Sam Lowes left it late to stamp his authority on a tense Moto2 race in tricky conditions at a damp Circuit of the Americas.

When the lead pack finally splintered after Xavier Simeon's crash it was the Speed Up man who had what it took to pull away from a battling Johann Zarco, taking the chequered flag by a gap of almost two seconds after a superb final lap as the British rider also battled the pain barrier having crashed heavily earlier in the race weekend.

It marks the first time two British riders have won in one race weekend since the Swedish round of the 1977 season.

The lead four had looked set for a late battle for the podium places when, with just four laps to go, Ajo Motorsport's Zarco and Gresini's pole man Simeon found themselves fighting for the same piece of track at turn eight, and with Zarco leaning in, the Belgian had nowhere left to go and crashed out of the race. The incident was under investigation as the race ended.

Alex Rins (Paginas Amarillas HP 40) had hounded the front three watching and learning before crossing the line in a clear third after the action unfolded, leaving the rookie leading the world championship standings with 29 points, one point ahead of Zarco.

Reigning champion Tito Rabat got a great start leading on the first corner before dropping back rapidly, then rallying for the lead in the chasing group, battling hard with Franco Morbidelli for fourth for the EG 0,0 Marc VDS team.

Morbidelli again equalled his best finish to date despite losing his battle with the Spaniard, taking fifth for Italtrans for the second race running.

Hafizh Syahrin improved once again for sixth for Petronas Raceline Malaysia, his best finish since his wild-card home podium back in 2012.

Ant West finished a strong weekend seventh for QMMF, while Mika Kallio, who proved he had got to grips with the tricky conditions after topping warm-up, took eighth for Italtrans.

The second of the QMMF Speed Up bikes, piloted by Julian Simon, was ninth while Taka Nakagami looked more confident as he fought hard for a top ten finish for Idemitsu Honda Team Asia.

Simone Corsi (Athina Forward Racing) finished just behind his Japanese rival in a dash to the line, being forced to settle for 11th, Tom Luthi (Derendinger Racing Interwetten) started the race on a different rear tyre and climbed to 12th after qualifying problems had seen him start 17th.

Tech 3's Marcel Schroetter took 13th and Sandro Cortese (Dynavolt Intact GP) 14th with Alex Marquez (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) again just in the points in 15th.

Qatar race winner Jonas Folger could not manage to fight at the front in round two and finished just outside the points in 16th for AGR Team.

Luis Salom and Louis Rossi were the first to find the gravel and Lorenzo Baldassarri followed with 16 laps remaining, holding his hip as he limped away.

Dominique Aegerter fell four laps later at turn 12 as the rain flags waved on, leaving the leaders as he had held fifth before his crash. The Swiss rider eventually rejoined for 18th.

 

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