MotoGP ploughed onwards with the 2021 schedule and the Gran Premio Octo di San Marino e della Riviera di Rimini – round fourteen of the season – saw Moto2 owned by Red Bull KTM Ajo for their tenth success in the category this year. Niccolo Antonelli was runner-up in Moto3™ at Misano.
– Antonelli takes his second Moto3 podium of 2021 with 2nd place
– Acosta, 7th, maintains 42 point lead in the Moto3 championship
– Fernandez takes sixth Moto2 win and second-in-a-row as Gardner takes 2nd
– Fernandez earns Moto2 Rookie of the Year accolade
Niccolo Antonelli chased Dennis Foggia hard for victory in a cloud-covered 23-lap Moto3 race and was denied by half a second at the finish line. The Italian was able to celebrate his second podium appearance with the KTM RC4 from the last three Grands Prix thanks to his runner-up position.
Red Bull KTM Ajo’s Pedro Acosta battled hard in the second group to make sure of 7th place which allows the rookie teenager to preserve a healthy margin in the championship standings over both Foggia and Sergio Garcia. The Spaniard leads by 42 points with just 100 left to win this season. Jaume Masia was 5th and the first KTM GP Academy rider home.
Red Bull KTM Tech3’s Deniz Öncü was chasing a strong grid position in Saturday morning’s FP3 session but a heavy crash into the last corner meant the Turk had to start from the back of the grid and required a fitness test to compete. He rode to 21st place. Teammate Ayumu Sasaki classified 10th.
Raul Fernandez took his Red Bull KTM Ajo motorcycle to a fifth Pole Position of his rookie season on Saturday. The Spaniard is still recovering from a broken right hand but was in the heart of the battle for 25 laps on Sunday. The rookie eventually succeeded by less than half a second from World Championship leader and teammate Remy Gardner. While Fernandez toasted his sixth win (and second in a row) and his ninth podium result Gardner survived a massive moment on the last lap gain his eleventh trophy of the term. Misano was the eighth occasion the teammates have appeared on the rostrum together and just 34 points split the teammates.
Raul Fernandez: “Another really difficult race. I didn’t sleep well Saturday night so I’m really happy with this. The track was different to yesterday and I didn’t have much grip. I want to thank the team for an incredible bike and also the Clinica Mobile because the hand was still not good. I don’t know how I could ride or brake but we did it today.”
Remy Gardner: “I definitely had my heart in my mouth on the last lap! I had to come back from a long way. I was pushing hard and I honestly felt that I wouldn’t win it today but on the last lap a bit of hope came back and I pushed so hard to close the gap. I was lucky to save the bike through the fast kink. There have been worst days! I’m pretty happy and onto the next one.”
The Red Bull Grand Prix of the Americas will take MotoGP outside of Europe for only the second time this year. The sweeping COTA circuit in Texas is the stage for round fifteen in two weeks.
Results Moto3 Gran Premio Octo di San Marino e della Riviera di Rimini 2021
1. Dennis Foggia (ITA) Honda 39:17.002
2. Niccolo Antonelli (ITA) KTM +0.565
3. Andrea Migno (ITA) Honda +0.817
5. Jaume Masia (ESP) Red Bull KTM Ajo +3.098
7. Pedro Acosta (ESP) Red Bull KTM Ajo +9.991
10. Ayumu Sasaki (JPN) Red Bull KTM Tech3 +10.344
21. Deniz Öncü (TUR) Red Bull KTM Tech3 +26.962
Results Moto2 Gran Premio Octo di San Marino e della Riviera di Rimini 2021
1. Raul Fernandez (ESP) Red Bull KTM Ajo 39:49.990
2. Remy Gardner (AUS) Red Bull KTM Ajo +5.408
3. Aron Canet (ESP) +6.824