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11 days ago
By motogp.com

Garcia beats Alcoba to seal second victory of 2021

It was a hectic Moto3™ encounter in Barcelona as Öncü lands a maiden Grand Prix rostrum

From 19th on the grid, Sergio Garcia (Solunion GASGAS Aspar Team) claimed a second Moto3™ victory of the season in a hectic Gran Premi Monster Energy de Catalunya. The Spaniard beat compatriot Jeremy Alcoba (Indonesian Racing Gresini Moto3) by just 0.015s over the line, as Deniz Öncü (Red Bull KTM Tech3) gets promoted to a maiden Grand Prix podium as Jaume Masia (Red Bull KTM Ajo) is demoted one position for exceeding track limits on the last lap.

How the race was won

As is often the case in Moto3™, there was a monumental scrap for the race lead, lap after lap. The long Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya home straight was slipstream city and the changed almost every lap heading into Turn 1, with the entire points scoring positions – the top 15 – split by just over a second for the entirety.

It was clear no one wanted to lead onto the last lap. Alcoba was running wide a couple of times at Turn 12 to try and allow some of the riders through, with the slipstream so important. We saw it with polesitter Gabriel Rodrigo (Indonesian Racing Gresini Moto3), with two laps to go the Argentine went from P1 to P9 heading into Turn 1, and that ultimately cost him a chance of victory.

And so, just before the field raced across the line to start the last lap, Alcoba was leading. Not wanting to get swamped down the straight, Alcoba sat up and looked behind between Turns 13 and 14, as you could throw a blanket over the top 15. It was scarily close. Masia led for the first time and held the baton all the way to Turn 10, where Garcia pounced. Izan Guevara (Solunion GASGAS Aspar Team) tucked the front from P3 at Turn 10 and luckily took no one with him, as contact was made between Garcia and Alcoba on the run into the penultimate corner.

Garcia held firm though and took the chequered flag in P1, he returns to second in the World Championship standings. Alcoba rode well to claim a second podium of the season, his third overall in Grand Prix. Öncü crossed the line fourth but benefited from Masia running onto the green asphalt on the exit of Turn 4, the Turkish rider was emotional in parc ferme.

The top 10 finishers

Masia picks up an important P4, with Darryn Binder (Petronas Sprinta Racing) cementing a P5, the South African a constant threat throughout. Rodrigo will feel hard done by to finish P6 after looking so strong in the closing stages, as Pedro Acosta (Red Bull KTM Ajo) comes from P25 on the grid to P7. The title race leader took his turn in leading but it’s nevertheless another fantastic result, his lead is 39 points heading to Round 8, Acosta beat Niccolo Antonelli (Avintia Esponsorama Moto3), Kaito Toba (CIP Green Power) and Stefano Nepa (BOE Owlride) over the line as 1.1s splits the top 10.

Leopard Racing’s Dennis Foggia and Xavier Artigas were involved in a last lap crash at Turn 8 with Ayumu Sasaki (Red Bull KTM Tech3) on the last lap, Sasaki has been taken to the medical centre for a check-up, rider conscious. This brought out the red flags, but the top 11 finishers crossed the line before the race was halted. Earlier on, race leader John McPhee (Petronas Sprinta Racing) highsided out of contention at Turn 2, with Tatsuki Suzuki (SIC58 Squadra Corse) and Andrea Migno (Rivacold Snipers Team) also going down in a separate incident, riders ok. 

Yet another mindboggling Moto3™ race, and it was one that the late Jason Dupasquier would have thrived in. The podium finishers wore t-shirts in remembrance of the young Swiss superstar, as we race in Jason’s honour here in Barcelona.

Top 10:
1. Sergio Garcia (Solunion GASGAS Aspar Team)
2. Jeremy Alcoba (Indonesian Racing Gresini Moto3) + 0.015
3. Deniz Öncü (Red Bull KTM Tech3) + 0.118
4. Jaume Masia (Red Bull KTM Ajo) + 0.218
5. Darryn Binder (Petronas Sprinta Racing) + 0.343
6. Gabriel Rodrigo (Indonesian Racing Gresini Moto3) + 0.456
7. Pedro Acosta (Red Bull KTM Ajo) + 0.519
8. Niccolo Antonelli (Avintia Esponsorma Moto3) + 0.937
9. Kaito Toba (CIP Green Power) + 1.072
10. Stefano Nepa (BOE Owlride) + 1.122

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