Jorge Lorenzo wins Aragon MotoGP
Movistar Yamaha’s Jorge Lorenzo rode brilliantly to secure his 60th career GP victory in front of 67,000 fans at the Gran Premio Movistar de Aragón. Repsol Honda’s Pedrosa was involved in an excellent fight with Rossi over the final few laps for the second step of the podium at MotorLand Aragon. Eventually Pedrosa would beat Rossi to the line by just a tenth of a second, while his teammate Marc Marquez crashed out of the race.
This means that Lorenzo has reduced Rossi’s advantage in the standings by 9 points to just 14 heading into the flyaway rounds, with just four races remaining. Movistar Yamaha’s first double podium since Brno saw them lift the team title for the first time since 2010.
There was drama at the start, as Marquez seemed to make a mistake allowing Lorenzo to lead into the first corner with Iannone in second, as the pole man dropped down to third. The Spaniard recovered to make a move on Iannone into second through the first few corners and set off after Lorenzo at the front.
Rossi, who knew he couldn’t let Lorenzo get away, started making his way through the field from sixth on the grid immediately, moving up to fifth at the end of the first lap at the expense of Pol Espargaro. The Italian was already two seconds behind Lorenzo in second.
Unbelievably, just as he was closing down Lorenzo at the front, Marquez lost the front at turn 12 and crashed out of the Aragon GP for the second year in a row. It was Marquez’s fifth DNF of the year – the most he has ever had in a World Championship season – which sees him now trail Rossi by 70 points in the standings with only 100 up for grabs.
Marquez’s crash moved Iannone up into second, but not for long as Marquez’s teammate Pedrosa passed the Ducati man on the 3rd lap. All the while Lorenzo was looking untouchable at the front as he opened up a 2.4s lead by the end of lap 3.
Rossi knew he had to get a move on and he passed Iannone to move into 3rd on the 4th lap, although at this point he was lapping 0.3s a lap slower than Lorenzo as his teammate opened up a 3 second lead at the front. Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s Espargaro was involved in the battle for fourth with Iannone when he ran wide on lap 6 and dropped down to 11th.
By lap 8 both Pedrosa and Rossi started to lap faster than Lorenzo and the gap had been reduced to 2.6s. Lorenzo got the “hurry up” signal from his pit board and responded, managing his pace beautifully over the next few laps.
Further back through the field Team Suzuki Ecstar’s Aleix Espargaro had caught Bradley Smith (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) in sixth and was starting to attack, while Cal Crutchlow and Danilo Petrucci also started to close in on the duo in front of them. That was before Petrucci trailed the brakes too much into turn 14 with 13 laps to go and lost the front, leading to Petrucci’s first DNF since the Malaysian Grand Prix last year. Smith, Espargaro and Crutchlow caught up with Ducati Team’s Andrea Dovizioso in fifth with 12 laps to go and an excellent battle ensued between the four riders. However Smith ran wide at turn 1 and dropped to the back of the group, undoing all of his hard work.
With 10 laps to go the gap at the front between Lorenzo and Pedrosa was up to 3.3s, with Rossi still hanging onto the back wheel of the Repsol Honda in third. Lorenzo was riding a simply brilliant race at the front, consistently running in the 1’48s and increasing his lead on every lap.
Rossi meanwhile, was starting to size up Pedrosa ahead of him in an effort to secure a vital extra 4 championship points by finishing in second. With 5 laps to go he made his first move in anger into turn 4 but Pedrosa immediately responded to re-take the Italian. Undeterred, Rossi tried it again into turn 1, but he couldn’t get it stopped and once more Pedrosa fought back as the two became embroiled in a spectacular duel over the final few laps.
On the penultimate lap, once again Rossi made a move under braking into turn 1, but once again he could not get his M1 stopped and couldn’t make it stick as Pedrosa showed incredible grit to fight back. It was shaping up for an epic final lap battle between the two and it didn’t disappoint, Rossi went past in turn 4, before Pedrosa stuffed it up the inside into turn 7. It seemed as though Pedrosa had second in the bag, before Rossi made an outrageous move through turn 15, but once more he couldn’t make it stick. The Italian sacrificing the drive onto the back straight in an effort to make the pass, meaning Pedrosa could power his way back past Rossi.
