Elf Marc VDS celebrated a stunning one-two as Sam Lowes claimed victory and Augusto Fernandez secured an impressive comeback to second at Misano.
The Emilia Romagna GP was all-action from start to finish as repeated bad luck struck the title fighters while Aron Cannot fought for the win before completing the podium in a frustrated third at the flag as his Aspar appeared to run out of fuel.
Simone Corsi starts his 300th Grand Prix career with a looming long lap penalty, alongside Jake Dixon, after their respective qualifying crashes under yellow flag conditions. Augusto Fernandez facing a similar fate for irresponsible riding after ‘being slow on the line in Q2’.
Lowes lined up on pole for the sixth time this year - a record-breaking 17th of his Moto2 career. Jorge Navarro and Marc VDS teammate Fernandez joining him on the front row ahead of the 25-lap race with championship challengers Remy Gardner and Raul Fernandez starting 14th and ninth respectively.
Lowes maintained his advantage as the lights went out, Fernandez initially joining him in second before dropping to fourth as Canet swept through in the opposite direction. The Italian took charge at the midpoint of the opening lap, Dixon dropping down the field to 19th.
Canet remained in charge for lap two from Lowes, Navarro and Fernandez. Somkiat Chantra up to fifth from Marcos Ramirez before Fernandez came through on the KTM. His namesake dispatching his long lap penalty as he rejoined in 14th.
The KTM’s were both on a charge as Gardner entered the top 10 and Fernandez progressed to fourth by lap three, Navarro bettering Lowes for second as Celestino Vietti made his way into sixth on the ‘Grazie Vale’ liveried Sky VR46 machine.
Navarro was in the lead on lap four before Lowes returned to his staring position as it concluded. The Brit looking to build a gap immediately as the battle raged behind. Fernandez was into the podium positions, in third as Canet held second next time around, Navarro dropped into the clutches of the neon yellow Vietti.
Lowes pulled seven-tenths clear with 20 to go, setting the best lap of the race so far with a 1’36.577 as Fernandez moved up to second, and took charge of the championship standings. The second Marc VDS machine returned to the top 10 after his penalty drop while Dixon circulated in 22nd after dispatching his.
The top two continued to set red sectors as the pace increased. Chantra crashing out after Gardner lunged through at turn 14 - the incident immediately under investigation.
The Australian was running seventh by lap nine, Augusto Fernandez hard on his wheels and hassling for position with Hector Garzo, Ramirez, Bo Bendsneyder and Cameron Beaubier behind. The American crashing out after an impressive opening run, at turn 14.
Lowes saved his own moment as lap nine reached its conclusion, Fernandez now just two-tenths adrift of victory contention as the Elf machine continued to twitch.
Vietti was up to fourth as his home fans celebrated the Italian’s progress but with Navarro intent on stealing the position. The Speed Up secured the promotion next time round with 1.3 seconds now the gap to the leading trio ahead.
Gardner dropped back to eighth as the second Fernandez bettered, Manzi the next in sight, in sixth as the number 37 fired up the pace with an overall fastest lap.
Garzo became the next casualty as he crashed out at the final sector with 12 to go. Raul Fernandez taking control after a turn three mistake from Lowes as the next revolution began.
Gardner was issued a long lap penalty due to irresponsible riding with 11 laps to go but further drama saw his teammate crash out at high speed with an intense incident at turn eight as the title battle flipped again.
Lowes was back in the lead after the unexpected action, four-tenths the gap to Canet behind with Navarro promoted into the final podium position.
Xavi Vierge and Tony Arbolino crashed out with nine to go as Canet stole control next time around. Gardner retaining his seventh position, but with a six-second gap to the group ahead after completing his penalty before Marco Bezzecchi dropped him to eighth moments later.
The sole remaining Fernandez was up to fifth as his fightback continued, Vietti just two-tenths ahead in the fight for fourth.
Lowes suffered another big moment as his rear tyre suffered in the closing seconds, the Brit losing six-tenths to Canet as Navarro dropped to sixth. Vietti released into the final podium position but with Fernandez quick to capitalise and with a new best race lap in the process.
Lowes recovered to retake the lead despite another moment, this time with the front, with four to go, his teammate storming into contention as the pair continued to fight while Vietti held onto the wheels of his rival, in fourth.
Bezzecchi crashed out at turn 15 as the penultimate lap approached, Gardner advancing to seventh as Dixon did likewise further back, for 13th.
The final lap saw Lowes with a second in hand as Canet upped his pace and Fernandez drew near. Vietti setting for fourth as the flag prepared.
Lowes claimed the victory as his teammate shot through to second for a double celebration for Marc VDS. Canet completing the podium in third from Vietti, Navarro, Manzi and Gardner.
Fabio Di Giannantonio took eighth after a subdued race for the Gresini rider, Ai Ogura and Ramirez rounding out the top 10 while Albert Arenas, Bendsneyder, Dixon, Tom Luthi and Marcel Schrotter claimed the final points.