Dalla Porta takes title lead with German GP win

Italian finally gets a victory in 2019 to hold off a stunning fightback from Canet, Ramirez splits to Championship contenders on the rostrum

Lorenzo Dalla Porta (Leopard Racing) held off a stunning comeback from title rival Aron Canet (Sterilgarda Max Racing Team) at the HJC Helmets Motorrad Grand Prix Deutschland to finally win a race in 2019, the Italian beats teammate Marcos Ramirez to P1 as the latter edges out Canet for P3 on the last lap in another brilliant Moto3™ race.

After a wet Warm Up, the Moto3™ German GP was declared dry. Polesitter Ayumu Sasaki (Petronas Sprinta Racing) didn’t get the launch he would have been looking for as fifth place Romano Fenati (VNE Snipers) made the best start of all – the Italian grabbed the holeshot ahead of Ramirez and Kaito Toba (Honda Team Asia), Sasaki slotted into fourth. Then, coming out of Turn 3 on the opening lap, Alonso Lopez (Estrella Galicia 0,0) highsided, leaving Kömmerling Gresini Moto3’s Gabriel Rodrigo with nowhere to go as the Spaniard and Argentinian crashed out.

At the front, Fenati was holding the baton as the leading six had a slight gap due to the crash behind, but John McPhee (Petronas Sprinta Racing) and Can Öncü (Red Bull KTM Ajo) quickly bridged the gap to make it a group of nine battling for the lead. The lead was changing all the time with the two Leopard machines at the forefront, but the likes of McPhee, Jakub Kornfeil (Redox PrüstelGP) and Fenati were swarming. Then, on Lap 11, Ramirez took the lead and found himself with a half-second gap and he held it for a handful of laps, with mistakes at the bottom of ‘The Waterfall’ and Turn 1 meant the chasers were back with him, Dalla Porta and McPhee took P1 and P2 ahead of the Spaniard.

At this stage, with 13 laps to go, title contender Canet had made good progress to get himself inside the lower ends of the points from P22 on the grid, but it looked unlikely that the Spaniard would be able to challenge for the podium with the top seven now over a second clear of Tatsuki Suzuki (SIC58 Squadra Corse) in P8. However, the Japanese rider – dragging Canet with him – then put in a lap half a second quicker than the leaders. Seven became nine heading into the final five laps and Canet was fired up. It didn’t take long for the number 44 KTM rider to pick off the top nine as he made a particularly feisty move stick at Turn 13 – a popular passing place – on Fenati.

Canet was now into fourth and at Turn 1, he was up to second. A title contender scrap between Dalla Porta and Canet was well and truly on, but it was Ramirez who again help P1 on the penultimate lap. The Spaniard had a slight gap but heading around Turn 7, the Honda rider got a bit out of shape and heading down ‘The Waterfall’, Canet and Dalla Porta pounced. Canet had the lead heading onto the last lap with Dalla Porta second – who would come out on top?

Canet held the advantage but, as the Moto3™ leaders dropped down the hill, Dalla Porta pulled out from the tailpipes of Canet to dive into the lead, with teammate Ramirez following him through – Canet down to P3. Would Ramirez make a move on his teammate into the last corner? He thought about it, but the answer was no. Dalla Porta drove up the hill to win his first race of the season after four P2s, the Championship lead was his heading into the summer break as Ramirez did a sterling teammate job to beat Canet. Nevertheless, it was an incredible fightback from the latter to claw his way onto the podium in Germany.

Fenati picked up his best result of the season in fourth having battled for the win throughout, with Raul Fernandez (Sama Qatar Angel Nieto) taking P5 – the reigning Moto3™ Junior World Champion collecting his best Grand Prix finish. McPhee settled for sixth, the Scotsman now sits P6 in the Championship to continue his good run of form, with Ai Ogura (Honda Team Asia) takes P7 after two consecutive P6s in Barcelona and Assen. Ogura heads a trio of Japanese riders inside the top ten, Suzuki managed P8 after clawing back the gap to the leaders on the latter stages, Sasaki took ninth from pole. Kornfeil, a threat throughout, completed the top ten.

Albert Arenas (Sama Qatar Angel Nieto Team), Toba, Celestino Vietti (SKY Racing Team VR46), teammate Dennis Foggia and Darryn Binder (CIP Green Power) crashed at Turn 1, with Tom Booth-Amos (CIP Green Power) going down at Turn 3 on Lap 2.

After finally winning this season, making it eight winners in nine races – already the same number of winners as we saw last season – Dalla Porta takes a two-point Championship lead heading into the summer break. Canet will take confidence from his fightback at the Moto3™ title race heats up.

Top 10:
1. Lorenzo Dalla Porta (Leopard Racing)
2. Marcos Ramirez (Leopard Racing) + 0.072
3. Aron Canet (Sterilgarda Max Racing Team) + 0.120
4. Romano Fenati (VNE Snipers) + 0.185
5. Raul Fernandez (Sama Qatar Angel Nieto) + 0.323
6. John McPhee (Petronas Sprinta Racing) + 0.445
7. Ai Ogura (Honda Team Asia) + 0.678
8. Tatsuki Suzuki (SIC58 Squadra Corse) + 0.749
9. Ayumu Sasaki (Petronas Sprinta Racing) + 0.829
10. Jakub Kornfeil (Redox PrüstelGP) + 0.955

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