In an incredibly exciting finish Pedrosa managed to hold on through the final corner to take second by just nine-hundredths of a second from Rossi. All the while Lorenzo rode the perfect race at the front as he took his 39th premier class victory by over 2.6s.
It was Pedrosa’s 97th premier class podium, but only his third of the season and first since the German GP. Rossi claimed his 14th podium from just 15 races this season and the 209th in his illustrious GP career, although the damage done to his championship lead could prove to be costly in his bid for a tenth title.
Ducati Team’s Andrea Iannone ended up in an excellent fourth despite having to ride through the pain due to the shoulder he re-dislocated earlier in the week. He crossed the line 16 seconds ahead of his teammate Andrea Dovizioso who finished in fifth after holding off the charging pack behind him.
Aleix Espargaro came out victorious in the battle for sixth, crossing the line ahead of Cal Crutchlow and Bradley Smith in a frantic dash to the line. Pol Espargaro managed to fight his way back into ninth, while Yonny Hernandez on the Octo Pramac Racing Ducati completed the top ten.
EG 0,0 Marc VDS’s Scott Redding finished in twelfth, while Aprilia Racing Team Gresini’s Alvaro Bautista crossed the line in 13th in his 100th GP. Eugene Laverty (Aspar MotoGP Team) took his first Open victory in 14th as he beat his teammate Nicky Hayden to the line by less then a tenth of a second.
Forward Racing’s Loris Baz was in 17th having earlier announced he will make the switch to the Avintia Racing team for 2016.
LCR Honda rider Jack Miller finished in 19th position after a competitive performance affected by tyre wear issues as the race wore on. For the majority of the race the Australian was part of a large group in the middle of the field and looked well placed for another points finish. However, tyre disintegration ultimately cost Miller over the closing few laps and he was dropped as he looked to ensure he kept the bike upright. He admitted his disappointment at the eventual result, but insisted he had taken a lot of positives from round 14 of the MotoGP world championship in Spain.
Valentino Rossi (263pts) saw his advantage over Lorenzo (249pts) in the MotoGP championship standings reduced by nine to just 14 points with four races remaining. Marquez (184pts) remains in third, but now he is only 8 points ahead of fourth placed Iannone.
Jorge Lorenzo – 1st – “I took a big sigh of relief, because I was pushing so much and my tension-level was very high. I was trying to pull away by some metres from Marquez. I knew it was going to be difficult because my pace was very similar to his and after the warm up I knew his pace was very strong. We probably would have fought all the race and he may have beaten me in the final part because he may not have noticed the drop of the tyres as much, but today I was lucky. I saw his crash on the board and then I had to wait another lap to see the gap to Pedrosa. That was already very big after two laps, but I still couldn’t relax because I knew that Dani had Valentino behind him and on this track he can have a good pace. I needed to stay focused and not make any mistakes to maintain the distance and that’s what I did all the race. I remained very concentrated and focused and it was worth it. This race was very important to forget about the last two races with bad luck concerning the weather and where I made some mistakes. Had I lost more points to Valentino, it would have been almost impossible to win the championship. Now it’s a bigger chance, but you never know what happens at the three fly-away races, so we have to keep our feet on the ground and keep working well as we are doing now and try to beat the others on all laps of these next four races. Over the last two years we did a good job in Motegi, the bike works well there in what is usually a difficult track for us. The hard-braking and acceleration suits our rivals better, so it’s not easy, but these last few years I’ve been very fast and competitive. Maybe we can win, but for sure, with Marquez around it will be very tough. I’m very proud of the team and very proud of the work that everyone from Yamaha did in Japan. They worked on all aspects but especially on corner entry. That was our main weakness over the previous years. This Team World Championship title, that we secured already four races before the end of the season, means a lot to us. It’s been an unbelievable year from the results to the performance of the bike and we are very happy.”
