Remy Gardner took the win from Luca Marini towards the end of the Portuguese Moto2 competition to secure his debut win in the class, while Enea Bastianini secured the drivers’ championship.
Gardner started strongly from pole position and led the field through the opening segment of the Portuguese Grand Prix. He built a lead of more than a second when Bastianini defended himself against his defending champions.
The Italian was eventually dropped off by Marini after a few touring, while he dropped to fourth when an injured Sam Lowes walked past a few corners later.
The duo then quickly completed the lean lead of the SAG driver. Marini moved ahead of Gardner after passing on his way to Turn 1 as the race covered a third of a distance. Lowes followed seconds later.
The Brit went out of his way to try to overtake the leading VR46 machine. Bastianini, from sixth place onwards, was a win that all Lowes needed to become the first British motorcycle Grand Prix world champion since Danny Kent’s Moto3 success in 2015.
The Marc VDS man, however, could not find a way past the metronomic Marini and after two serious mistakes fell behind a recovering Gardner. His hand injury was probably starting to hurt.
Gardner did a number of the fastest laps as he approached Marini. The Australian wanted to finally achieve his first victory in the intermediate class in his last race with the SAG squad.
He followed Marini through the last segment of the encounter and finally shot past with a bold step in turn 3 on the penultimate tour.
He managed to bring daylight between himself and the all-black VR46 machine over the remaining few miles of the Portuguese GP, taking the checkered flag in fine style 1. 6 seconds ahead of Marini, Lowes third on the podium.
Marco Bezzecchi recovered well from his low starting position in 12th place to take fourth place, while Bastianini secured an important fifth place to end the Moto2 Riders World Championship – just four points ahead of Marini and Lowes on 15th place Competitions – with the former securing the runner-up position during the countback.
Jorge Martin finished six ups and downs on his last Moto2 start, while Joe Roberts ended his tenure with American Racing in seventh.
Augusto Fernandez’s second Marc VDS motorcycle finished eighth after the Spaniard late disappeared from the podium while Lorenzo Baldassarri and Xavi Vierge completed the top ten.
Aron Canet secured the award as Rookie of the Year after the main competitor Hector Garzo dropped out of the race early. The Aspar driver only crossed the line on the 15th. Place after receiving an early penalty for two long rounds.
Speed Ups promising day again when both drivers retired early. Fabio Di Gianantonio slipped at the first corner after rattling at the side of the road as the race started and Gresini’s Nicolo Bulega out of it – while Jorge Navarro went down a few laps later.
Moto2, Enea Bastianini, Remy Gardner, Grand Prix motorcycle races, Portimão, Sam Lowes
World news – AU – Gardner defeats Marini in Portugal for first Moto2 victory, Bastianini secures the driver’s title