In a race when contender after contender crashed out of high positions (seemingly all at the same time), the red flag ended the race on the 10th of the scheduled 23 laps, leaving ’Tiger Tony’ to take half points – but more importantly, the race win.
Once again, Aron Canet found himself in second place on the Pons Kalex ahead of polesitter Fermin Aldeguer, who had dominated Practice and Qualifying in much drier conditions.
The dramas started even before the race did when Pedro Acosta dropped his Red Bull Kalex on the sighting lap. The runaway points leader was forced to pit for hasty repairs, after which he started from the rear of the 30-bike grid.
When Alonso Lopez dropped his Boscoscuro on the opening lap Sergio Garcia seized the lead and built a small gap but after five laps, all hell broke loose. Garcia flew off the track at The Hayshed, followed almost immediately by Filip Salac, Sam Lowes and Jake Dixon, all of whom were in the top six.
That left Arbolino with a healthy lead on the Marc VDS Kalex, which he quickly expanded to 15s before Canet came through to second place. Then, on lap 9, officials flew the red flag and after a 20-minute delay, the declared the race would not be restarted and awarded half points.
“I just looked at the pit-board and I saw, Plus 10!” said Arbolino after the race. “It was crazy. With these conditions, it should be double points, not half!”
Canet revealed that he was focused solely on finishing the race, not the result.
“Was a super, super difficult race,” he said. “I thought, today, we can do nothing. We needed just to finish the race, when I saw the other riders crashing, I said, Canet, JUST FINISH THE RACE!”
Jeremy Alcoba (Gresini Kalex) took fourth place ahead of American Joe Roberts (Italtrans Kalex) and Izan Guevera (GasGas Aspar Kalex).
Acosta made great ground on every lap and was classified ninth when the red flag flew.
The half points mean that only Acosta (280.5 points) or Arbolino (224.5) can claim the 2023 Moto2™ title. Dixon remains in third place on 172 after failing to finish the race.