Dani Pedrosa – 2nd / +2.683 – “I’m really happy as it was a great race with Valentino! It was difficult, because I had him on my tail every lap and during the last five he tried to pass me, but I managed to stay in front of him. He is a rider who is very strong in this part of racing, and can usually beat anyone on the grid – and for me it is one of my weaker points. However, today I was able to beat him and I’m so happy because during the battle we swapped positions many times which gives me great motivation. I want to thank the entire Repsol Honda team and we will try to be stronger at the next race!”
Valentino Rossi – 3rd / +2.773 – “I try everything, I give the maximum, because for sure it is important to arrive second and lose just the five points to Jorge, but at the end Dani today was very strong. I tried everything, but in the end he arrived in front of me. On the other hand I am happy about the race. First of all because it was very fun, and secondly because I was competitive, I was strong in the race and it was the best race of my career in Aragon, for sure, this circuit is always difficult. But now we have to look forward and try to do better. I stayed behind Dani because in the beginning it was very difficult to overtake and I didn’t have enough pace to stay in front. So I had to fight for everything in the last lap. I tried to overtake where I saw I was strong, but already from the first overtake I saw that Dani today was very strong, because he always came back. I tried to concentrate and stay on the line at entry every time, but on the last lap we touched at one time and I went over the curb, so at that moment I had just to try all or nothing, you know. In the chicane I tried without thinking, but he was able to cross the line somehow. Now we go to Motegi, it is a track that I like, where also last year I did a very good race. But Jorge last year was stronger than me and he was able to win. For this reason we have to try the maximum, the difference is just fourteen points and it will be very difficult, because the advantage is so small. We have to give the maximum, because we are competitive.”
Andrea Iannone – 4th / +7.858 – “In spite of my physical condition, we did a good race, but I am a bit disappointed I was unable to stay with Pedrosa and Rossi. I thought I had their pace and that I could fight with them, but they were always quicker than me by a couple of tenths, which mirrored the lap times we recorded during FP4. I would have liked to be able to fight for the podium, because my team is working really hard and it’s important to get encouraging results for the whole squad. I gave my all, despite the fact that my shoulder was hurting, and I have to thank the guys in the Clinica Mobile because they gave me some pain-killing injections that eliminated the pain during the first part of the race.”
Andrea Dovizioso – 5th / +23.422 – “Let’s say that I am pleased and not pleased at the same time. With the race pace that I had, I think I managed to bring home the best possible result, but this doesn’t make me happy. For sure we have to work to improve the bike, because I am unable to brake and ride the way I want, and as a result I am not as fast as I would like to be. If I look at today’s race however, considering that I was starting from thirteenth on the grid, finishing fifth is a good result.”
Aleix Espargaro – P6 / +24.829 – “I’m very happy to be back in amongst the top positions. The last races were very hard for us and we weren’t where we deserved to be. In this race we could end in the positions that I think is more suitable for us and the only thing we have to do is to understand how to be this high-performing in every race. After Catalunya I think this was the most positive race in terms of feeling with the bike, assuming that we lost some acceleration in the straight it is very good that I was able to fight for the fifth place. I could also enjoy the race, I had very much fun because I felt comfortable. I must say thank you to my team because we really did make huge improvements and they put me in the best condition to exploit the materials that we have at this point.”
Bradley Smith – 8th / +25.503 – “I have to be happy with the result today after what was certainly a tough race at Aragon. All of the different manufactures were in the group that I was fighting in and each one was stronger in different areas of the track. As a result, the pack was really competitive and all of us were pushing as much as we could. Unfortunately, I made the mistake when I was right behind Dovizioso and almost ran into him. To avoid this, I had to go wide and it took me ten laps to make up that second that I lost which just proves how easily matched we all were. Yet, I am pleased with the result, especially considering that things didn’t go exactly as we wanted them to this weekend. Moreover, we were still in the hunt for 5th today which I was not convinced about before the start of the race. Therefore, to come away with this result and without loosing too many points in the championship is overall quite positive. In addition, it’s easy to make a mistake at a track like this, so I am happy to have kept it on two wheels! Next up is Motegi which I am looking forward to. The track layout is grueling but I feel that I can run well there and I hope to give the Japanese fans a good show.”
