Enea Bastianini dominated the Andalusian Grand Prix to claim his first Moto2 victory, while a hobbled Tetsuta Nagashima recovered to 11th to hold his championship lead.
Debut Moto2 poleman Marco Bezzecchi nailed the launch off the line and held the lead at Turn 1 ahead of Bastianini and last week’s Jerez race winner Luca Marini.
Italtrans rider Bastianini quickly dispatched the VR46 Kalex of Bezzecchi and immediately opened up an advantage of half a second at the front.
Marini quickly surmounted his VR46 team-mate Bezzecchi, who began to fall into the clutches of Sam Lowes on the Marc VDS Kalex as the top two opened up a buffer.
By lap five, Bastianini’s advantage stood at around seven tenths, though Marini would cut this down to half a second two tours later.
A mistake for Bastianini at Turn 8 on lap 11 gave Marini a sniff, but the Italtrans rider defended his line well and kept himself in check over the next few tours as Marini hounded his lead.
Bastianini would start to edge away again on lap 14, re-establishing his lead at six tenths and continued to put more daylight between himself and Marini.
With five laps to go, Bastianini had pulled the pin and his lead over Marini opened out to 1.8s, with that gap extending to over two seconds over the final few tours.
Keeping it clean across the last laps, Bastianini eased to his first grand prix victory since the 2018 Moto3 Catalan GP and has announced himself as a championship contender.
Marini crossed the line in second, while team-mate Bezzecchi fended off a late charge from Lowes to secure his first Moto2 podium.
However, while both VR46 riders celebrated with each other after the chequered flag, they both had an embarrassing collision at between Turns 1 and 2. Both were unharmed.
Aron Canet got his Aspar bike to fifth ahead of KTM Ajo’s Jorge Martin, while Tom Luthi was seventh on the Intact GP Kalex.
Xavi Vierge was eighth on the Petronas Sprinta machine ahead of MV Agusta’s Stefano Manzi and the sister Intact bike of Marcel Schrotter, who mugged Nagashima at the final corner when the Japanese rider ran wide.
Nagashima took a heavy knock in a crash in FP3 on Saturday and could only qualify 15th, but maintains a slender championship lead on Bastianini by two points, with Marini five points back in third.
The all-Italian podium in Andalusia marks the first time this has happened in the intermediate class since Imola in 1998.
Pictures courtesy of Drona Sports
Moto2 Andalusia Results – 23 laps
|1||Enea Bastianini||Italtrans Racing Team||39m23.922s|
|2||Luca Marini||SKY Racing Team VR46||2.153s|
|3||Marco Bezzecchi||SKY Racing Team VR46||3.243s|
|4||Sam Lowes||EG 0,0 Marc VDS||3.817s|
|5||Aron Canet||Openbank Aspar Team Moto2||9.155s|
|6||Jorge Martin||Red Bull KTM Ajo||11.988s|
|7||Thomas Luthi||Liqui Moly Intact GP||13.857s|
|8||Xavi Vierge||Petronas Sprinta Racing||19.590s|
|9||Stefano Manzi||MV Agusta Forward Racing||20.199s|
|10||Marcel Schrotter||Liqui Moly Intact GP||20.262s|
|11||Tetsuta Nagashima||Red Bull KTM Ajo||20.447s|
|12||Nicolo Bulega||Federal Oil Gresini Moto2||21.464s|
|13||Augusto Fernandez||EG 0,0 Marc VDS||24.804s|
|14||Remy Gardner||ONEXOX TKKR SAG Team||26.370s|
|15||Marcos Ramirez||Tennor American Racing||27.018s|
|16||Edgar Pons||Federal Oil Gresini Moto2||27.126s|
|17||Joe Roberts||Tennor American Racing||30.228s|
|18||Fabio Di Giannantonio||Beta Tools – Speed Up Racing||30.895s|
|19||Bo Bendsneyder||NTS RW Racing GP||41.678s|
|20||Andi Izdihar||Idemitsu Honda Team Asia||41.793s|
|–||Lorenzo Baldassarri||Flexbox HP 40||Retirement|
|–||Simone Corsi||MV Agusta Forward Racing||Retirement|
|–||Hafizh Syahrin||Openbank Aspar Team Moto2||Retirement|
|–||Jorge Navarro||Beta Tools – Speed Up Racing||Retirement|
|–||Somkiat Chantra||Idemitsu Honda Team Asia||Retirement|
|–||Hector Garzo||Flexbox HP 40||Retirement|
|–||Lorenzo Dalla Porta||Italtrans Racing Team||Retirement|
|–||Kasma Kasmayudin||ONEXOX TKKR SAG Team||Retirement|
|–||Jake Dixon||Petronas Sprinta Racing||Retirement|
|–||Jesko Raffin||NTS RW Racing GP||Withdrawn|