Sam Lowes dominated under the lights to win the Qatar Moto2 Grand Prix, the Brit taking the chequered flag 2.2 seconds clear of KTM Ajo’s Remy Gardner.
The Marc VDS racer made his life more difficult after making a rather average getaway from pole position, dropping to third as Marco Bezzecchi went the opposite way to slingshot into an early lead from fourth on the grid.
The Italian soon began to struggle out in front though as he began to come under sustained pressure from his peers behind, Bo Bensneyder making use of his front row start to challenge the VR46 man in the early corners.
Lowes was not hanging around though as he fired down the inside of Bensneyder’s SAG machine at Turn 6 on the opening tour, quickly turning his attentions to Bezzecchi out in front.
He quickly arrived on the rear tyre of the leader, ultimately passing Bezzecchi with a healthy dose of slipstream into Turn 1 at the start of the third tour before quickly enacting his escape.
Following him through the pack was Ajo rookie Raul Fernandez, the double Moto3 race winner impressing once again in the race having qualified second as he moved ahead of both Bensneyder and Bezzecchi to become Lowes’ closest challenger in the early stages.
Lowes’ lead dropped as low as two-tenths at one point before edging away once again, Fernandez eventually fading as Ajo team-mate Gardner relieved him of second and chased after the leader.
The gap between the two yo-yo’d across the final ten tours of the 20 lap encounter, though Lowes ultimately extended his lead to 2.2 seconds by the time he took the chequered flag ahead of the Aussie.
The battle for third went down to the final few corners between Bezzecchi and a charging Fabio Di Gianantonio, the Gresini ace managing to find a way through after slicing down the inside at Turn 12 and successfully holding his position to the flag ahead of Bezzecchi.
Fernandez completed a solid debut intermediate class outing to complete the top five ahead of Italtrans pilot Joe Roberts.
Jake Dixon came home seventh having fought around the rostrum positions in the early going, though eventually dropped back in the closing stages.
Marcel Schrotter managed a quiet eighth ahead of a fading Bensneyder, with Jorge Navarro bringing the recently re-branded Boscoscuro Speed Up machine across the line to complete the top ten.
Reigning MotoAmerica champion Cameron Beaubier enjoyed a productive Moto2 debut with the American Racing squad to bag 11th ahead of fellow newcomer Celestino Vietti, the points positions completed by the struggling Tom Luthi on the second SAG entry.