Pol Espargaro – 9th / +26.452 – “It goes without saying that today’s race was very demanding for me. The beginning itself was actually really positive but just when I pulled away from the riders behind me, I had to run wide as my gear didn’t engage and I was in neutral. Because of this, I lost several positions as well as some vital seconds which I tried to make up afterwards but it really wasn’t easy. In the following laps, I checked which engine maps gave me the best chance of catching the group in front. However, whilst I was pushing my hardest to make up the time, I lost the rubber on my gear shifter which caused the lever to be very slippery so shifting up and down was truly difficult for the rest of the race. Taking all of this into consideration, we have to be quite pleased with the fact that we finished less than two seconds from fifth, even though it is a pity to end up in 9th. We now have to look forward to the three overseas races, with the first round being in Japan, a place which I’m happy to return to after the incredible experience this summer at the Suzuka 8 Hours race.”
Maverick Viñales – P11 / +44.255 – “Finally the result in the race is a little better than expected and I am happy that we could improve over the three days. Friday was really awful, so it is a great result to be as competitive as we were come Sunday. Of course we still have a lot to do, my team-mate took sixth so this means that the machine has a higher potential and we need to find the better way to exploit it. At the beginning of the race I did a good start and was preparing to overtake someone in the first corner, but unfortunately I had many troubles with the grip on the rear and I couldn’t accelerate enough to complete the move. Then I was in a group of riders using softer tyres, making them more competitive on the first laps, and I had to stay there and fight to keep my pace. Finally their performance dropped while my choice of tyres paid-off and I could overtake many of them. Being consistent is always the key for me and finally this race proved that it is true. We still have a lot to do, Japan won’t be easy, but we must be happy for the improvements we’ve made. It’s not easy to recover from a bad day such as Friday was but we did, and the 11th place is a good result.”
Scott Redding – P12 – “It wasn’t a great day and a tough race capped off a pretty difficult weekend to be honest. We came here on a high after Misano knowing it would be difficult, but I had some brake issues getting up to temperature and a lot of pumping from the rear. I thought I could get Hernandez but in the last few laps I lost a lot of feeling with the bike. The rear tyre turned on the rim a bit but I don’t think that was my biggest issue. I felt some vibration and it had an impact on rear grip. But the last laps were a struggle and it was disappointing to see the times increase so much.”
Alvaro Bautista P13 / +49.755 – – “I had a great start, gaining a lot of ground in the first few metres but then I was shut out on the first turn and I had to halt my progress. It took me a while to get past Laverty, who was braking very well, and once I had overtaken him I lost some more positions while I was behind Bradl, so I had to start all over again. I managed to overtake Laverty again and Bradl as well and at that point I would have liked to have gone after Vinales but it was too late, so I just held my pace, which was not bad at all, and I’m pleased to have finished in the points again. This was a very positive weekend. We learned a lot, thanks to the team’s hard work. Now we need to keep it up in the coming races.”
Eugene Laverty – P14 / +50.271 – “I am very happy with the result in the race here at Aragon. The qualifying session yesterday was fantastic but it was just one lap, today was very important because we were strong in 23. I was used to fighting for the top positions and fighting to get into the points now is different, but the Open concept is something that helps us to stay motivated. I felt relaxed on the bike, and the bike was working better towards the end. I just rode my own race and focused on what I was doing. Even though we were battling for fourteenth, I treated it as if we were in the fight to win the race. That’s the way you have to approach it. Nicky is a great teammate and a great racer. You don’t know where he is going to be in practice; he might have a bad practice or a bad qualifying session, but then come Sunday he really puts it together for the race. He did just that today, and we had a great fight together. We have been doing a great job in the second half of the season and finally we were able to have something to show for it today, I hope to continue to progress in the upcoming rounds.”
