Welcome to the beta version of the new Women & Golf website. Our web monkeys are still hard at work and welcome your feedback.  


MotoGP Portimao II: First blood to Fernandez in Moto2

Raul Fernandez claimed Friday Moto2 honours at Portimao after a dramatic day left his Red Bull KTM partner and rival in the gravel.

Remy Gardner ended the Algarve GP’s opening day on the sidelines after a late session crash, however the Australian’s strong run of form had already claimed third overall. Sam Lowes split the battling teammates in second as less than two-tenths covered the trio by the close of play, with the Brit just 0.002s away from the Spaniard’s 1’43.246 fastest lap.

Moto2 kicked off with Ai Ogura and Augusto Fernandez crashing out at turn one, after the Spanish rider looked to almost save his Marc VDS machine, the Honda Asia man collecting in the aftermath. Marco Bezzecchi heading the standings from Raul Fernandez, Cameron Beaubier and Remy Gardner.


Jake Dixon started strong, in seventh before dropping to 12th, with Sam Lowes claiming ninth on his fourth lap.

Bezzecchi’s 1’44.481 maintained control after the opening 10 minutes, Stefano Manzi demoting Fernandez for second as Lowes leapt to fourth on their respective sixth laps.

Gardner advanced the pace moments later with a 1’44.046 as his teammate followed suit. Lowes improving again as he returned to fourth, just three-tenths adrift.

Xavi Vierge claimed fifth from Manzi, Marcos Ramirez and Aron Canet before Beaubier rose once again, this time to sixth, and Fabio Di Giannantonio joined the fight in fourth.

Mid-session action saw Jorge Navarro enter the top 10 as Fermín Aldeguer crashed out before Dixon hit the top with eight minutes to go.

The Brit continued to impress next time around as he circulated on track just behind Gardner, the duo split by a mere 0.002s in the standings.

Canet claimed the times with a 1’43.905 and five minutes left on the clock before Fernandez took over almost instantly. His KTM teammate denying his progress one lap later as Gardner too improved into the 1’43’s.

The screens were ablaze of red as the final three minutes fired up, Gardner looking to move the goalposts once again before fading in the final sector, Lowes sitting out on the closing action before returning to the track in the penultimate minute.

The Australian claimed the opening session thanks to a 1’43.667, 0.014s ahead of his title rival and fellow Ajo rider, Fernandez. Late charges slotting Celestino Vietti and Hector Garzo in behind third placed Canet with Dixon completing the morning in sixth. Bezzecchi sat seventh after 40 minutes of action with Manzi, Di Giannantonio and Albert Arenas rounding out the top 10. While Beaubier, Vierge and Navarro bettered Lowes in the top 14.


Gardner, Lowes and Bezzecchi led the way as the cooler afternoon action fired up. Fernandez running fourth from Ogura and Vietti before Beaubier bettered the latter pair. The rookie KTM rider joined the leading duo on 1’43 pace after the opening 10 minutes before Vietti launched to second with his sixth effort. Lowes struck back next time around while Gardner fine-tuned the overall target with a 1’43.368.

The title fight played out at the top of the standings as Fernandez took charge, just over a tenth clear. His namesake joining the top 10, having regrouped from his difficult FP1 while the leading Elf Marc VDS was back in second at the halfway stage.

A subdued second half gave way to the closing action as Ogura climbed to fourth and Canet claimed seventh. The Aspar rider advancing to fifth with six minutes left on the clock as he leapfrogged the Sky VR46 duo of Bezzecchi and Vietti with Augusto Fernandez up to eighth.

The late session shuffles left Dixon out of Q2 contention with three minutes to go as Gardner survived a moment while head butting his screen. Navarro rising to fourth as the Brit secured his place in the top 14 at the flag. While a dramatic incident at the final corner saw Gardner collect the back of Ramirez with the pair skittled off track at high speed but walking away.


Fernandez completed Friday out front from Lowes and his Australian KTM teammate with Navarro, Ogura and Canet completing the top six. As Bezzecchi, Vietti, Fernandez, Vierge and Marcel Schrotter headed Di Giannantonio, Beaubier and Dixon in the top 14.

Click here for times

Articles you may like


More MotoGP

linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram