Vietti wins Moto2 race in Barcelona after great last lap, Bendsneyder P13

Start Moto2 race – Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya | © Randy van Maasdijk

Celestino Vietti won the Moto2 race at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya on Sunday afternoon. The Italian was able to outwit Aron Canet in the last round, taking his third win of the season. After a disappointing start, Bo Bendsneyder crossed the finish line in thirteenth place, Zonta van den Goorbergh was twentieth.

On Sunday afternoon at 12:20 p.m., the 22-lap Moto2 race started at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya. With a bright shining sun and an outside temperature of more than 30°C, it was very hot on the Catalan circuit. The asphalt temperature was around 55°C which made it very important to handle the tires as well as possible.

All drivers were on the medium-compound front tyre, everyone except Marcel Schrötter was on the soft-compound rear tyre.

It was Jake Dixon who got off the grid very well from the second row and led into the first corner ahead of Joe Roberts and Aron Canet. Albert Arenas took fourth place ahead of polesitter Celestino Vietti and Ai Ogura, followed by Marcel Schrötter, Augusto Fernández, Alonso López and Manuel González in the top ten. Bo Bendsneyder let himself be pushed aside in the first chicane and fell from seventh on the grid to 24th position, also for Zonta van den Goorbergh it was not a good start and he fell back to P29. RW Racing GP teammate Barry Baltus was in 22nd position.

Joe Roberts soon attacked and took charge of Jake Dixon. Behind that was Aron Canet in third place and the Spaniard put the pressure on the Briton. On the second lap, Canet moved up to second to start the chase for Roberts. Albert Arenas rode in fourth place ahead of Ai Ogura and pole sitter Celestino Vietti.

Roberts’ pace was fast and the American soon had a margin of about 0.4 seconds towards Canet. Dixon did everything he could to keep up with the pace of the pair while he was pressured by Arenas, Ogura and Vietti. Bendsneyder had already made up two places far behind, but from 7th position on the grid the 22nd position in the race was disappointing. Van den Goorbergh also made progress and was already on P24 after four laps.

Canet was unable to keep up with Roberts’ high pace and the Italtrans Racing Team driver already had a margin of 1.8 seconds after nine laps. Dixon was able to join Canet in third place with Arenas, Vietti and Fernández close behind. Ogura had fallen back to seventh position ahead of Schrötter, Lowes and López.

Roberts appeared to be on a roll and had already built his lead to around 2.5 seconds when things went awry on lap 11. In Turn 5 he lost the front of his Kalex and slid into the gravel. After a great first half of the race, he threw away a win that left Dixon taking the lead ahead of Canet and Arenas. Vietti and Fernández drove shortly behind, creating a leading group of five drivers.

On the thirteenth lap, Canet attacked and passed Dixon. Vietti was close behind while Fernández struggled to keep up with the pace of the top three. Schrötter had now moved up to fifth position ahead of Arenas, followed by Ogura, Lowes and López who were competing for seventh place. Pedro Acosta, winner of the Moto2 race at Mugello, was in tenth place. Bo Bendsneyder had already moved up to P17, Van den Goorbergh was on P22.

On lap 16, Vietti attacked entering Turn 10. The Italian managed to take the lead from Canet with a clever maneuver and immediately tried to drive away from the Spaniard. He failed to do so as Canet struck back two laps later. Dixon, Fernández and Schrötter were close behind but were unable to get involved in this battle for the lead.

With three laps to go, Sam Lowes had crashed. The Briton slid into turn 12, ending his race.

The difference between Canet and Vietti remained very small. Dixon did everything he could to maintain the connection while being pressured by Fernández himself. Schrötter couldn’t keep up with the fast pace and fell back slightly to fifth place. Albert Arenas had also fallen in the penultimate round.

It all came down to the last lap. Moments before that, Vietti had taken the lead in Turn 10 leaving him leading this final lap. Canet dove out of the slipstream on the long straight and took the lead into Turn 1. Dixon and Fernández couldn’t do much but watch the two battle for the win.

In Turn 10, Canet went very wide which allowed Vietti to put his machine next to it. The Italian had the line on the inside, so Canet could do nothing but leave his competitor ahead. In the same corner, Fernández also passed Dixon for third place.

In the last four corners Canet did everything he could to get past Vietti but the Mooney VR46 Racing Team driver did an excellent defensive job. As a result, he crossed the line with only 0.081 difference to Canet. It is his third victory of the year after the victories in Qatar and Argentina. Behind that, Fernández won the head-to-head battle for third place, pointing Dixon to third. Schrötter drove a good race and finished fifth ahead of Pedro Acosta and Ai Ogura, behind that Alonso López, Maunel González and Tony Arbolino finished in the top ten.

After his disappointing start, Bendsneyder was able to make progress again. Thanks in part to a number of dropouts, he eventually crossed the line in thirteenth place, scoring three World Cup points. RW Racing GP driver Barry Baltus was unable to score any points and finished seventeenth, teammate Zonta van den Goorbergh crossed the finish line in twentieth.

In the championship Vietti has of course done well, with a total of 133 points he again builds a lead over Ogura (117) and Canet (109).

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