Nicky Hayden – P15 / +50.364 – “I got a really good start, and I felt good for a couple of laps, but a few guys got past me and I couldn’t tag onto the group in front. We ended up in a big battle, and it’s a shame that we were so far back because there was some good racing. It was a lot of very hard racing for fifteenth. It’s not been the worst weekend for us. We definitely qualified well, and even this morning we weren’t so far off, inside the top fifteen a lot. I did my fastest lap of the race on Lap 18, which was nice. It shows the bike was working well, to be able to go fast like that. I was fighting with Eugene at the end, and I actually got in front of him late on at one place, but then he came past me at Turn 8. We had a little contact and I went wide, losing a little time, but I was able to catch up. It’s fifteenth place, but there a couple of positives to take from the race; the bike is working well. My thumb didn’t make things easy this weekend, but I don’t want to say that is the reason why I finished where I did. We are going to get it X-rayed to make sure nothing moved, and as long as that’s the case I’ll be ok and hopefully I will be better for Japan.”
Loris Baz – 17th / +51.997 – “The overall balance at the end of this weekend is positive. The gap with other Open bikes was not huge and I did practically the whole race fighting with my direct opponents. I was not 100% fit because of the bad accident of yesterday, I had an intense pain in the neck during the race and I could not stay on the bike. I have not collected points in the championship nor I did I lose any, I’m leaving for the overseas trip convinced we can do well.”
Stefan Bradl – P18 / +53.406 – “Our work on the bike was slowed a bit during practice and today we paid for that in the race. In the last ten laps I didn’t have any more rear grip. In Warm Up we had tried various settings, finding one that seemed to give us more grip and in truth I felt very much at ease during the first part of the race. But then all at once, after midrace, grip started to drop little by little. The bike was sliding around a lot and the rear tyre deteriorated very quickly. In the finale contact with Laverty also made me lose contact with the riders in front of me, but at that point I didn’t have any chance of attacking them again because I was losing a lot of ground coming out of turns. It’s a shame because our performance at the beginning of the race was good. However, this weekend we had various positive notes and in the first half of the race we were fast. We’ll keep our feet firmly planted on the ground and take this race as a valuable lesson for the future.”
Jack Miller – 19th – “I was happy with about 90% of our race. It was really, really good all the way through until about five laps to go, then the front tyre gave way and it was too much as we were already struggling with the rear. After that I couldn’t hold the pace of the group any more and I had to slow down otherwise I would have crashed. For most of the race I was pushing to close the gap on the brakes from what I was losing on the gas and it was working, unfortunately the tyre let us down at the end. We are happy as we stayed in that big group for a long period and gained a lot of experience, but we will just have to keep working hard on the set-up of the bike.”
Toni Elias – 21st / +1’15.237 – “I had a good start and I immediately attacked the group in front of me. I was fighting with Alex De Angelis, but he was forced to retire and I lost contact with those ahead of me. I was alone and, since this is my first race for Yamaha Forward, I did not have the pace to recover. My first weekend with the team is over and I really like the power delivery of this engine, but I have to keep working on the front to find the right feeling.”
Marc Marquez – DNF – “Today I can only apologise to the team and the fans, because we were working very well and we had a very good pace all weekend. On the second lap, when braking for Turn 12, I made a mistake and lost the front. It was my fault and I apologise. When a season is not going well for you, then nothing goes your way, and it seems that this season we are finding things hard. There are still four races to go and we will try to be at the front and fight to the end.”
MotoGP Race Classification
1 – Jorge Lorenzo (SPA) Yamaha 41’44.933
2 – Dani Pedrosa (SPA) Honda + 2.683
3 – Valentino Rossi (ITA) Yamaha + 2.773
Rabat wins after breathtaking duel with local hero Rins
EG 0,0 Marc VDS’s Rabat ensured the Moto2 championship battle would continue into the flyaway rounds by taking a sensational victory in a re-started race at MotorLand Aragon. The Spaniard enjoyed an excellent fight with his compatriot Paginas Amarillas HP40’s Rins, whose family lives just 18 minutes away from MotorLand Aragon. Rabat, starting from pole for the 15th time in his Moto2™ career, held on despite a dramatic last lap to cross the line just 0.096s ahead of Rins.
