Sam Lowes continued his perfect start to the season with a second win at Losail in the Moto2 Doha Grand Prix.

The Elf Marc VDS rider didn’t make the best getaway at the lights - Marco Bezzecchi lead the way until lap four.

Once in front Lowes set about lapping consistently, hitting every marker, even when under pressure from the chasing trio of Remy Gardner, Raul Fernandez and Bezzecchi.

The Kalex rider, who again began race day with a crash in warm-up, responded by trading fastest laps with the Australian, surviving his final attack to hold the win - just 0.190s ahead.

Lowes now leads the championship with a maximum of 50 from the first two rounds- the first time a British rider has won the opening two races in the interemediate class since Mike Hailwood completed the feat back in 1966.

Gardner made the number 22 work hard for his win, keeping him honest all the way to the final corner, where he gave everything on the Red Bull KTM Ajo, wobbling and running wide on his way to second.

His team-mate Raul Fernandez was dropped a little in the closing stages as the battle raged ahead - the rookie went on to claim a clear third for his first podium visit in just his second Moto2 race.

Marco Bezzecchi could not keep pace with the trio so was forced to settle for fourth for Sky Racing Team VR46 for the second race in a row, this time quite a distance off the pace.

The Italian was, in turn, over ten seconds clear of the intense battle for fifth. Stefano Manzi was at the head of the group for much of the race, including the start of the final lap, but a late rush saw Ai Ogura claim the spot - a new best for the rookie who was out of the points last weekend.

Lowes’ team-mate Augusto Fernandez also saw improvements after a shaky start to his year. Struggling to 14th last Sunday , this outing saw the Spaniard look more assured as he too moved past Manzi for sixth.

Celestino Vietti (Sky Racing Team VR46) was the third rookie to claim a top ten finish in seventh, with Manzi (Flexbox HP40) holding on to eighth in the race to the line.

Xavi Vierge recovered his poor qualifying to finish just behind the Italian, converting 19th on the grid to ninth on race day.

A podium finisher last round, Fabio Di Giannantonio could not repeat his success this weekend - he was tenth for Gresini.

Tony Arbolino was next to see the chequered flag in a solid eleventh in his second intermediate appearance for Liqui Moly Intact GP, while Bo Bendsneyder was 12th for SAG Team.

Jorge Navarro was the first man not riding a Kalex to see the finish, bringing home his Boscoscuro Speed Up in 13th.

Lorenzo Dalla Porta (Italtrans) was 14th. Reigning Moto3 champion Albert Arenas (Inde Aspar) collected the final point on offer in 15th.

Joe Roberts was the first rider to exit, slipping out after touching the kerb with seven laps run. Fellow countryman Cameron Beaubier only lasted two laps longer, with Simone Corsi’s replacement at MV Agusta retiring with a bike issue on the same lap.

Tom Luthi exited in a sea of sparks with eight laps remaining - the same lap that saw contact with Marcel Schrotter send Jake Dixon into the dust. Aron Canet was the final faller two laps later.