Fermin Aldeguer won the Moto2 World Championship race Sunday at Lusail International Circuit, in Doha, Qatar. Riding his Beta Tools SpeedUp machine, the Spaniard won the 18-lap race by 2.643 seconds. It was Aldeguer’s third straight race win and fourth in 2023.
Manuel Gonzalez, riding his Correos Prepago Yamaha VR46 Team Kalex, finished second by 0.009 second ahead of third-place Aron Canet on his Pons Wegow Los40 Kalex.
Pole-sitter Joe Roberts scored 11th on his Italtrans Racing Kalex, and Roberts’ fellow American Sean Dylan Kelly (SDK) crashed his Forward Team racebike and Did Not Finish (DNF).
More, from a press release issued by Dorna:
Hat-trick hero: Aldeguer shines brightest again in Qatar
Thailand, Malaysia, and now Qatar. It’s three wins in the last three races for Fermin Aldeguer (Beta Tools SpeedUp) as the Spaniard lights up the Lusail International Circuit to bag another 25-point haul in 2023, as Manuel Gonzalez (Correos Prepago Yamaha VR46 Team) and Aron Canet (Pons Wegow Los40) finish just 0.009s apart in the battle for the podium – the former clinching a debut rostrum with P2.
Joe Roberts (Italtrans Racing Team) got a good launch from pole position to grab the holeshot ahead of Celestino Vietti (Fantic Racing) and Aldeguer, with Jake Dixon (Inde GASGAS Aspar Team) grabbing P4 from P6 on the grid. Canet went backwards at the start but a great recovery ride on Lap 1 saw the Spaniard climb back up to P2 by the time the field crossed the line for the first time.
At the start of Lap 2, Aldeguer was well wide going into Turn 1 – a mistake that saw the #54 drop to P9. Canet then pounced on Roberts for the lead on Lap 2, with Dixon passing Vietti for P3 on the same lap. The Italian then dropped behind Tony Arbolino (Elf Marc VDS Racing Team) with 15 laps to go, as Aldeguer began to pick his way back through the pack.
With 12 laps left, the top nine were split by 1.9s. Vietti had slipped to P10, just ahead of World Champion Pedro Acosta (Red Bull KTM Ajo) who were only two seconds adrift of P1 themselves. On Lap 7 of 18, Dixon made a move stick for P2 on Roberts and soon after, Aldeguer followed the #96 through – and then got the better of him.
Aldeguer then led with 10 to go and on Lap 8, the Spaniard slammed home a 1:57.725 – over half a second quicker than anyone else could muster up. A couple of laps later, Aldeguer was 1.1s up the road from Canet and Gonzalez, with Dixon dropping to just over a second away from the podium fight in P4.
A run of three 1:57.6s saw Aldeguer’s lead climb to two seconds despite the best efforts of Gonzalez, who had got the better of Canet for P2. A comfortable final couple of laps came for Aldeguer as Gonzalez and Canet went head-to-head for P2. It was Dixon vs Ogura for P4 as we enjoyed two great battles unfold, but for a third straight race it was all about Aldeguer – another stunning ride from the SpeedUp star as he hunts down P3 in the Championship heading to Valencia.
Canet was pipped to P2 by Gonzalez who celebrates a first podium in Moto2™, while Ogura’s last corner move on Dixon saw the Japanese rider claim P4 from P12 on the grid. Vietti claimed P6, 1.2s off Dixon, with Somkiat Chantra (Idemitsu Honda Team Asia) and Acosta completing the top eight. Alonso Lopez (Beta Tools SpeedUp) and Arbolino rounded out the top 10.
Roberts slipped to P11 by the chequered flag as Sam Lowes (Elf Marc VDS Racing Team) – who set the fastest lap of the race on the final lap – was left to rue a poor start to finish P12. Marcos Ramirez (OnlyFans American Racing), Darryn Binder (Liqui Moly Husqvarna Intact GP), and Jeremy Alcoba (QJMOTOR Gresini Moto2™) were the final points scorers in Qatar.
Three in a row for Aldeguer. Can anyone stop the Spaniard’s late-season charge in Valencia? We’re all set for a special season finale at the Circuit Ricardo Tormo.