Moto2: Remy Gardner crowned champion despite Raul Fernandez victory
Remy Gardner has been crowned 2021 Moto2 world champion in Valencia despite teammate and main title rival Raul Fernandez winning the restarted race.
Gardner only had to finish inside the top 13, but he certainly didn’t make things easy for himself. The Aussie spent the majority of the race battling just outside of the top 10, enduring some nervy laps whilst racing against the midfield.
At the front, Fernandez did everything he could to try and win the title at the first attempt. The Red Bull KTM Ajo rider took the lead away from Fabio di Giannantonio at turn two with four laps remaining to secure his eighth of the year, but with Gardner crossing the line in 10th, it wasn’t enough.
Gardner becomes the first Australian Grand Prix champion since Casey Stoner clinched the premier class crown in 2007. He also follows in the footsteps of dad Wayne, who won the 500cc title in 1987. The Gardners are the second-ever father and son world champions, after Kenny Roberts and Roberts Jr.
Di Giannantonio finished second in the race, whilst Augusto Fernandez completed the podium in his final race for Elf Marc VDS – he’ll move to champions Red Bull KTM Ajo next season.
The original race was red flagged on the opening lap following an accident involving Lorenzo Baldassarri, Marco Bezzecchi and Xavi Vierge at turn two. Bezzecchi was hit by Vierge, whilst Baldassarri had nowhere to go and smashed into Bezzecchi’s stranded bike in the middle of the circuit. Thankfully, all three riders were unharmed, but the damage caused to the bikes led to oil spilling out onto the circuit.
Riders returned to their original grid slots for the restarted race, which was cut to only 16 laps after a long clean-up operation. Despite the best efforts of the SKY Racing Team VR46 team, they were unable to get Bezzecchi’s bike ready in time for the quick re-start procedure, and he therefore had to start from the back of the grid. Vierge made the restart, however Baldassarri was unable to re-join.
VR46 Academy member Celestino Vietti was fourth, finishing ahead of Aron Canet and Vierge. Sam Lowes ended his campaign with a sixth, whilst Jorge Navarro, Marcel Schrotter finished eighth and ninth ahead of the new champion.
Tetsuka Nagashima resisted making a last lap move on Gardner and settled for 11th, ahead of Thomas Luthi, who was making his final GP appearance. Stefano Manzi, Marcos Ramirez and Hafizh Syahrin secured the final points on offer today. The latter moves to the World Superbike Championship next year.
Jake Dixon ended his final outing with Petronas Sprinta Racing in 16th spot. The Brit moves to GASGAS Aspar Racing next year, whilst his current team will cease to exist.
Polesitter Simone Corsi suffered heartbreak before the restart when he returned to his MV Agusta garage at the end of the warmup lap with a technical problem. Dimas Ekky Pratama crashed out of the race on lap three, whilst Hector Garzo fell at turn six on lap 12.
Moto3: Xavi Artigas secures maiden vistory as Foggia and Acosta clash
First published: 14 November 2021 at 11:06 by Josh Close
Acosta and Foggia were both battling for the lead when Foggia went in too deep at turn two, and hit the new champion. Acosta crashed out as a result and the incident was immediately placed under investigation. Foggia was handed a three-second penalty for irresponsible riding, dropping from sixth to 13th.
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With Foggia and Acosta out of the way, Artigas was able to take full advantage to clinch his maiden Grand Prix victory. The Leopard Racing Honda rider held off the challenge of Sergio Garcia, take the win by just 0.043s. Garcia secures third overall in the championship with his podium.
Acosta’s teammate Jaume Masia completed the podium to secure fourth overall in the championship, with Filip Salac crossing the line in fourth. Salac had to battle his way back through the order after being handed a long lap penalty for exceeding track limits.
Deniz Oncu completed the top five despite also having to fight his way back towards the front after being handed a long lap penalty for exceeding track limits whilst running in third. Stefano Nepa finished seventh, with Izan Guevara, Carlos Tatay and Niccolo Antonelli completing the top 10.
John McPhee ended his time with Petronas Sprinta Racing in 12th spot. McPhee moves to Max Biaggi’s team next year, whilst the Petronas team will cease to exist following the Sepang Racing Team’s departure from MotoGP.
A chaotic opening lap saw Lorenzo Fellon and Darryn Binder suffering separate highsides at turn four. Binder’s fall came in the middle of the circuit, with the South African thankfully able to avoid being struck by any of the bikes around him.
The domino effect caused Ryusei Yamanaka to crash after he ran into the back of Masia. He was able to re-join the race but returned to the pits a few laps later to retire.
A highside for Joel Kelso on the exit of turn two left Jose Antonio Rueda with nowhere to go on lap five. As a result, both riders retired from the race, but thankfully appeared to be fine.
Yuki Kunii crashed out of the race at the final corner at the end of lap 10. As things stand, Kunii doesn’t have a ride for 2022. Tatsuki Suzuki’s race came to an end on lap 18, with the Japanese rider losing the front at turn one.
Alberto Surra crashed at the second corner on lap 21, whilst Andrea Migno, sporting a Valentino Rossi helmet, fell at turn six on the final lap.