Sam Lowes produced arguably one of the most comprehensively dominant victories in the history of the Moto2 World Championship as he secured a tenth career victory in the Spanish Moto2 at Jerez over Pedro Acosta.
Starting from pole position, Lowes shrugged off a tardy getaway that demoted him behind local pre-race favourite Acosta initially, to force his way back to the front before the end of the opening lap.
It put him into a lead he'd hold comfortably for the remainder of the 21-lap race, Lowes dismissing the threat posed by title contender Acosta to stream away from the Spaniard and cross the line with almost three seconds in hand.
A superb display of dominance from the Briton, the success raises his career tally of Moto2 wins to ten and is his first since the 2021 Emilia-Romagna Moto2 race at Misano.
Lowes' performance comes after obliterating the opposition in qualifying to score pole position by more than half-a-second, but with Acosta showing metronomically consistent lap times during longer runs, many were looking to the 2021 Moto3 World Champion as the rider to beat come race day.
Instead the opposite was true, Acosta's moment in the spotlight coming at the start when he got the jump on Lowes into Turn 1 and led the pack for much of the opening lap. However, an aggressive block pass from Lowes into the final corner was all he'd need to reverse positions that wouldn't change to the flag.
Though Acosta tried to go with Lowes, a series of fastest laps from the Marc VDS Racing rider would see him raise the margin to more than 2.1secs. While an upturn in pace with eight laps to go briefly suggested Acosta might have been biding his time, Lowes simply turned the wick up himself to snuff out any potential challenge.
Despite missing out on victory, Acosta's second place finish - coupled with fourth for main title rival Tony Arbolino - brings him level with Italian at the head of the overall standings.
Alonso Lopez enjoyed an unruffled afternoon in what was a lonely third place for much of the race, the SpeedUp rider collecting his second podium of the season.
Arbolino had a superb getaway from tenth on the grid to thank for his eventual fourth place, the Marc VDS rider tussling it out for third on the opening lap before being shuffled back again by Lopez.
Engaging in an entertaining tussle with Ai Ogura, Arbolino had just gotten the better of the Japanese rider - enjoying his best event since injuring himself pre-season - on lap 13 when the 2022 Moto2 runner-up clipped the rear wheel of the Kalex as his rival came through and was tipped off his Honda Team Asia bike, putting him out of the race.
Like Arbolino, Aron Canet made big gains from a lowly 12th on the grid but could only ascend as high as fifth place to keep himself in the mix at the front of the overall standings.
Having qualified on the front row, Jake Dixon was slow off the line and bullied about in the opening bends, but would collect himself to bring it home for a safe sixth place, just ahead of Somkiat Chantra.
On a weekend that had already seen him fall on four occasions, Albert Arenas kept it upright to bring it home for eighth, ahead of Filip Salac, whose faded from a strong start that initially had him running inside the top five. Fermin Aldeguer - despite a long-lap penalty - rounded out the top ten.
A race low in attrition with only Ogura and Celestino Vietti crashing out of top ten positions, Sergio Garcia, Manuel Gonzalez, Barry Baltus, Joe Roberts and Lukas Tulovic picked up the remaining points in 11th to 15th respectively.
Full Spanish Moto2 Results to follow
CLICK HERE for full Spanish Moto2 Practice, Qualifying and RACE RESULTS from Jerez
Spanish Moto2 | RACE Results
Jerez | Conditions - Dry, Hot
|2023 Spanish Moto2 | Jerez, Spain | RACE Results | Round 4 of 20|
|1||Sam Lowes||GBR||Elf Marc VDS Racing||Kalex||21 Laps|
|2||Pedro Acosta||ESP||Red Bull KTM Ajo||Kalex||+2.841|
|3||Alonso Lopez||ESP||SpeedUp Racing||Boscoscuro||+9.618|
|4||Tony Arbolino||ITA||Elf Marc VDS Racing||Kalex||+10.163|
|5||Aron Canet||ESP||Pons Wegow Los40||Kalex||+11.056|
|6||Jake Dixon||GBR||Autosolar GasGas Aspar||Kalex||+11.923|
|7||Somkiat Chantra||THA||IDEMITSU Honda Asia||Kalex||+12.586|
|8||Albert Arenas||ESP||Red Bull KTM Ajo||Kalex||+14.948|
|9||Filip Salac||CZE||QJMOTOR Gresini||Kalex||+16.470|
|10||Fermin Aldeguer||ESP||SpeedUp Racing||Boscoscuro||+18.550|
|11||Sergio Garcia||ESP||Pons Wegow Los40||Kalex||+22.134|
|12||Manuel Gonzalez||JPN||Yamaha VR46 MasterCamp||Kalex||+22.817|
|13||Barry Baltus||BEL||Fieten Olie Racing GP||Kalex||+23.080|
|14||Joe Roberts||USA||Italtrans Racing Team||Kalex||+25.110|
|15||Lukas Tulovic||GER||Husqvarna IntactGP||Kalex||+26.709|
|16||Jeremy Alcoba||ESP||QJMOTOR Gresini||Kalex||+26.922|
|17||Bo Bendsneyder||NED||Pertamina SAG Team||Kalex||+28.568|
|18||Dennis Foggia||ITA||Italtrans Racing Team||Kalex||+30.384|
|19||Borja Gomez||ESP||Fantic Racing||Kalex||+33.223|
|20||Marcos Ramirez||ESP||Forward Team||Forward||+36.775|
|21||Senna Agius||AUS||Husqvarna IntactGP||Kalex||+36.812|
|22||Izan Guevara||ESP||Autosolar GasGas Aspar||Kalex||+37.151|
|23||Zonta van den Goorbergh||NED||Fieten Olie Racing GP||Kalex||+39.637|
|24||Rory Skinner||GBR||American Racing||Kalex||+39.786|
|25||Lorenzo Dalla Porta||ITA||Pertamina SAG Team||Kalex||+1m 02.572|
|26||Soichiro Minamimoto||JPN||Yamaha VR46 MasterCamp||Kalex||+1m 03.282|
|DNF||Ai Ogura||JPN||IDEMITSU Honda Asia||Kalex|
|DNF||Sean Dylan Kelly||USA||American Racing||Kalex|
|DNF||Celestino Vietti||ITA||Fantic Racing||Kalex|
|DNS||Alex Escrig||ESP||Forward Team||Forward|