Arbolino holds off Lopez and Dixon in a damp 14-lap dash for glory
The Italian is inch perfect to take his first win of the year and the Championship lead – with Lopez and Dixon completing the rostrum.
Tony Arbolino (Elf Marc VDS Racing Team) was our last wet weather winner in the intermediate class, and the Italian did it again at Termas de Rio Hondo to take his first victory of the season. After a podium to begin the year in Portimao, the number 14 now leads the Championship to boot! Polesitter Alonso Lopez (Beta Tools Speed Up) was forced to settle for second after getting passed late on, with Jake Dixon (GASGAS Aspar Team) completing the podium and making his first visit to parc ferme this season.
There was immediate drama for Aron Canet (Pons Wegow Los40) as he jumped the start, gaining a double Long Lap for the trouble. Lopez’ start was the opposite and a little late, so it was Dixon into the lead early on. Soon enough, however, a breakaway group of Dixon, Lopez and Arbolino started to disappear into the distance.
After leading the way for much of the shortened 14-lap dash – due to weather conditions after Moto2™ had no wet practice time – Lopez lost the lead in the final few laps with a small mistake, and then just couldn’t get back on terms with Arbolino. It remained close but not close enough, with the Italian taking victory by 0.663. Dixon, after that early lead, faded slightly but took home his first trophy of the season for third.
Canet stormed to an impressive recovery of fourth place, but he was somewhat upstaged by his teammate in those stakes. Via a Long Lap given after he caused contact with another rider in Q2, rookie Sergio Garcia still stormed from P28 on the grid all the way into the top five after a seriously impressive Sunday.
The rider in sixth also impressed: Darryn Binder (Liqui Moly Husqvarna Intact GP). The South African showed some chops as he settles into the intermediate class, with Filip Salač (QJMotor Gresini Moto2™) next up. Somkiat Chantra (Idemitsu Honda Team Asia) was classified eighth after being demoted a position for last lap track limits, with Albert Arenas (Red Bull KTM Ajo) and Sam Lowes (Elf Marc VDS Racing Team) completing the top ten.
So where was Pedro Acosta (Red Bull KTM Ajo)? It was a tougher Sunday for the star of the season opener, coming home in P12 and losing that points lead.
That’s all Termas de Rio Hondo wrote, now it’s time for the Circuit of the Americas. Where Arbolino took his first Moto2™ win, Dixon his first Moto2™ podium, and where Lopez has never raced in the class… but he hadn’t here either! Can Acosta bounce back? See you there!
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