3 weeks ago
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In an unbelievable Moto3™ race at the Michelin® Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix it was Albert Arenas (Angel Nieto Team) who emerged as the victor to beat Fabio Di Giannantonio (Del Conca Gresini Moto3) and stand-in SKY Racing Team VR46 rider Celestino Vietti, but drama hit title contender Marco Bezzecchi (Redox PruestelGP) as the Moto3™ Championship takes another twist.
It was Championship leader Jorge Martin (Del Conca Gresini Moto3) who got the initial launch from pole but on the run into Turn 1 it was Gabriel Rodrigo (RBA BOE Skull rider) who grabbed the holeshot with Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Ajo) and Ayumu Sasaki (Petronas Sprinta Racing) tucking in behind, before Martin cut back through to the lead at Turn 4. This though was just the start of a mesmerising Moto3™ encounter which saw 14 different riders lead at some point.
Bezzecchi had made a steady start from P15 on the grid but by lap 8, the Italian had taken the lead of the race. However, no one could stay out front with both Martin and Bezzecchi having to scrap it out in the lower ends of the top ten and on lap 11, this proved costly for the KTM rider. Disaster struck for Bezzecchi as Rodrigo entered the downhill braking zone of Turn 10 too hot. The Argentine, trying to avoid Aron Canet (Estrella Galicia 0,0), squeezed between the latter and Bezzecchi and lost the front, forcing Bezzecchi onto the grass and with nowhere to go, the title contender went down.
FREE: Drama on the Island! Rodrigo takes down Bezzecchi
This left Martin with a magnificent chance to take full advantage and sure enough, the Spaniard was at the front but, yet again, despite threatening to make a break, he couldn’t steer clear of the Island’s slipstream and by the last lap there was still 15 riders in with a chance of winning. Turn 2 saw Martin tangle with Philipp Oettl (Sudmetal Schedl GP Racing), which meant Arenas took the baton at the front.
Then, Martin ran slightly wide at Turn 4 while running third but his biggest moment came at Turn 10 on the last lap. The Spaniard tagged the rear wheel of second place Sasaki, which allowed teammate Di Giannantonio to cut through on the inside. This ultimately cost Martin the podium and despite closing up with the three-rider slipstream on the run to the chequered flag, Tatsuki Suzuki (SIC58 Squadra Corse) snatched fourth by 0.018 – a fantastic rider from 24th on the grid for the Japanese rider.
A breathtaking race ended with Arenas holding onto the lead coming out of the final corner, with ‘Diggia’, Vietti, Suzuki and Martin completing the top five. Canet, led in the latter stages of the race, eventually came home sixth, with Adam Norrodin (Petronas Sprinta Racing) getting his best result since Argentina. Enea Bastianini (Leopard Racing) was eighth on board his Honda, with Jakub Kornfeil (Redox Pruestel) and Sasaki completing the top ten that was covered by 0.406 seconds on the line – astonishingly close racing.
Alonso Lopez (Estrella Galicia 0,0) was 11th, a great rider from the Spanish youngster, with Binder having to settle for P12 after a mistake at Turn 4 with three laps to go. Andrea Migno (Angel Nieto Team), John McPhee (CIP – Green Power) and Oettl round out the point scoring positions – the latter being forced out by Martin after starting the second lap in P2. The gap between the point scorers? 2.1 seconds, the fourth closest top 15 in lightweight class history.
There was a huge crash for Marcos Ramirez (Bester Capital Dubai) at Stoner Corner, which left teammate Jauma Masia with nowhere to go. Thankfully, both riders were relatively ok as they headed for the medical centre, with Masia injuring his right ankle. Turn 4 saw Tony Arbolino (Marinelli Snipers Team) and Dennis Foggia (SKY Racing Team VR46) both went down with two to go, as Lorenzo Dalla Porta (Leopard Racing) crashed out of the lead in the latter stages at Turn 2.
Caught your breath back yet? We certainly haven’t. An outrageous start to proceedings sees the Moto3™ title race take another unexpected turn as Martin now leads Bezzecchi by 12 points, with Diggia’s P2 getting him right back in the title mix – 20 points splitting the top three.
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