Italtrans Racing’s Joe Roberts put in a stellar performance in today’s Italian Moto2 Grand Prix at the Mugello Circuit, the Californian racing to a second-place finish behind first-time Grand Prix winner Pedro Acosta. In taking victory four days after his 18th birthday, Acosta became the youngest-ever winner in the Intermediate class, eclipsing countryman Marc Marquez.
It was a good day for Americans in Moto2 as American Racing’s Cameron Beaubier fought through from his 18th starting spot to finish seventh. His teammate and Moto2 rookie Sean Dylan Kelly, meanwhile, finished 23rd.
Red Bull KTM Ajo’s Acosta topped Roberts by 4.051 seconds, the Spaniard circulating alone after Flexbox HP40’s Aron Canet crashed out of the battle for the lead with nine laps to go.
IDEMITSU Honda Team Asia’s Ai Ogura finished third, then came a gap to Acosta’s teammate Tony Arbolino, Red Bull KTM Ajo’s Augusto Fernandez, Inde GASGAS Aspar’s Jake Dixon and Beaubier with just half a second separating fourth to seventh at the finish line.
With this third career podium, Roberts is now fourth in the World Championship point standings, 22 points behind co-leaders Celestino Vietti and Ogura with those two tied atop the championship with 108 points. Vietti looked to have a podium in the bag when his Mooney VR43 Racing Kalex suffered a mechanical problem with just three laps to go in the GP.
Beaubier moves up to 13th in the Moto2 World Championship after eight of 20 rounds.
“I think it’s a dream,” Roberts said from Parc Ferme. “That’s exactly what we were hoping for today. I was extra nervous today and I don’t know why. I just felt something was possible today. I really love this track and the bike was dialed all weekend even if the position on the lap times didn’t show it, we were there. I felt like today we could really battle for the front. I didn’t really have anything for Pedro (Acosta), he just took off. I’m so happy for the second place. It’s a great result and it feels like a little redemption for last year. I’m stoked and happy for the team. It’s their home GP so it’s a great day. I want to send all my support to the American fans at home and having the American flag back up there… it’s awesome.”