It was a great day for Americans in the Grand Prix of Portugal with both Italtrans Racing’s Joe Roberts and American Racing’s Cameron Beaubier finishing in the top 10 at the Algarve International Circuit with Roberts fighting for victory to the bitter end. Beaubier, in just his third Moto2 Grand Prix, finished ninth after heated-race long battles.
Roberts led several laps of the race and was literally knocked off the podium on the final lap by Red Bull KTM Ajo’s Remy Gardner, the two making contact and Roberts coming out the worst for it. Still, the Californian managed to finish fourth, .479 of a second behind Gardner.
The race was won by class rookie Raul Fernandez, Gardner’s KTM teammate. The Spaniard fought through at the end of the race to best Solunion Aspar’s Aaron Canet.
Beaubier started well and was at the back of the lead group when two riders crashed in front of him, and the five-time MotoAmerica Superbike Champion was fortunate not to hit them. It dropped him a few spots, however, and caused that group to lose contact with the front group. From there, Beaubier was in a heated battle with Brit Jake Dixon, Flexbox HP40’s Hector Garzo and Liqui Moly Intact GP’s Marcel Schrotter with Dixon crashing out of the fight. Garzo got the better of Beaubier at the end, besting the Californian by 2.4 seconds. Beaubier, in turn, was just .251 of a second ahead of Schrotter at the flag.
After three rounds, Roberts is tied for seventh in the championship point standings with Beaubier 12th.