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Thanks to a sensational victory at the Pramac Generac Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix, Lorenzo Dalla Porta (Leopard Racing) became the first Italian lightweight class Champion since Andrea Dovizioso in 2004. Dalla Porta led polesitter and teammate Marcos Ramirez over the line as the Team Champions claim another 1-2, with 2018 Australian winner Albert Arenas (Gaviota Angel Nieto Team) claiming his third consecutive podium in P3.
FREE: watch the Moto3™ Championship-defining crash
Last year was the closest top 15 finish in Grand Prix history in the Moto3™ race at Phillip Island and a year later, we were treated to yet another classic. Constant changes for the lead was the script from the get-go but there would be a Championship-defining moment at the beginning of Lap 3. Aron Canet (Sterilgarda Max Racing Team) made a good start from P2 on the grid and was fighting for the lead in the opening exchanges. However, running into Doohan Corner a little hot, the Spaniard tucked the front of his KTM and slid out of contention. Canet was ok but his title aspirations had just gone up in smoke, all Dalla Porta had to do now was bring it home with a decent handful of points to claim the Moto3™ crown.
Here is your 2019 Moto3™ World Champion! #FullFlama48
And he was at the forefront of an almighty group immediately. But Dalla Porta wouldn’t have it all his own way as a lead group of 20 had formed, with the Phillip Island slipstream coming into full effect. One of the riders scrapping at the front with Dalla Porta was Darryn Binder (CIP Green Power), a stunning start to the race after launching from the back of the grid, and getting caught up in a Turn 2 incident with Riccardo Rossi (Kömmerling Gresini Moto3) – the Italian crashing unhurt. Those two, along with a whole bunch of other hungry young guns were battling hard, with the likes of John McPhee (Petronas Sprinta Racing), Tony Arbolino (VNE Snipers), Tatsuki Suzuki (SIC58 Squadra Corse) just a few names who took turns to lead.
One name was always there though – Dalla Porta. It was a classy ride from the Italian as trouble unfolded behind, Andrea Migno (Mugen Race) and Kaito Toba (Honda Team Asia) crashing out at Turn 4 with three to go. The lead was changing sector by sector but heading onto the last lap, Dalla Porta had it from Suzuki and McPhee. The Japanese rider then took the lead at Turn 4, somehow staying on the bike – and in the lead – after getting crossed up on the exit. A top-notch manoeuvre around Lukey Heights then gave Dalla Porta the lead, as teammate Ramirez dived up the inside of about three riders to get himself up to P4. Celestino Vietti (SKY Racing Team VR46) and Jaume Masia (Mugen Race) then crashed with two corners to go but the glory on the Island was about to go Dalla Porta’s way. The number 48 claimed the win and the Moto3™ Championship in the best way possible – winning. Ramirez drafted Suzuki and Arenas to make it a Leopard 1-2, Arenas took P3 with Suzuki losing out in the final drag race to pocked P4.
In 10 mins: Australian GP Moto3™ highlights
McPhee threatened on the final lap but the Scotsman go caught up at Turn 10, eventually crossing the line in P5, with Binder’s early race scorching pace giving him the chance to take home a very solid P6. Ayumu Sasaki (Petronas Sprinta Racing) was able to grab his best finish since the British GP and just behind him, Tom Booth-Amos (CIP Green Power) produced by far the best ride of his rookie season to pick up a fantastic P8 at Phillip Island. Arbolino eventually had to settle for P9 after tasting the race lead in the early parts, while Stefano Nepa (Reale Avinita Arizona 77) finishing in his second top 10 place of the year in P10.
Filip Salac (Redox PrüstelGP) crashed out of the leading group after contact with Alonso Lopez (Estrella Galicia 0,0), the Spaniard having to do the Long Lap Penalty twice due to cutting across the white line on his first attempt. Gabriel Rodrigo (Kömmerling Gresini Moto3) and Raul Fernandez (Gaviota Angel Nieto Team) were involved in an incident at Lukey Heights with eight laps to go, while Sergio Garcia (Estrella Galicia 0,0) and wildcard Yanni Shaw (Double Six Motor Sport) also crashed out.
So, after an Island stunner, we have our 2019 Moto3™ World Champion. Congratulations to Dalla Porta on a sensational season, but with two races to go, everyone will be wanting to finish the season strong – none more so than Canet. Malaysia is next, the Sepang International Circuit awaits in less than a weeks’ time.
Round 17: Moto3™ Pramac Generac Australian Grand Prix
1. Lorenzo Dalla Porta (Leopard Racing) – 1:37.645
2. Marcos Ramirez (Leopard Racing) + 0.077
3. Albert Arenas (Gaviota Angel Nieto Team) + 0.088
4. Tatsuki Suzuki (SIC58 Squadra Corse) + 0.126
5. John McPhee (Petronas Sprinta Racing) + 0.330
6. Darryn Binder (CIP Green Power) + 0.772
7. Ayumu Sasaki (Petronas Sprinta Racing) + 1.029
8. Tom Booth-Amos (CIP Green Power) + 1.545
9. Tony Arbolino (VNE Snipers) + 1.635
10. Stefano Nepa (Reale Avintia Arizona 77) + 2.023
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