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MotoGP Styria: Bezzecchi back on winning form in Moto2

Sky VR46’s Marco Bezzecchi battled to his first Moto2 victory of 2021 in the StyrianGP after holding off late challenges from Aron Canet at Spielberg on Sunday.

Race-long leader Remy Gardner settled for fourth at the flag after recovering from the gravel with six laps to go, Augusto Fernandez completing the podium celebrations. Marc VDS teammate Lowes faded to 14th in the closing stages to finish three behind Jake Dixon who recovered 10 places from his grid start.

The morning’s heavy rain had abated long enough for the intermediate class race to be declared dry. Remy Gardner heading Ai Ogura and Marco Bezzecchi on the front row with teammate Raul Fernandez launching from neatly behind him in fourth as the 25-lap clash got underway.


As the lights went out, the Australian held the holeshot before Bezzecchi swept through to take the lead into turn one. Fernandez taking advantage as Gardner ran wide at turn three and Simone Corsi crashed out.

A rapid start saw Jake Dixon up to 15th, from 21st, after the opening lap, Cameron Beaubier doing likewise just ahead in 14th as his countryman Joe Roberts succumbed to turn nine and Barry Baltus fell at turn one as the next lap began.

Gardner was back in second on lap three as Bezzecchi circulated three-tenths out front, Aron Canet sitting fourth from Ogura and the Marc VDS duo of Sam Lowes with Augusto Fernandez before the Aspar rider advanced to third.

Dixon continued his rise as he claimed 11th one lap later, Hector Garzo separating him from fellow Petronas rider Xavi Vierge and the top-10 firmly in his sights.

The pace warmed up as Bezzecchi navigated the conditions under the 1’30 marker, Gardner matching his time as they pushed to break free. Canet responded as he looked to hold on to the bickering pair, while Gardner’s move for the lead gifted the Italian the spoils as he leapfrogged them both at turn one.

Lowes was also on the move as he advanced to fourth as lap seven wound down, Fernandez running wide on the KTM as he dropped back to seventh while Dixon advanced on his teammate to capture the top-10.

Lap nine saw Bezzecchi cut adrift as the leaders pushed on, Gardner back out front as Lowes faced challenges first from Ogura and then Fernandez at the head of the second group. The inter-team battles continuing as Vierge bettered Dixon before the Brit hit back.

Gardner settled into a comfortable rhythm at the halfway stage, Canet running eight-tenths behind the Australian with Bezzecchi a further four-tenths back while Ogura bridged the gap to the leading group.

Bezzecchi challenged for position at turn one as lap 15 fired up, claiming second as he demoted Canet into the hands of the Japanese rider behind. Lowes suffering at the same corner on the following lap as he dropped down to eighth. Vierge immediately taking advantage of the situation as the two Brits now sat 10th and 11th.


Ogura had a brief glimpse at his debut podium before Canet dispatched the rookie once again. Dixon losing out to a gaggle of riders as Celestino Vietti, Marcel Schrotter and Fabio Di Giannantonio advanced before Hector Garzo and Stefano Manzi crashed.

Back at the front and Bezzecchi was challenging for the lead, Gardner struck back briefly but the Italian had the bit between his teeth, taking charge and immediately attempting to build a gap. Disaster struck the Australian with six to go, running in hot and sitting up before colliding with his rival and finding the gravel at turn four as he dropped to fifth.

Ogura was up to second before a long lap penalty was issued for track limits, Fernandez and Gardner the lucky recipients as the Idemitsu rider dropped to fifth.
An all-Italian battle began in the final three laps as Canet chased down the Sky VR46 machine but the leader was firmly in control. Crossing the line with over a second in hand for his first victory of the year, with Canet and Augusto Fernandez completing the podium.

Gardner took fourth with Ogura taking the flag in fifth, the rookie issued with a three-second penalty for not completing his long lap correctly but holding a five-second advantage over Vietti in sixth. The Sky rider’s late charge dropped Fernandez to seventh, Somkiat Chantra, Vierge and Schrotter completing the top-10. Dixon finished the Austrian race in 11th with Lorenzo Dalla Porta and Di Giannantonio getting the better of Lowes in the closing stages. Albert Arenas taking the final championship point.

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