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3 days ago
By motogp.com

Superman: Arenas wins Red Bull Ring royal rumble

The Championship leader extends his stranglehold in the title race after a breathtaking Moto3™ encounter in Austria

Sporting a special superman helmet design, Albert Arenas (Valresa Aspar Team) reigned at the Red Bull Ring in an insane Moto3™ myWorld Austrian Grand Prix. A last lap pass at Turn 9 saw Arenas snatch victory from second place finisher Jaume Masia (Leopard Racing), with John McPhee (Petronas Sprinta Racing) finishing third – despite crossing the line sixth – after Ai Ogura (Honda Team Asia), Darryn Binder (CIP Green Power) and Celestino Vietti (SKY Racing Team VR46) were demoted one position each on the last lap from exceeding track limits at the final corner.

Arenas was lightning off the line and comfortably grabbed the holeshot into Turn 1. Polesitter Raul Fernandez (Red Bull KTM Ajo) got away well too to safely slot into P2 with McPhee not getting a great getaway. Vietti managed to get past the Scotsman but McPhee was back into P3 on the run into Turn 4 and on the opening lap, the leading trio had a small gap to the chasing pack – Arenas, Fernandez and McPhee were getting the hammer down.

But the gap didn’t last long though. There was a rookie on the move in the form of Deniz Öncü (Red Bull KTM Tech3), the Turkish rider was soon up to 4th as both Fernandez and McPhee found a way past Arenas at Turn 9, the latter then led into Turn 1. But Öncü was soon battling for the race lead and on Lap 6, the rookie was leading. Binder – in typical fashion – had clawed his way through the pack from P22 on the grid to the lead group. Binder, on Lap 7, then chucked it up the inside of Öncü to lead the race – what an opening seven laps for the South African.

This was changing all the time though. The top 23 were split by just 3.8 seconds heading onto Lap 8, and the Moto3™ slipstream game was in full flow – no one was going to be escaping, barring a few disasters. Both Öncü and Binder were going in search of their first Grand Prix victories, and the former was looking comfortable at the front as title contender McPhee slipped down the pack to P13, but he was still well in the hunt. Then, a moment for Binder at Turn 3. The South African was in hot but got it stopped at the apex – just. Getting back on the gas though, Binder was out the seat but stayed on, costing him time, as Arenas led the race. However, the Championship leader needed to be careful, Race Direction giving the Spaniard a track limits warning.

As always, the race was breathless and relentless. The lead was changing constantly, Sergio Garcia (Estrella Galicia 0,0) in 17th crossed the line with nine laps to go less than two seconds away from the lead, and this was wide open. It was a royal rumble at the Red Bull Ring and it was impossible to know where to look! McPhee was back up to P4 after making his way slowly back up to the front, with Ayumu Sasaki joining his Red Bull KTM Tech3 teammate at the front. Binder was again deep into Turn 3 and was slow out, seeing everyone bunch up as we saw about seven riders go line-astern into Turn 4 – sensational scenes.

With four to go, it was a disaster for Sasaki. Not a crash, but Race Direction handed the Japanese rider a long lap penalty and he took on with three to go. And because of how close the pack were, Sasaki went from fourth place to 21st, with Jaume Masia (Leopard Racing) leading from Arenas, Binder and Ogura. The top 10 were now streaking clear and with one lap to go, we had 10 contenders for the win – all bets were off, this was impossible to call.

Masia led onto the last lap, with Arenas wide at Turn 1. The Spaniard lost drive coming onto the straight and vital run down to Turn 3, but a superhero pass then came in from Arenas as he slammed it up the inside of Binder and Vietti. Meanwhile, Masia had a substational advantage out front and it looked like the Spaniard has this under control – but that wasn’t the case. Arenas produced a mighty third sector and he was right on the rear wheel of Masia’s Honda heading into Turn 9. And sure enough, Arenas carved his way up the inside of the number 5 with two corners remaining, held it into the final corner and won his third race of the season in stunning style.

Masia held onto second with Ogura crossing the line third ahead of Binder and Vietti, but that would all change. All three ran wide and onto the green. Race Direction – rightly – demoted all three one place for the infringement, which handed McPhee third place despite the Scotsman crossing the line sixth. It’s a result that could be vital for McPhee in the standings as he moves above Ogura into second in the Championship, 28 behind the scintillating Arenas.

Tony Arbolino (Rivacold Snipers Team) emerged from the Moto3™ chaos in 7th, just ahead of Öncü who put in a superb performance to finish 8th – his best result of 2020. Fernandez was 1.1 seconds off the win in P9, Tatsuki Suzuki (SIC58 Squadra Corse) loses ground in the title race after finishing 10th. Andrea Migno (SKY Racing Team VR46), Niccolo Antonelli (SIC58 Squadra Corse), Gabriel Rodrigo (Kömmerling Gresini Moto3), Sasaki and Jeremy Alcoba (Kömmerling Gresini Moto3) completed the points.

Simply stunning. That Moto3™ race was an absolute belter and sets us up nicely for the Moto2™ and MotoGP™ races at the Red Bull Ring. Arenas produced a superman-esque ride to extend his lead in the Championship, but the chasing pack will be eager to beat the KTM rider when they do it all over again in Styria next weekend.

Top 10:
1. Albert Arenas (Valresa Aspar Team)
2. Jaume Masia (Leopard Racing) + 0.049
3. John McPhee (Petronas Sprinta Racing) + 0.447
4. Ai Ogura (Honda Team Asia) + 0.121*
5. Darryn Binder (CIP Green Power) + 0.275*
6. Celestino Vietti (SKY Racing Team VR46) + 0.292*
7. Tony Arbolino (Rivacold Snipers Team) + 0.487
8. Deniz Öncü (Red Bull KTM Tech 3) + 1.083
9. Raul Fernandez (Red Bull KTM Ajo) + 1.136
10. Tatsuki Suzuki (SIC58 Squadra Corse) + 1.177
*Demoted 1 place for exceeding track limits on the final lap

Click here for the full results!

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