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An enthralling Moto3™ World Championship rumbled into the PTT Thailand Grand Prix with great anticipation and expectation. Starting from pole position for the first time in his career, Celestino Vietti (SKY Racing Team VR46) looked to get the better of his rivals in order to achieve success at a track he’d never seen before. However, a dramatic race happened nonetheless, going down to the final lap, and it would be Albert Arenas (Gaviota Angel Nieto Team) who snatched victory, ahead of Lorenzo Dalla Porta (Leopard Racing) and Alonso Lopez (Estrella Galicia 0,0), who took a career-first Moto3™ rostrum.
Before the race even started, Gabriel Rodrigo was declared unfit after a big crash in morning Warm Up.
The race settled down for a couple of laps before exploding, with Tatsuki Suzuki (SIC58 Squadra Corse) hitting the front on Lap 4 at Turn 3, sweeping majestically around the outside of Ramirez. The Misano race winner held the lead and upped the pace, before a lap later, Lorenzo Dalla Port (Leopard Racing) came to the fore from tenth on the grid, up to second and block-passing Albert Arenas at the final corner.
On Lap 7, Dalla Porta was back in the lead, showing his race pace strength, whilst Tony Arbolino was now back in the mix and chasing after his Championship rival. Further back, it was Darryn Binder (CIP Green Power) who began barging his way through, entering the top ten and looking to head further forwards.
A lap later however at the notorious final corner, Binder barged too much and wiped out second in the Championship Aron Canet (Sterilgarda Max Racing Team), John McPhee (Petronas Sprinta Racing) and Tatsuki Suzuki (SIC58 Squadra Corse). The Championship race had now been blown wide open, and Lorenzo Dalla Porta was still out front.
With 11 laps left to go and with the race for the title well and truly alive, Dalla Porta, Arbolino and Ramirez all knew they had to take advantage of Canet’s misfortune. However, the likes of Arenas, Dennis Foggia (SKY Racing Team VR46), Darryn Binder, Ai Ogura (Honda Team Asia) and his teammate Kaito Toba wanted to take advantage and make names for themselves in the heat of Thailand. Tony Arbolino was the next title contender to suffer bad luck, as he appeared to run wide on the exit of Turn 5, securing his glove back on. Plummeting to 20th, he had work to do.
Two laps later, Binder was sanctioned with a ride through penalty for is instigation of the final corner accident which ended Canet’s hopes of victory. Canet was back out on track but was not on the lead lap. On Lap 7, Ayumu Sasaki (Petronas Sprinta Racing) crashed out of the top ten with a front-end tumble at Turn 1, although he was relatively unscathed.
Just six laps to go and it was a Leopard Racing 1-2, as Lorenzo Dalla Porta led Marcos Ramirez, whilst further down the leading group, Andrea Migno (Mugen Race), who was fastest on Friday, began his surge to the front and was up to fourth at the final corner. The Italian had set his fastest lap of the race too, emphasising his late race pace as he joined the party at the front of the field. Celestino Vietti was also still in the hunt, in sixth place and keeping himself out of trouble and still in with a chance of victory. The top nine were covered by just 1.1s as the battle of Buriram intensified and the fastest riders began to edge clear of the rest of the field.
In the final two laps, the elbows came out and the gloves came off, as Arenas duelled with Dalla Porta and Alonso Lopez. Andrea Migno was up to fourth but at the start of the final lap, Ai Ogura was wiped out by the Italian out at Turn 1 and for the second race in three rounds, the Italian and the Japanese were in the gravel together on the final lap.
The battle for the win was now alive, with Lopez hitting the front at Turn 4 but, Dalla Porta and Arenas both took him back. At the final corner, Dalla Porta tried to make a move on Arenas but ran wide on the exit, giving Arenas the perfect run to the line to take the verdict and become the 11th winner of 2019 in Moto3™, ahead of Dalla Porta – who extends his championship lead to 22 points – whilst Alonso Lopez achieved a first career podium. Marcos Ramirez, who led in the early stages, came home for fourth whilst Foggia completed the top five ahead of teammate Vietti and Kaito Toba.
Round 15: Moto3™: PTT Thailand Grand Prix
Stand-out results further down field included Stefan Nepa (Reale Avintia Arizona 77), who took a career-best eighth, whilst Tony Arbolino salvaged 10th place finish and was clearly in discomfort on the cool-down lap, as he took his right-hand glove off. Ricardo Rossi (Kömmerling Gresini Moto3) took points in 13th.
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