JEREZ. The 23-lap race was red flagged after a huge incident at the exit of Turn 1 on the opening lap. ONEXOX TKKR SAG’s Remy Gardner highsided and left Alex Marquez (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) with nowhere to go but collide his with bike, leaving the chasing pack to take evasive action with bikes and riders in the middle of the track. Idemitsu Honda Team Asia’s Dimas Ekky Pratama clipped Gardner’s bike and then the Indonesian slid into Red Bull KTM Tech 3’s Marco Bezzechi, causing the Italian to crash. Marquez and Bezzechi were OK, whilst Gardner and Pratama went to the medical centre. Following checks, Pratama was declared fit and Gardner suffered a concussion.
Flexbox HP 40’s Lorenzo Baldassarri bounced back in brilliant style from his COTA crash plus mechanical issues and crashes aplenty this weekend to take his third win of the 2019 Moto2™ World Championship at the Gran Premio Red Bull de España and move 17 points clear at the top of the title standings. Poleman, HDR Heidrun Speed Up’s Jorge Navarro was able to chase down and pass Fernandez for second place: a memorable day for Sito Pons and his Flexbox HP 40 team by winning a debut podium finish.
Lüthi limited the damage in the title chase by collecting thirteen points with a fourth-place finish. Fifth across the line was Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Ajo) after fighting his way past Xavi Vierge (EG 0,0 Marc VDS), who faded back to sixth place after an incredible start, where the Catalan made up eight places on the first lap to go from twelfth on the grid to fourth.
ONEXOX TKKR SAG’s Tetsuta Nagashima benefited most from the earlier red flag as the Japanese rider was forced to start from pitlane after an issue on the grid for the first start. However, as a result of the red flag, Nagashima could retake his place on the grid and salvaged a seventh place finish, which looked close to impossible half an hour earlier.
SKY Racing Team VR46 duo of Luca Marini and Nicolo Bulega battled it out for eighth place with Marini eventually getting the better of his rookie teammate Bulega by half a second. American Racing KTM’s Iker Lecuona rounded the top ten.
Augusto Fernandez: P3
"Very, very happy for the whole weekend in general. From the first practice we have been on top, yesterday we were on the front row for the first time and today my first podium, so I can not ask for more. It has cost a lot, I felt a lot of pain, but I have endured as I could and I got the podium. I want to thank the team for the work done, my family for the support from always, and also congratulate Balda for his victory, he has done a great job".
Xavi Vierge: P6
"I’m happy to finish that race in sixth position. It’s not the result that we were expecting, but anyway, after a difficult start to the season, I am satisfied with it. We arrived at Jerez, which is a difficult track for me, and from the first moment we worked so hard, focussed on the race. But I struggled a lot. We are making steps and it was really good. Today we can see the step forward. I did a good start and I was there, fighting for first position. But lap-by-lap I started to lose a little bit. We knew that it would be difficult. It was important to stay on the bike and finish to check the points that we need to improve."
Simone Corsi: N.C.
"We struggled in qualifying and shooting from the sixth row didn't help. I tried to recover positions at the start but I didn't manage to push as I wanted. Then unfortunately at turn 2 I came a little long and the front closed. Too bad, it was important to bring home points here too, but during the tests on Tuesday we will work to find an ideal setting for Le Mans."
Dimas Ekky Pratama: N.C.
"Bad luck today at race, I couldn't avoid the bike crashes. Lucky I am ok, so we will work in the test and more action in Le Mans."