With a sombre mood in the paddock following the announcement of the sad passing of Moto3 rider Jason Dupasquier, it was Moto2 who were first up to carry on in his memory.

Pole-sitter Raul Fernandez lead from the moment the lights went green and look secure out front for Red Bull KTM Ajo.

Initially it was Sam Lowes who put in a chase to pull the rookie back in. The gap stood at two seconds when the Brit overtook Remy Gardner, with the deficit soon down to under a second.

When the Elf Marc VDS rider suffered an early exit it was rookie Fernandez’s team-mate Remy Gardner who rallied to give chase, rehearsing his moves and sat in behind ready to pounce.

Tyre issues caused Fernandez to take more care and the Australian made his move in the run up to the crest, holding his line and crossing the finish first for his maiden win in 2021.

 

 

The victory means Gardner retains his championship lead, now with a total of 114 points, six ahead of Fernandez.

The battle for third was equally fierce, with a photo finish seeing Joe Roberts look set for his first podium after edging past Marco Bezzecchi at the chequered flag. The Italian had needed to make up ground after a poor start as the lights turned green.

It was not to be for the American - his Italtrans was judged to have exceeded track limits on the final lap - and he was handed a one place demotion.

That elevated the Sky Racing Team VR 46 rider to third at his home grand prix, which was celebrated with a special Italian flag themed livery.

Bezzecchi was still sending well wishes for Jason Dupasquier post-race, indicating that not all riders were told the sad news before heading to the grid, though all seemed to have been made aware by the subdued podium presentations.

Behind the top Italian Marcel Shrotter was a distant fifth for Liqui Moly Intact GP, In turn clear of the battle for sixth, which was lead over the line by rookie Ai Ogura for Idemitsu Honda Team Asia.

The Japanese rider was closely followed by fellow class newcomer Tony Arbolino on the second Liqui Moly entry in seventh.

Next to the finish line was the duel between Hafizh Syahrin (NTS RW Racing) and Cameron Beaubier (American Racing). With the pair swapping positions in the slipstream to the line it was the American who came out on top for his best finish to date in his rookie season.

Stefano Manzi did enough to claim a top ten finish for Flexbox HP 40.

Aron Canet was eleventh for Aspar, just ahead of the youngest rider in the paddock - fellow Boscoscuro rider Fermin Aldeguer, who replaced the injured Yari Montella at MB Conveyors Speed Up. He finished his world championship debut in twelfth.

The remaining points on offer went to Hector Garzo (Flexbox HP 40) in 13th, top Briton Jake Dixon (Petronas Sprinta Racing) in 14th and Bo Bendsneyder (Pertamina Mandalika SAG Team) in 15th.

There was almost a crash a lap in the early stages with Lorenzo Dalla Porta and Somkiat Chantra the first to exit.

They were swiftly followed by Augusto Fernandez, Lorenzo Baldassarri, Jorge Navarro and Xavi Vierge by lap six.

Albert Arenas exited with ten laps remaining, as did Fabio Di Gianantonio, who was riding high in fourth as the then top Italian in the race while attempting to keep Gardner in his sights.

Sam Lowes suffered a similar fate with six laps remaining as he attempted to reel in Raul Fernandez.

Simone Corsi pulled into the pits after ten laps, while Marcos Ramirez was the final faller.

Nicolo Bulega was declared unfit to race following his warm-up crash.

Tom Luthi withdrew from the race to be at the hospital with fellow Swiss rider Jason Dupasquier, who he was both friend and mentor to.