Argentina Moto2: Baldassarri scores back-to-back wins

Lorenzo Baldassarri continued his perfect start to the 2019 Moto2 season with victory at Termas de Rio Hondo, passing Remy Gardner for the lead in the latter stages.

Argentina Moto2: Baldassarri scores back-to-back wins

SAG rider Gardner, son of 1987 500cc champion Wayne, led for much of the race after passing Marcel Schrotter (Intact GP) to grab the early advantage on lap two of 23.

After resisting a challenge from Schrotter on lap six, Gardner also saw off Alex Marquez on lap 11, repassing the Marc VDS rider at Turn 7 after relinquishing the lead at Turn 5.

Schrotter then passed Gardner on lap 12 to enjoy a spell out front, but was demoted again by the Australian rider at Turn 5 four laps later.

Shortly after, Baldassarri, having picked off Marquez, moved clear of Schrotter for second, and then caught up to the back wheel of Gardner.

On lap 20, the decisive move of the race came at Turn 5, as Baldassarri gently nudged Gardner out of the way at Turn 5 to grab a lead he wouldn't lose.

The Pons rider crossed the line 1.244 seconds clear to register his fourth grand prix win.

Gardner ran wide and dropped to third behind Schrotter, but managed to grab the position back before the German slipped down the order, scoring his first-ever podium.

Marquez completed the top three ahead of Iker Lecuona (American Racing), who beat Brad Binder (Ajo) to top KTM honours.

Schrotter ended up sixth after his late slump, ahead of Luca Marini (Sky Racing VR46), who lost out on the last lap running wide at Turn 7 while scrapping with Binder.

Jorge Navarro (Speed Up) and a pair of rookies, Enea Bastianini (Italtrans) and Somkiat Chantra (Team Asia), completed the top 10.

Qatar runner-up Tom Luthi (Intact) was an early retirement as he crashed after tagging Binder's rear wheel during the early exchanges.

Sam Lowes (Gresini) crashed unaided on the same lap, while reigning Moto3 champion Jorge Martin (Ajo) and both MV Agusta riders, Stefano Manzi and Dominique Aegerter, also fell.

Poleman Xavi Vierge (Marc VDS) didn't even make the start of the race as his bike shut down on the warm-up lap.

Baldassarri now holds a 17-point lead over Gardner, while Schrotter lies third, 23 points down.

UPDATE: Binder was given a one-position penalty for "riding in an irresponsible manner", the South African making contact with Schrotter at Turn 3.

He dropped down to sixth as a result, with Schrotter gaining a position.

Race results:

Pos. # Rider Bike Time/Gap
1 7 Italy Lorenzo Baldassarri  Kalex 23 laps
2 87 Australia Remy Gardner  Kalex 1.244
3 73 Spain Alex Marquez  Kalex 1.817
4 27 Spain Iker Lecuona  KTM 2.704
5 23 Germany Marcel Schrotter  Kalex 4.839
6 41 South Africa Brad Binder  KTM 4.707
7 10 Italy Luca Marini  Kalex 4.986
8 9 Spain Jorge Navarro  Speed Up 7.459
9 33 Italy Enea Bastianini  Kalex 8.724
10 35 Thailand Somkiat Chantra  Kalex 14.506
11 5 Italy Andrea Locatelli  Kalex 16.145
12 45 Japan Tetsuta Nagashima  Kalex 16.450
13 89 Malaysia Khairul Idham Pawi  Kalex 16.613
14 64 Netherlands Bo Bendsneyder  NTS 23.007
15 2 Switzerland Jesko Raffin  NTS 24.736
16 72 Italy Marco Bezzecchi  KTM 25.381
17 96 United Kingdom Jake Dixon  KTM 41.684
18 3 Germany Lukas Tulovic  KTM 45.545
19 65 Germany Philipp Ottl  KTM 45.811
20 77 Switzerland Dominique Aegerter  MV 56.934
21 18 Andorra Xavi Cardelus  KTM 1'07.765
22 16 United States Joe Roberts  KTM 1'18.707
23 20 Indonesia Dimas Ekky Pratama  Kalex 4 laps
Ret 24 Italy Simone Corsi  Kalex 2 laps
Ret 88 Spain Jorge Martin  KTM 5 laps
Ret 11 Italy Nicolo Bulega  Kalex 5 laps
Ret 21 Italy Fabio Di Giannantonio  Speed Up 11 laps
Ret 22 United Kingdom Sam Lowes  Kalex 18 laps
Ret 12 Switzerland Thomas Luthi  Kalex 18 laps
Ret 62 Italy Stefano Manzi  MV 22 laps
DNS 97 Spain Xavi Vierge  Kalex 23 laps
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