGBRAutosolar GasGas AsparKalex+8.582
4Aron CanetESPPons Wegow Los40Kalex+8.847
5Celestino ViettiITAFantic RacingKalex+9.534
6Alonso LopezESPSpeedUp RacingBoscoscuro+10.852
7Filip SalacCZEQJMOTOR GresiniKalex+13.994
8Manuel GonzalezJPNYamaha VR46 MasterCampKalex+16.171
9Somkiat ChantraTHAIDEMITSU Honda AsiaKalex+18.008
10Sergio GarciaESPPons Wegow Los40Kalex+18.021
11Mattia PasiniITAFieten Olie Racing GPKalex+20.365
12Joe RobertsUSAItaltrans Racing TeamKalex+22.895
13Dennis FoggiaITAItaltrans Racing TeamKalex+23.143
14Bo BendsneyderNEDPertamina SAG TeamKalex+23.851
15Ai OguraJPNIDEMITSU Honda AsiaKalex+24.307
16Barry BaltusBELFieten Olie Racing GPKalex+25.046
17Borja GomezESPFantic RacingKalex+28.601
18Izan GuevaraESPAutosolar GasGas AsparKalex+29.642
19Sean Dylan KellyUSAAmerican RacingKalex+48.482
20Lorenzo Dalla PortaITAForward TeamForward+48.708
21Taiga HadaESPPertamina SAG TeamKalex+59.397
22Kasma DanielMALYamaha VR46 MasterCampKalex+1m 31.843
DNFAlbert ArenasESPRed Bull KTM AjoKalex
DNFZonta van den GoorberghNEDFieten Olie Racing GPKalex
DNFLukas TulovicGERHusqvarna IntactGPKalex
DNFSam LowesGBRElf Marc VDS RacingKalex
DNFFermin AldeguerESPSpeedUp RacingBoscoscuro
DNFJeremy AlcobaESPQJMOTOR GresiniKalex
DNFDarryn BinderRSAHusqvarna IntactGPKalex
DNFMarcos RamirezESPForward TeamForward
WRory SkinnerGBRAmerican RacingKalex

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