Raul Fernandez took control of COTA right from the beginning of the race and eased to victory as his championship leading team-mate slipped out of contention in the Moto2 Americas Grand Prix, round fifteen of the championship.
After home rider Cameron Beaubier led for the briefest of moments after a great start Raul Fernandez immediately replied and stayed out front to lead over the line by a commanding 1.734s, after having a gap of over two seconds for much of the race.
Austin brought the rodeo to Moto2 with several riders having out-of-seat moments, but the Red Bull KTM Ajo rider remained untroubled out front – his win meaning he topped every session over the course of the race weekend.
The number 25 also matches Marc Marquez’s record of seven wins in his intermediate rookie season, with three rounds remaining.
Victory slashes the championship gap to just nine points after a rare error saw his team-mate Remy Gardner, who had been pulled into a battle with both Fabio Di Giannantonio and Beaubier at the time, sliding out after a front fold for just his second crash of the season and first in a race.
Fernandez dedicated his win to Dean Berta Vinales, who recently passed away – both shared the same race number.
A back to form ‘Diggia’ eased out his own gap for a comfortable second for Federal Oil Gresini, with Marco Bezzecchi fighting back to take his seventh podium of the season with Sky Racing Team VR46.
After he couldn’t quite match the pace of the frontrunners Beaubier instead slipped into an enjoyable tussle for position with Augusto Fernandez, with the Elf Marc VDS rider taking the fourth spot.
Fifth still marks the American Racing riders best result since joining the class, using his track knowledge to his advantage.
Rookies Tony Arbolino (Liqui Moly IntactGP) and Ai Ogura (Idemitsu Honda Team Asia) were next to see the chequered flag in sixth and seventh respectively.
Xavi Vierge worked hard to climb back to eighth after a poor start to the race for Petronas Sprinta Racing. Marcos Ramirez took ninth on the second American Racing entry at the team’s home circuit.
Jake Dixon had been racing with Celestino Vietti for tenth around the bumpy, worn track before the Italian crashed out at turn two. That left the Petronas rider on course for a lonely top ten finish- his best result since he took seventh back in Qatar.
Dixon was also the best of the Brits after Sam Lowes had tried to manage an issue on his bike from lap one, eventually pulling int the pits in defeat.
Aron Canet worked his way into the points as the race went on, moving into eleventh by the time he reached the chequered flag for Inde Aspar.
He was the best of the Boscoscuro riders, just ahead of MV Conveyors Speed Up’s Jorge Navarro as the chassis seemed to struggle with the bumps on track more than the Kalex.
Class veteran Simone Corsi brought home the MV Agusta in 13th for Forward Racing.
Somkiat Chantra (Idemitsu Honda Team Asia) and Bo Bendsneyder (Pertamina Mandalika SAG Team) collected the last of the points on offer in 14th and 15th respectively.
Tetsut Nagashima returned as a replacement for the injured Lorenzo Dalla Porta at Italtrans, he just missed out in 16th. His team-mate American rider Joe Roberts was a disappointing 18th at home.
Lowes wasn’t the only rider to retire with Marcel Shrotter – a podium finisher the last time Moto2 was held in Austin – also pulling into the pits.
Winner of that race in 2019, Tom Luthi, was one of several fallers over the course of the race. Along with those already mentoned Hector Garzo and Albert Arenas also failed to go the distance, with the latter clutching his collarbone as he walked away.