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The Championship pendulum swings again in the Moto3™ class as Marco Bezzecchi (Redox PruestelGP) took a stunning third win of the season, beating Lorenzo Dalla Porta (Leopard Racing) and Darryn Binder (Red Bull KTM Ajo) on the run to the line as double disaster hit for Del Conca Gresini Moto3 – Fabio Di Giannantonio and Championship leader Jorge Martin both crashing out of contention.
Pole man Gabriel Rodrigo (RBA BOE Skull Rider) got the launch as the lights went out to lead into Turn 1, with Bezzecchi slotting in behind the Argentine rider after John McPhee (CIP – Green Power) got a slightly sluggish get away from P2, thus allowing Martin to make up one place from P4 on the grid. The front four initially threatened to make an early getaway but it soon became a leading group of thirteen at the front, with the lead for the race chopping and changing between the two main title contenders, along with the likes of Rodrigo and the hard-charging Binder.
Then on lap 14, there was a massive moment for Martin heading into Turn 11. Martin didn’t want to yield his position at the front and as he moved across to take the racing line for the corner, he came into contact with Bezzecchi. The Honda rider somehow managed to stay upright on the brakes without losing too much time.
This left Binder to lead with Bezzecchi and McPhee slotting in behind, Martin dropped down to fifth. However, a lap later with five to go, disaster struck. Trying to get back on terms with the leaders, Martin got on the curb under braking and was slightly off line while battling Dennis Foggia (SKY Racing Team VR46) and Tony Arbolino (Marinelli Snipers Team). Subsequently, the Spaniard lost the front of his Honda and crashed out of contention. This came after teammate Di Giannantonio suffered a huge highside at Turn 12, the Italian heading to hospital for further checks.
Moto3™ title tension leaves Martin on the floor at Motegi
This left Bezzecchi in prime position to take full advantage and with three laps to go the Italian had created a half-second lead, but that was soon distinguished by Binder and the chasing pack.
The scene was then set for a frantic finish. Bezzecchi led onto the last lap but Binder made his move at Turn 5 and then held station until the final corner. However, heading out of the aptly named ‘Victory Corner’, Bezzecchi got the superior run and fired his KTM past Binder to snatch a vital victory at the line by 0.041, with Dalla Porta also getting a devastating drive to deny Binder of second by 0.001. A stunning end to a magnificent Moto3™ race.
Foggia had another great ride to come home P4, he beat McPhee to the chequered flag by 0.039, who in turn gets the better of Arbolino with Enea Bastianini (Leopard Racing) coming home P7. Rodrigo would end up P8 at the line after losing touch with the leaders in the latter stage, he beat home hero Ayumu Sasaki (Petronas Sprinta Racing) – P9 for the Japanese rider who couldn’t quite keep tabs on the front group as the race entered its final laps. Rounding out the top ten was Jakub Kornfeil (Redox PruestelGP).
There was an early crash for Aron Canet (Estrella Galicia 0,0) – rider ok, with Vicente Perez (Reale Avintia Academy 77) and Niccolo Antonelli (SIC58 Squadra Corse) going down at Turn 11, the latter heading to hospital with a fractured left foot back trauma. Kazuki Masaki (RBA BOE Skull Rider) and Albert Arenas (Angel Nieto Team) also crashed – riders ok.
Heading into the final three races of the season, the gap at the top of the Championship sits at just one point, with Martin holding the smallest of advantages of Bezzecchi. Will we be in for more drama in Australia?
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