Sam Lowes’ effort to make it three Moto2 wins on the bounce in 2021 ended in quick and dramatic style as the Brit crashed on the opening lap in Portimao. 

Having started from pole position for the third time this season, Lowes was looking to become the first rider since Franco Morbidelli in 2017 to win the opening three races of a Moto2 season. 

Lowes got a poor start and was running on the outside heading into turn one where he highsided after feeling contact. 

"Of course, we’re disappointed to end the race like this. We got a bad start and then down into to turn one everyone was pushing for the line," said Lowes.  

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"I got touched a bit and was going close to Remy. To avoid him I pulled the rear brake a lot and locked the rear. Because I was wide and on the dirty part of the track, it spat me off on the highside. 

"It’s not good because we had the pace to fight for the victory again. It was a mistake and we can learn from it. Obviously, this season has been going really well so far and this weekend we were really fast again. 

"The crash is just something that can happen in racing. I want to thank the team for a good job this weekend and we’ll be back stronger in Jerez, which is a circuit that we’ve tested at, and one which I really enjoy."

The DNF for Lowes and double podium for Red Bull KTM Ajo team riders Raul Fernandez and Remy Gardner, means that Lowes is now third in the championship standing.

It was a better result for the team on the other side of the garage however, as Augusto Fernandez claimed a season best fifth place after being involved in a seven rider battle for the lead early on. 

Fernandez added: "I’m happy with P5 and these good points, even if I expected a little bit more from the race. 

"I felt really good in warm-up. But something changed in the race and I didn’t feel quite as strong. Still, considering the feeling I had, the position is really positive. 

"Also, if you look at my gap to the race winner and compare it to where we were in Qatar, we’ve improved a lot. 

"We are making steps and every time we are closer. Each time we are finishing and we are getting good points, this is really important. Now we have to keep working and I can’t wait for Jerez!."