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Joan Mir (Leopard Racing) took an incredible first win of 2017 as the lights went out on the Moto3™ season, making tactical perfection look easy on the way to the flag. British Talent Team rider John McPhee took second after a stunning ride up from outside the top ten, with poleman Jorge Martin (Del Conca Gresini Moto3) completing the podium.
Moto3™: Mir takes close fought victory in Losail
A clean start for everyone saw Martin keep his lead from pole – just ahead of P2 starter Philipp Oettl (Südmetall Schedl GP Racing). Niccolo Antonelli (Red Bull KTM Ajo) and Mir moved up behind the lead duo, with Fenati down in P8 as a lead group of more than ten riders tucked in behind the battle for the lead.
Mir: "I had everything under control"
With 12 laps to go, McPhee made it to the fight with Mir, Andrea Migno (Sky Racing Team VR46), Martin and Oettl at the front. After some more scuffling for the field, the last laps came down to a battle between Mir, McPhee, Martin, Aron Canet (EG 0,0) - and veteran last lap overtaker Fenati.
McPhee: "I thought I was strong enough to win"
After hitting the front and pushing hard to keep a small gap, Mir crossed the line clear to take a stunning second win - with McPhee defending an impressive P2 on the debut of the British Talent Team. Polesitter Jorge Martin completed the podium after a calm slice back through the front group over the final laps.
Martin: "It was a great weekend for us"
Canet, Fenati, Migno, Antonelli, Fabio DiGiannantonio (Del Conca Gresini Moto3), Marcos Ramirez (Platinum Bay Real Estate) and Adam Norrodin (SIC Racing Team) kept it clean after impressive pace throughout to stay in the freight train, completing the top ten following the battle for the podium.
The fastest rookie first time out was 2016 Red Bull Rookies Cup winner and former Asia Talent Cup victor Ayumu Sasaki (SIC Racing Team), taking an impressive P11 on his full-time debut – despite being forced to evade another incident only a handful of laps before the end.
Some surprises further down the field saw EG 0,0’s Enea Bastianini and Sky Racing Team VR46 rider Nicolo Bulega fighting over P16, with Bastianini then forced wide on the penultimate lap. Bulega came home in P14, with Bastianini just outside the points in P16. A crash for Bo Bendsneyder brought the Dutch Red Bull KTM Ajo rider’s race to an early end after an altercation with Livio Loi (Leopard Racing), and Juanfran Guevara (RBA BOE Racing Team) and Oettl also crashed out with 6 laps to go.
Next up is Argentina – and another incredible Moto3™ showdown!
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