Round two of the 2021 MotoGP championship saw several rookies in their respective category produce incredible performances, including a new record.

Starting with the premier class, Jorge Martin had a sensational second race weekend as he clinched a maiden pole position ahead of the favoured Johann Zarco and factory Ducatis of Francesco Bagnaia and Jack Miller.

But that wasn’t all. Martin not only led a few laps (18 to be precise), but finished third and within 1.5 seconds of the win after finishing 15th the week before. 

Had Martin held on for the win which looked increasingly possible as the race went on, he would have been the first rider since Marc Marquez in 2013 to claim pole and the win in their second MotoGP race.

Moving onto Moto2 and it was another impressive ride from Raul Fernandez. The in-form rider towards the back-end of last season’s Moto3 championship finished fifth just over a weekend ago, but went two places better to clinch a first intermediate class podium. 

Fernandez didn’t just finish third, but also hung onto race winner Sam Lowes and team-mate Remy Gardner for much of the race. 

Fernandez was a name that regularly kept popping up in testing, but with Moto2 being so close and usually 20 riders within a second of one another, it was still to be determined if the top five times he was producing would stand up when racing officially got underway, and has it just. 

But not to take all the headlines from Sunday’s Moto2 Grand Prix, as in fifth place was Ai Ogura who had a great early race battle with American Joe Roberts. 

Unlike Fernandez, this was not a result that many could have seen coming as Ogura was 17th seven days prior. 

Very closely behind Ogura was Celestino Vietti who himself made a significant step forward in his second race. 

Back-to-back races at the same venue have always been seen as an opportunity to learn from the week before, analyse critical data gathered, and therefore show improvements. 

But with Vietti and Ogura finishing 13th and 17th respectively in round one, this shows just what a second race in quick succession can do along with their obvious talent. 

With all that said, it is perhaps only fair to leave the best until last…

16 year-old Moto3 rookie Pedro Acosta became the first ever rider in the class to convert a pit lane start into victory. 

Having been released onto the track with a near deficit of 9 seconds after the opening lap, Acosta clawed his way into contention, picking off rider after rider until the final lap began where he slipstreamed his way into the lead. 

The Spanish sensation impressed many and was the talk of the paddock after his win. 

With the victory Acosta also leads the Moto3 championship table by nine points over Darryn Binder heading into round three in just under two weeks at Portimao. 

 

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