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MotoGP Valencia: Bezzecchi wins as Lowes crashes out

Marco Bezzecchi rode to a confident and consistent victory in Valencia this afternoon, holding off Jorge Martin and Remy Gardner for the European GP honours after a turn-six crash in the final 10 laps denied Sam Lowes his four-in-a-row aspirations.

Poleman Xavi Vierge took the holeshot as the lights went out for the Moto2 race, Joe Roberts holding fast in second as Lowes suffered a difficult start, dropping to sixth as the opening lap found its full pace.

Roberts charged to the front with Bezzecchi making a move for second as the second lap got going before the dejected American slid out moments later at turn two.


Previously described as being out of title-contention, Bezzecchi was seemingly unaware as he took charge of the European GP, Gardner and Vierge narrowly behind with Lowes hard on their wheels for fourth. Hafizh Syahrin and Fabio Di Giannantonio the next to succumb to the Ricardo Tormo Circuit’s somewhat unfamiliar conditions.

A scare for Lowes at the end of the third lap saw the British rider quickly regroup, maintaining his position from Jorge Martin, Enea Bastianini taking Lorenso Baldassarri for sixth on the next time around.

Five laps down and Bezzecchi still had Gardner for company, the duo eking out a second’s gap on Vierge in third before Lowes made his move for the final podium position into turn two as he set his sights on the front.

20 laps to go and the gap to the leading pair was down to just four-tenths, Lowes distancing himself by the same again from Martin in fourth as his pace increased, the Marc VDS rider less than 0.2 adrift two laps later.

The mid-pack saw Luca Marini circulating in 11th, Marcel Schrotter and Aron Canet ahead with Nicolò Bulega and Jorge Navarro behind as Bastianini and Baldassarri continued their battle for sixth.

10 laps in and Lowes briefly took advantage of Gardner at turn four, the Australian retaking the position moments later before the Brit made the move stick in the final sector, nine-tenths now the gap to Bezzecchi out front.

Impressive mid-race pace saw the fight intensify as Lowes reeled in the Italian to just over half-a-second, Martin now in third from Gardner as the pair held on to the duo ahead, Bastianini making moves for fifth as Marini also found his rhythm as he advanced to ninth.

Disaster struck with 10 laps to go as Lowes went down at turn six, the title-leader handing his advantage to Bastianini as the Italtrans rider inherited fourth, Martin now sitting second with sixth-tenths the gap to the front.
Lap 18 saw Baldassarri challenge the new champion-elect for track position, making the move stick and immediately pulling a gap on his demoted countryman while Marini was also attempting to deliver a late-race charge.

Bezzecchi carved out a second’s break as he continued his calm and consistent lead with five laps to go, Martin riding a lonely second with a similar story for Gardner in third. A three-rider-battle for fourth providing the late entertainment as the race counted down.


The penultimate lap allowed Bastianini the opportunity to take the position from Baldassarri, Garzo narrowly behind as he fought off Marini for sixth but the VR46 rider saw his chance as the last lap began.

The chequered flag brought delight for Bezzecchi as the Sky star claimed the victory with an almost two-second lead, Martin retaining second from Gardner with Bastianini holding out for fourth ahead of Baldassarri and Marini. Garzo settled for seventh as Bulega, Vierge and Navarro rounded out the top-10 with Canet, Tetsuta Nagashima, Schrotter, Bo Bendsneyder and Stefano Manzi claiming the final Valencia points.

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