Speed Up Racing’s Sam Lowes completed the podium, while championship leader Johann Zarco will have wait until the Japanese GP for his next chance to lift the title as he saw his lead in the standings reduced to 78 points after finishing in sixth.
The original race was red flagged after Xavier Simeon (Federal Oil Gresini Moto2) and Dominique Aegerter (Technomag Racing Interwetten) crashed at turn 15 on the opening lap. Simeon was unhurt and able to take place his place back on the grid for the restart. Aegerter was taken to Alcañiz Hospital after being declared unfit at the track’s Medical Centre. He sustained fractures in several vertebrae, in his right wrist and 4th metacarpus of the right, as well as in some ribs. His general condition is, however, good.
The re-started race was reduced to 14 laps and it was Rabat who led into turn 1 ahead of Rins and Lowes while Simone Corsi (Forward Racing) made a great start from 11th on the grid and was up to fifth by the end of the first lap.
It didn’t take Rins long to make his move into the lead while Championship leader Zarco found himself down in sixth as they crossed the line for the first time.
On lap 2 Alex Marquez also went past Zarco, pushing the French Rider into 7th and Zarco started to see his chances of lifting the title at Aragon disappear as the front five opened up a two second gap.
Paginas Amarillas HP40’s Luis Salom crashed out on lap 3 at turn 9 while Simeon crashed again, this time at turn 7, to cap off a miserable day for the Belgian.
All the while Zarco was lapping almost a second slower than the front two and found himself dropping back into seventh. Unfortunately for the hard-charging Corsi he would run wide on lap 4 and dropped down to 14th.
With 10 laps to go Rins and Rabat were starting to pull away from Lowes in third and had opened up a 1.4s gap at the front as the field began to spread out.
Rabat made his move on Rins into turn 1 under braking with 8 laps to go to re-take the lead from Rins. Rabat’s teammate Alex Marquez was in sixth and had been closing down the men in front of him but crashed out with 6 laps to go.
The two leaders kept increasing their lead and with 5 laps to go the gap to Lowes was 2.6s as it became clear that it would be a two horse race for the win. All the while Zarco was involved in an excellent battle for 6th with Takaaki Nakagami (Idemitsu Honda Team Asia), Lorenzo Baldassari (Forward Racing), Hafizh Syahrin (Petronas Raceline Malaysia) and a now recovered Corsi.
As the laps ticked down Rabat could not break Rins and the two remained inseparable at the front while Zarco made a move stick on Syahrin and was up into sixth by the penultimate lap.
Rabat led the way as they started the last lap, but it was obvious that a move from Rins was coming and it was a case of when not if. Rins tried it under braking into turn 12, but he ran a bit wide and Rabat fought back. Rabat lead down the back straight and despite almost running wide in the final corner he managed to hold on to take his 12th Moto2 career victory. In the process he ensured the championship battle would continue for at least one more round.
Rins’ excellent rookie season continues with his 8th podium finish in just his 14th Moto2 start, while Lowes crossed the line in 3rd to claim his fourth rostrum of the season.
AGR Team’s Jonas Folger ended up having a rather lonely race in fourth after battling hard with Lowes at the start as he pulled off his best result since his win in Barcelona. Derendinger Racing Interwetten’s Luthi held off the late-charging Zarco to claim fifth, with the championship leader crossing the line in sixth.
Syahrin, Nakagami, Corsi and Baldassari completed the top ten while there were also crashes for Federico Fuligni, Julian Simon and Edgar Pons.
This means that Zarco (284pts) still leads the standings from Rabat (206pts), with Rins in third (184pts).
Moto2 Race Classification
1 – Tito Rabat (SPA) Kalex 26’25.125
2 – Alex Rins (SPA) Kalex + 0.096
3 – Sam Lowes (GBR) Speed Up + +5.364
Oliveira wins in dramatic Moto3 race
Red Bull KTM Ajo’s Miguel Oliveira took his third victory of the season in a dramatic finish that saw the two men fighting for the Moto3 title crash out on the final lap. Leopard Racing’s Danny Kent and Enea Bastianini on the Gresini Racing Team Moto3 Honda scored no championship points. This means Kent will take a 55-point lead into the flyaways.
