It was time to race in Texas as the intermediate class headed into the Moto2™ Red Bull Grand Prix of the Americas. It was exactly what motorsport fans could’ve asked as a two-way scrap for the victory saw Pedro Acosta (Red Bull KTM Ajo) outsmart Tony Arbolino (Elf MarcVDS Racing Team) on the final lap of the Grand Prix, setting up the perfect championship rivalry in Moto2™. The battle for 3rd also raged on all race long, as Bo Bendsneyder (Pertamina Mandalika SAG Team) carved his way through the group on the final lap and took his debut podium. It was drama before the lights had even turned on in Texas as Jake Dixon (GASGAS Aspar Team) crashed on the warm-up lap, halting his chances before the race had even started. The lights went out and it was a perfect start from Pedro Acosta who took a tight line at turn 1 to defend the lead before Alonso Lopez (BETA Tools SpeedUp) muscled his way through. Meanwhile, Arbolino made an incredible round-the-outside move through the slalom section to put himself into 3rd place. Bendsneyder got away quite well, but lost several spots in the opening laps; he was in 14th going in to lap 2. Acosta was determined as ever as the Spaniard retook the lead on the way down to turn 12 before a Lopez lunge at the penultimate corner attempted to take the lead but saw the Spaniard run wide and drop down to third with Arbolino taking full advantage to slot himself in P2. With 14 laps to go Acosta attempted to stretch the field as he put the hammer down with Lopez latched onto his coattails. Acosta then hit a false neutral at the tricky turn 12, allowing Lopez to take the lead with the Red Bull KTM Ajo man dropping down to P5. Acosta wasted no time in getting past Aron Canet (Pons Wegow Los40) as the Spaniard put himself into 4th with his sights set on Arbolino and Lopez in front. Arbolino dived up the inside of Lopez before the back-straight as the Italian moved into the lead. Acosta could smell blood as the Spaniard also found his way through on Lopez, with the front three beginning to break away from Canet fourth. Three became two with ten laps remaining as Lopez made a mistake and dropped down to 6th place. Arbolino was still leading out at the front with Acosta all over the Italian’s rear wheel. Acosta settled into the race and was happy to follow the Italian as the laps ticked away at the Circuit of the Americas. Having had a good look at the Italian’s strengths and weaknesses around the Texan track, Acosta found his way through as Arbolino ran wide at turn 1 with three laps remaining. Further on around the lap and the pressure got the Spaniard as he was unable to maintain hold of the race lead, running wide to allow Arbolino back through once again. The Italian led across the line on the penultimate lap and it was gearing up for the perfect last lap scrap for victory honours. The last lap soon came around and Acosta could not get any closer to the rear wheel of Arbolino’s Elf Marc VDS Kalex machine. Arbolino was running a defensive line but Acosta found his way through on the brakes at turn 12. The Italian had one more shot at victory coming into the final two corners. Acosta ran incredibly defensively through them, allowing no way through for the Italian. Arbolino then took a wide swooping line into the final corner setting himself up for the drag to the line, but Acosta held strong and took the victory by 0.146s.
With the leading duo checking out at the front, the battle for 3rd was hotting up nicely as Canet was coming under pressure from Fermin Aldeguer (BETA Tools SpeedUp), and the two QJMOTOR Gresini Moto2™ men of Jeremy Alcoba and Filip Salac. Bendsneyder was in 7th at that point after a strong remount. Aldeguer got the better of Canet with five laps to go and began to put the hammer down on his Boscoscura machine. Canet began to drop like a stone and it wasn’t long before Alcoba pushed his Spanish compatriot down to 5th pace as the Gresini man was determined not to let Aldedguer run away with third place. On the penultimate lap, Canet found an extra gear and got back in touch for the battle for 3rd as he slotted himself in fourth spot in between Aldeguer and Alcoba. The attention turned to the battle out front as the carnage unfolded behind, meanwhile, Bendseyder had come from nowhere to snatch the final spot on the podium after catching to the battle and carving his way through. Alcoba finished the race in 4th with his teammate Salac rounding out the top 5 as the SpeedUp riders of Aldeguer and Lopez finished in 6th and 7th respectively.
source: motogp.com, stopandgo.es