Amazing Alonso Lopez wins at Misano

The young Spaniard leads from the second corner to the chequered flag to take his maiden Grand Prix win

Alonso Lopez has become a Grand Prix winner with victory in the Moto2™ race at the Gran Premio Gryfyn di San Marino e della Riviera di Rimini. The now 20-year-old Spaniard lost his Moto3™ seat at the end of 2020 before a mid-season call-up to replace Romano Fenati at +Ego Speed Up this year. He has now repaid the faith with a superb ride at the Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli, winning by 1.253 seconds after 25 laps. Aron Canet (Flexbox HP40) finished second and Augusto Fernandez (Red Bull KTM Ajo) reclaimed the World Championship lead with a third place.

Ai Ogura (Idemitsu Honda Team Asia) is now second in the standings at four points back after finishing fifth in Round 14 of the season but Celestino Vietti’s title hopes took a big blow when he crashed while in contention for the podium, and he would ultimately retire for a fifth time this year. The Mooney VR46 Racing Team rider once led the Championship but has now dropped to fourth, 42 points off top spot and one behind Canet.

Lopez launched well enough from third on the grid and while he went deep into Turn 1, he emerged with the lead, ahead of Albert Arenas (Inde GASGAS Aspar Team) and pole-sitter Vietti. Despite attacks from behind, that was where Vietti finished the standing lap, ahead of Canet, Ogura, Fermin Aldeguer (+Ego Speed Up), and Fernandez.

Fernandez put a move on Aldeguer through the quick Turn 15 on Lap 2 and set about trying to catch up to the top five, before Canet passed Vietti at his second attempt and was into third spot at Rio (Turn 4) on Lap 6. He soon got ahead of Arenas too, but only briefly on Lap 7, and their battle allowed Lopez to skip several tenths of a second clear. It was soon a full second, as Vietti re-passed Canet at Tramonto (Turn 10) on Lap 8 and then Canet returned the favour at Rio on Lap 9.

Vietti crashes as the Championship lead changes again

Vietti could forget about trying to catch up to Lopez when he lost the front of his VR46-entered Kalex and crashed out of fourth position just a lap later at the Rio corner. That meant Fernandez’s overtake on Ogura at Rio on Lap 11 was for fourth position – and the live World Championship lead. Meanwhile, in what had been a race of attrition, Aldeguer had already crashed out of seventh on Lap 7 with a Long Lap Penalty hanging over his head for a shortcut anyway, and then wildcard Mattia Pasini (Inde GASGAS Aspar Team) went down at Rio while running sixth on Lap 13.

Up the front, Lopez was putting the hammer down, going fastest to the third sector on Lap 13 and ultimately setting a new personal best lap time as he moved his advantage over second-placed Arenas to 1.2 seconds. Perhaps sensing the race win was slipping away, Canet forced his way past Arenas through Turn 5 on Lap 14, but the man up the road on the Boscoscuro chassis continued to extend his lead.

Lopez puts it beyond doubt

There was hope when an apparent error from the leader let Canet catch half a second back up on Lap 17, and then Lopez got a track limits warning, but he responded in style. With 20 laps down and five to go, his margin over Canet was back to almost 1.6 seconds, with Arenas third from Fernandez and a distant Ogura. Fernandez then squeezed past Arenas at Turn 6 but the Aspar rider responded before Lap 21 was out and moved back into a podium position. Two laps later, the KTM Ajo pilot pulled off the same pass and this time he held the position for good.

In the final handful of laps, Canet chipped away at Lopez’s lead again, but #21 was never seriously threatened. His victory was a first for Boscoscuro since a certain Fabio Quartararo prevailed at Catalunya in 2018, and broke a 46-race streak for Kalex. Behind Canet, Fernandez finished strongly but ran out of time to gain any more positions, although his podium is certainly valuable Championship points. Arenas got home just over a second further back in fourth, from Ogura, Pedro Acosta (Red Bull KTM Ajo), Tony Arbolino (Elf Marc VDS Racing Team), Somkiat Chantra (Idemitsu Honda Team Asia), Joe Roberts (Italtrans Racing Team), and Jeremy Alcoba (Liqui Moly Intact GP) in 10th.

Of 31 starters, only 17 finished, with the rest of the points scorers in the top 15 being Marcel Schrötter (Liqui Moly Intact GP) from Bo Bendsneyder (Pertamina Mandalika SAG Team), Barry Baltus (RW Racing GP), Cameron Beaubier (American Racing), and Alessandro Zaccone (Gresini Racing Moto2™). Vietti pitted after his crash then, possibly in a bid to capitalise on all of the other falls, went back out but would eventually relent. Another notable DNF was Jake Dixon (Inde GASGAS Aspar Team), who highsided at the second corner of the race.

We got a brand-new winner and a new Championship leader at Misano. Find out what is in store for Round 15 when the Gran Premio Animoca Brands de Aragon unfolds at MotorLand Aragon, on September 16-18.

1. Alonso Lopez (+Ego Speed Up)
2. Aron Canet (Flexbox HP40) + 1.253
3. Augusto Fernandez (Red Bull KTM Ajo) + 3.305
4. Albert Arenas (Gaviota GASGAS Aspar Team) + 4.615
5. Ai Ogura (Idemitsu Honda Team Asia) + 9.166
6. Pedro Acosta (Red Bull KTM Ajo) + 10.339
7. Tony Arbolino (Elf Marc VDS Racing Team) + 10.434
8. Somkiat Chantra (Idemitsu Honda Team Asia) + 12.377
9. Joe Roberts (Italtrans Racing Team) + 18.242
10. Jeremy Alcoba (Liqui Moly Intact GP) + 19.560

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