Estrella Galicia’s Jorge Navarro (+0.193s) took his first Moto3 podium after crossing the line in second ahead of Romano Fenati (+1.505s) on the Sky Racing Team VR46 KTM.
From the start it was Oliveira who got the holeshot as Kent found himself dropping down to fifth, but it didn’t take long for Bastianini to get to the front and he led across the line after the first lap.
Oliveira then re-took the lead on lap 2 and tried to break away but the slipstream effect at Aragon meant that it was almost impossible to do so. Kent did not have a great start and found himself as low as eighth at one point. Romano Fenati on the other hand enjoyed a good start and by the end of lap 4 he had worked his way up into fifth from tenth on the grid.
On lap 6 Kent and Binder almost made contact and the British rider dropped back while Romano Fenati made his move into the lead. Kent recovered and found himself in an excellent scrap with his main title rival Bastianini before starting a charge that saw him up into third at the start of lap 8.
A few corners later Kent hit the front for the first time and immediately pulled the pin. The newly announced teammates for 2016, Kent and Oliveira, then had an excellent scrap at the front, swapping the lead a number of times. By this point a leading group of ten had broken away from the rest of the field with Alexis Masbou leading the chasing pack.
On lap 10 Antonelli decided to join the party at the front, and Fenati was looking menacing in fourth as the action heated up. Jorge Navarro started to make his move and Enea Bastianini had also started to mix it with the leading riders.
With 8 laps to go Isaac Viñales (Husqvarna Factory Laglisse) and Darryn Binder (Outox Reset Drink Team) crashed out under braking into turn 12 whilst battling at the front of the chasing group and Karel Hanika (Red Bull KTM Ajo) had a nasty highside at turn 2. At the front each rider seemed to be taking turns leading the race as no one could open up a decisive gap try as they might.
Kent then had a big moment with 4 laps to go as he tried to move into the lead and found himself dropping back to 5th and into the grasp of Bastianini, while Oliveira took over at the front.
With two laps to go there were nine riders battling for the win as Martin started to drop off the back of the leading pack. Brad Binder took the lead for the first time on the penultimate lap and he and his teammate Oliveira looked like they had timed it perfectly as they opened up a slight gap heading to the final lap.
On an incredible final lap Bastianini had closed the gap and it was a three-way battle for the victory. Then in dramatic fashion the Italian caught the back of Binder and both crashed out in an incident that could have had a huge impact on the championship.
Just when it looked like Kent would benefit from his title rivals fall to extend his lead in the standings he also amazingly crashed out, as he lost the rear on the very last corner.
This left Oliveira to take his third victory of the season while Jorge Navarro claimed his first Moto3 podium despite experiencing a heavy crash in the morning’s Warm Up session. Fenati completed the rostrum for his third podium of the season.
Efren Vazquez (Leopard Racing) was in fourth, ahead of Phillip Oettl (Schedl GP Racing) and Niccolo Antonelli (Ongetta-Rivacold). Mapfre Team Mahindra’s Jorge Martin, Alexis Masbou (SAXOPRINT RTG), Hiroki Ono (Leopard Racing) and Andrea Migno (Sky Racing Team VR46) completed the top ten.
Maria Herrera (Husqvarna Factory Laglisse) pulled off her career best finish in 14th, while Scotsman John McPhee (SAXOPRINT RTG) crossed the line in 17th.
Remy Gardner (19th): “It’s been a good race and the only problem has been my starting position because during the first laps there were many riders in front of mine and overtaking was very difficult. Apart from that I’ve trying to make the best possible pace and result is good. For sure I wanted to get a better place but considering the practice results and the starting position is not bad”.
All this means Danny Kent (234pts) still leads the championship standings from Enea Bastianini (179pts) while Miguel Oliveira (159pts) closes the gap to the Italian to 20 points in third.
Moto3 Race Classification
1 – Miguel Oliveira (POR) KTM 39’54.343
2 – Jorge Navarro (SPA) Honda + 0.193
3 – Romano Fenati (ITA) KTM + 1.505