There was plenty to celebrate on the podium after the restarted Moto2 Portuguese Grand Prix, with an elated Joe Roberts taking a maiden win in Portimao.

The latest rider to claim a first intermediate win, the Californian, who calls Portugal home, took advantage of Jake Dixon exiting from pole on the first lap. Inheriting the lead he didn’t look back, pulling out a lead of over four seconds, only easing off with the chequered flag in sight to lead over the line by 2.818s.

His dominant victory sees him become the first American winner in the intermediate class since John Kocinski back in 1990.


A very lucky Celestino Vietti was second, with Jorge Navarro completing the podium.  

Luck sees Vietti recover 

One of few riders to win the lottery of passing turn two in the race halting crash, Celestino Vietti restarted on the newly formed grid in third - the Mooney VR46 rider had made little progress before the incident where he was still running outside the top ten after qualifying down in thirteenth.

Immediately losing a place to Marcel Schrotter, the Italian rallied and set about making the most of being a survivor in the restart, making his passing moves count he first re-passed the German before setting his sights on second.

The move sees him increase his championship lead when it had looked set to be eradicated, now with a total of 90 as his nearest rivals failed to score.

Jorge Navarro was equally as happy with third for Flexbox HP40. Riding with a injured knee he kept calm and upright to claim the final podium spot at a dark and gloomy Portimao.

Schrotter (Liqui Moly Intact GP) in the end only just held onto fourth - a superb performance from rookie Manuel Gonzalez saw him confidently pick his way up to fifth putting pressure on the Kalex ahead from his Yamaha VR46 Master Camp Team bike, by far his best result of the season so far.

Another rookie, Jeremy Alcoba, claimed sixth with Liqui Moly Intact GP for the second race in a row after gaining the position when Fermin Aldeguer (Lightech Speed Up) was demoted a place for exceeding track limits. The French rider was the top non-Kalex rider on the Boscoscuro.

There was then a small wait before Bo Bendsneyder (Pertamina Mandalika SAG Team) reached the flag in eighth.

Barry Baltus was a distant ninth for RW Racing, with Gabriel Rodrigo completing the top ten on the second SAG team entry.

With only fifteen riders recorded as finishing, there were points all round if you stayed upright after the restart.

Romano Fenati stayed crash-free for eleventh on the second Speed Up. The Italian had no pressure from behind as there was a huge gap before Keminth Kubo reached the chequered flag in twelfth. The Yamaha VR46 Master Camp rider missed the last round with visa issues.

The American Sean Dykan Kelly kept him company on track and was rewarded with 13th - his first points finish with American Racing.

Filip Salac was 14th for Gresini, while his team-mate Alessandro Zaccone was classed as a lap down but awarded 15th .

Like Dixon, Niccolo Antonelli crashed out of the second race start.

Lorenzo Dall Porta missed the window to restart in the minute allowed.

Red Flag drama after a multiple crash 

The red flag came out on the original running of the race when, just at the start of lap nine all three of the then lead trio - Aron Canet, Cameron Beaubier and Ai Ogura all hit a now wet part of the track and simultaneously flipped and slipped separately as if they had hit butter.

The Flexbox HP40 rider had looked at ease after topping the dry warm-up  convincingly, by almost half a second. Carrying that pace into the race from his pole start, chased by Beaubier and Ogura the conditions worsened rapidly and the marshals waved rain flags at virtually every corner.

Behind them a flurry of riders followed them in with Tony Arbolino, Augusto Fernandez, Somkiat Chantra, Sam Lowes, Albert Arenas, Zonta Van Den Goorbergh, Pedro Acosta and Simone Corsi all shown in the gravel. One bike was aflame with smoke pouring out after Corsi’s bike piled in late, while strong presence of mind saw Ogura hurdle the approaching Lowes.

There were many disappointed riders when the announcement was made that no riders who fell would be allowed to rejoin. Many hade made huge efforts to get back - Austin winner Arbolino accosted a scooter and signalled Marc VDS team-mate Lowes to join him on the back as they raced back to the pits full of hope.

Somkiat Chantra served his long lap penalty for causing the incident which took out Lowes  n COTA, dropping from third to eighth. His Idemitsu Honda Team Asia bike was destroyed in the crash, with no number left on the front. The team mechanics never gave up rushing to fix the bike after the Thai rider brought it back to the pits under his own steam, but it was not to be.

Moto2 return to track next weekend when the paddock moves onto Jerez.