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Tatsuki Suzuki (SIC58 Squadra Corse) secured an emotional victory for Paolo Simoncelli at the Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli as the Japanese rider produced a faultless race at the GP Octo di San Marino e della Riviera di Rimini. John McPhee (Petronas Sprinta Racing) picked up a sensational second with home rider Tony Arbolino (VNE Snipers) claimed P3, with yet more twists in the Championship occurring.
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In 10 mins: San Marino GP Moto3™ highlights
Polesitter Suzuki got the perfect getaway as the Japanese rider grabbed the holeshot, with Arbolino getting the better of Aron Canet (Sterilgarda Max Racing Team) off the front row. The riders settled on the opening couple of laps as Suzuki and Arbolino exchanged the race lead baton. However, there was to be plenty of drama to come as a Championship twist unfolded.
Running third on Lap 4, Canet suddenly slowed. The man sitting second in the Championship had an issue with his KTM machine heading down into Turn 8, with Niccolo Antonelli (SIC58 Squadra Corse) and Celestino Vietti (SKY Racing Team VR46) – two home riders – crashing out at the exit of Turn 5. A helpless Canet coasted back to the pits as his title hopes took another hit and, despite getting going again with a point may be possible, the bike said no Lap 8 – disaster for Canet, potential delight for Championship leader Lorenzo Dalla Porta (Leopard Racing). After a chaotic lap, Dalla Porta found himself in third but Suzuki and Arbolino were now a second up the road.
WWR’s Jaume Masia and Andrea Migno were on the prowl too as the duo and Dalla Porta tried to close the leaders down. And they did, on Lap 8 there was now a lead group of five. A fierce battle then played out between the leaders as it became more like WWE for WWR’s Migno and Masia, the duo scrapping with each other on a number of occasions, with Migno embroiled in a great fight with Dalla Porta. The five leaders were 1.5 clear of the chasing pack but then, Ai Ogura (Honda Team Asia) was able to get into P6 and straight away, the Japanese rookie was making headway.
With eight laps to go Ogura was seven-tenths faster than race leader Suzuki. The Honda rider had reeled in the leaders and seeing Ogura’s rapid progress, McPhee then got a wriggle on as the Scotsman started to make ground on the front runners having been P18 on Lap 1. With six to go, the top seven were all together. A Moto3™ royal rumble was setup at Misano, with vital Championship points there to be taken for Dalla Porta, with Canet having to retire. But he wouldn’t have it easy. Suzuki, Arbolino, Migno, Masia, Ogura and McPhee weren’t giving an inch and with track limit warnings coming Dalla Porta’s way, the Italian had to be wary.
Suzuki surrendered the lead to Masia with six to go but with three laps remaining, in just a matter of corners, the Spaniard slipped to seventh. Suzuki was now back in the driver’s seat and heading onto the last lap, Suzuki had it from Arbolino. Dalla Porta and Masia dueled at Turn 2 and it ultimately cost them a podium place as they slipped to over half a second back. Then, drama at Turn 8. Migno tagged the back of Arbolino and crashed, taking Ogura with him. What did that mean? Suzuki vs Arbolino vs McPhee. The latter made a brave move stick under the inside of Arbolino into Turn 12 but the lead was still Suzuki’s. Could McPhee snatch victory? No, Suzuki produced a stunning and faultless final lap to claim his first Moto3™ win, at his team’s home race, at the circuit named after Marco Simoncelli – emotional, sensational, phenomenal.
McPhee’s performance was one to remember, the British rider coming from P14 on the grid to claim his third podium of the season. Arbolino’s outside title chances were improved with his fourth rostrum of the season. Masia claimed P4 as Dalla Porta was penalised three seconds for exceeding track limits – damaging for the Championship as he slipped to P8 on the race card. This lifted home rider Dennis Foggia (SKY Racing Team VR46) up to P5, with Gabriel Rodrigo (Kömmerling Gresini Moto3) crossing the line sixth having started in a lowly P16. Because of his teammate’s penalty, Silverstone winner Marcos Ramirez (Leopard Racing) takes a P7 away from Misano, with Filip Salac (Redox PrüstelGP) and Raul Fernandez (Sama Qatar Angel Nieto Team) rounded out the top 10.
Only 16 riders finished in a race of attrition at Misano, but only one thing matters for Suzuki – a maiden win, and doing it for the late Marco Simoncelli. Wonderful scenes at Misano and we get to do it all again next weekend at MotorLand Aragon. What does the Championship have in store at Round 14 – the last European round before we head for Asia.
1. Tatsuki Suzuki (SIC58 Squadra Corse)
2. John McPhee (Petronas Sprinta Racing) + 0.112
3. Tony Arbolino (VNE Snipers) + 0.201
4. Jaume Masia (WWR) + 0.708
5. Dennis Foggia (SKY Racing Team VR46) + 3.232
6. Gabriel Rodrigo (Kömmerling Gresini Moto3) + 3.431
7. Marcos Ramirez (Leopard Racing) + 3.518
8. Lorenzo Dalla Porta (Leopard Racing)* + 3.740
9. Filip Salac (Redox PrüstelGP) + 4.358
10. Raul Fernandez (Sama Qatar Angel Nieto Team) + 14.210
* 3 second penalty
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