Moto2: Glory for Ogura as he takes maiden Grand Prix win at Jerez

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One day after taking his first Moto2 pole position, Idemitsu Honda Team Asia’s Ai Ogura became a Grand Prix winner in some style with a brilliant ride at the Spanish GP.

The Japanese rider led all 23 laps around the Jerez Circuit to finally, despite having a multitude of podiums and having fought for the Moto3 crown, take to the top step.

His wasn't the only performance deserving of high praise. Aron Canet (Flexbox HP 40) had broken his left radius and a finger on his right hand just a week ago in Portugal, but clenched his teeth to finish second, ahead of Tony Arbolino (Elf Marc VDS Racing Team).

Ogura got the holeshot from pole, while Canet climbed from fourth on the grid to second place when he went around the outside at the first corner. Fermin Aldeguer (Lightech Speed Up) emerged third, ahead of Arbolino, Somkiat Chantra (Idemitsu Honda Team Asia), and Championship leader Celestino Vietti (Mooney VR46 Racing Team). Sam Lowes (Elf Marc VDS Racing Team) dropped back a handful of positions after he made contact with Chantra as field poured into the first corner.

Arbolino got past Aldeguer when they arrived at Pedrosa Corner for the first time, and the Spanish teenager soon found himself on something of a slippery dip down the order while Lowes began his fightback from deep in the top 10.

Arbolino gained another place when he wrested second position from Canet as they ran through the stadium section on Lap 3, and when Lowes caught up to Chantra, who was still sitting just behind them, it became a five-way fight for the lead.

Even just by starting the race, Canet had showed his incredible determination, and he was not about to roll over in his bid for victory. Just after two unsuccessful attempts to reclaim second from Arbolino, he made a third stick at Turn 9 on Lap 6. Right behind them, Lowes pulled off the same move on Chantra to elevate himself to fourth position.

It wasn't long, however, until a lead group of five became a lead group of three. Lowes was first to drop out of contention, sliding out on Lap 7 as he ran through Turn 8. One lap later, at the next corner on the race track, Chantra was out when he too folded the front end.

Augusto Fernandez (Red Bull KTM Ajo) then inherited fourth, having not long overtaken Vietti, and Aldeguer was back up to sixth. Then, on Lap 9, Jake Dixon (Autosolar GASGAS Aspar Team) tried to pass Aldeguer at the Lorenzo Corner (Turn 13), but became the next out of contention as he slid out and collected the number 54.

Less than one second still covered the top three of Ogura, Canet and Arbolino at the end of Lap 13, which marked 10 to go, but on Lap 17 Canet had a big moment at Pedrosa Corner, allowing Ogura to skip several tenths of a second clear.

With that, was the Japanese rider seriously started to pull away from the two rivals who had stuck with him for most of the race so far. Ogura’s margin was over a full second on Lap 18, and 2.7 seconds by the time he started the final lap.

When he took the chequered flag, the 21-year-old not only had his first victory in any Grand Prix class, but he also became the fifth brand-new Moto2 winner of 2022. Canet finished 2.5s behind but held on through the pain barrier, and Arbolino was just over a second further back as he completed the podium with more consistent pace.

Fernandez finished fourth, and Marcel Schrötter took fifth after an entertaining battle with Vietti, which was settled when the German squeezed through a small gap at the Pedrosa Corner on Lap 18.

Seventh went to Bo Bendsneyder (Pertamina Mandalika SAG Team), ahead of Portugal winner Joe Roberts (Italtrans Racing Team), Albert Arenas (Autosolar GASGAS Aspar Team), and Jorge Navarro (Flexbox HP 40).

Alessandro Zaccone (Gresini Racing Moto2) finished 11th for his best Moto2 result yet by some margin, ahead of Jeremy Alcoba (Liqui Moly Intact GP) and Stefano Manzi (Yamaha VR46 Master Camp Team), the latter the injury replacement for Keminth Kubo. The other two riders to score points were Barry Baltus (RW Racing GP) in 14th and Lorenzo Dalla Porta (Italtrans Racing team) in 15th.

Pedro Acosta (Red Bull KTM Ajo) finished 20th after an early crash while running in the top 10, and Aldeguer eventually retired after his incident with Dixon.

Another weekend and another new winner in Moto2... it doesn't get much more intriguing than that. Meanwhile in the World Championship, Vietti is now on exactly 100 points, but his lead over Ogura has been cut to 19.

Moto2 Podium:

Ai Ogura (Idemitsu Honda Team Asia) - Kalex - 39'16.357
Aron Canet (Flexbox HP 40) - Kalex - +2.509
Tony Arbolino (Elf Marc VDS Racing Team) - Kalex - +3.669