The inaugural Indonesian Grand Prix at Mandalika saw GASGAS score points and a podium with Guevara and Garcia in Moto3, while Moto2 treated fans to high drama with a shortened race, with Albert Arenas finishing 10th and Jake Dixon retiring on lap five.
Following in the wheel tracks of a breathless season opener in Qatar, the heat and intensity of the 2022 season continued full-gas with a visit to the new Mandalika Circuit. Set alongside the tropical coastline in Central Indonesia; it is the first time that the venue has hosted the MotoGP™ paddock.
Come race day searing yet ultra-humid temperatures, combined with tough physical racing, characterized the action across all classes. The 17-turn, 4.3 km (2.6 mi) layout boasts a deceptively technical smooth but grimy ribbon of asphalt alongside the crystal clear waters of Lombok; setting the scene for some high-paced action on a new-school track. In Moto3 the battle for the podium with Izan Guevara and Sergio Garcia raged from lights to flag.
Qualifying in 7th (Garcia) and 8th (Guevara) respectively, the Gaviota GASGAS Aspar Team duo featured at the head of a wild 23-lap race. Taking advantage of the first real dry running of the weekend - with Moto3 having weathered on-off showers for all of its scheduled sessions through Friday and Saturday. Izan Guevara put it all on the line and proved once again that he has a bright future ahead of him on the world Grand Prix stage.
Guevara made a lightning start, jumping from 8th to 4th to 1st in the first two laps alone. Closely followed by teammate Garcia, the GASGAS powered duo were relentless, taking on all rivals over the full race distance. By the final flag Guevara secured second place - and his second ever podium in the class - in the wake of a runaway Dennis Foggia. Sergio Garcia narrowly missed out on final podium place, after taking hits from Andrea Migno and Carlos Tatay in the closing laps - finishing fourth by just one tenth of a second. The Gaviota GASGAS Aspar Team now lead the Team championship standings by 61 points.
In Moto2 Jake Dixon led the Inde GASGAS Aspar Team effort by posting a blistering pole position securing lap during a sensational qualifying session on Saturday. Teammate Albert Arenas lined up on the second row in 6th place. A late curveball before the start saw the race shortened from 25 to 16 laps; meaning nothing short of maximum attack from lap one was the required strategy.
As the dark clouds rolled in however - bringing spots of rain - Dixon slipped down to 3rd place off the start fighting with rival Sam Lowes. Unfortunately on lap five, Dixon fell foul to the dwindling grip levels, dropping his machine in turn 10 and retiring from the race. Team mate Albert Arenas negotiated a solid outing, converting his 6th place grid slot into a top ten finish.
#11 - Sergio Garcia: “It was a positive day and a good race, where we pushed for the podium all the way. I felt strong on track but we were missing acceleration out of the corners, so I had to give everything I had to finish in fourth position. Anyway, these are important points for the championship and I’m happy.”
#28 - Izan Guevara: “I'm really happy for my first podium this year. Thanks to the team for all their work here at Mandalika in tough conditions. The pace was incredible as well as the battles in the group. In the last two laps I pushed and made it to P2.”
#75 - Albert Arenas: “Another race in the books, another near the top ten and more learning experience. The balance of the bike was good but I couldn’t get that comfortable on track and couldn’t push more. Tough conditions out there with the track and in certain corners but at least we had the race. Anyway we improved and can look ahead to Argentina to try and be better. We have potential.”
#96 - Jake Dixon: “I had a tricky start, and caught up to Sam [Lowes], and then passed him. Then I re-focused to try and chase down [Somkiat] Chantra. I felt I had the pace to do that. When I got to turn ten, I braked in the same place I did every lap - even on the data I did everything identical to the lap before, but for some reason I lost the front. I’m incredibly annoyed at myself - I want to say sorry first of all to the team, they gave me the bike to win the race today and I wasn't able to back that up!”
Results - 2022 Moto3 FIM World Championship, Round 2:
1. Dennis Foggia (Honda) 23 Laps; 2. Izan Guevara (GASGAS) +2.612, 3. Carlos Tatay (CFMOTO) +3.639, 4. Sergio García (GASGAS) +3.759,
Championship Standings - After Round 2:
Dennis Foggia (Honda) 34pts; 2. Sergio García (GASGAS) 33pts; 3. Izan Guevara (GASGAS) 28pts
Results - 2022 Moto2 FIM World Championship, Round 2:
1. Somkiat Chantra (Kalex) 16 Laps; 2. Celestino Vietti (Kalex) +3.230, 3. Aron Canet (Kalex) +4.366, 10. Albert Arenas (GASGAS/Kalex) +18.327, DNF. Jake Dixon (GASGAS / Kalex) 4 laps,
Championship Standings - After Round 2:
1. Celestino Vietti (Kalex) 45pts; 2. Aron Canet (Kalex) 36pts, 3. Sam Lowes (Kalex) 29pts, 13. Albert Arenas (GASGAS/Kalex) 9pts, 15. Jake Dixon (GASGAS / Kalex) 5pts,