An exhilarating last lap from Sergio Garcia (Santander Consumer GASGAS) handed the Aspar star a third Moto3™ victory of the season in a classic lightweight class fight at the Bitci Motorrad Grand Prix von Österreich. Deniz Öncü (Red Bull KTM Tech3) lost out at the penultimate corner but takes his second Grand Prix podium, with Dennis Foggia (Leopard Racing) taking a fantastic P3.
Garcia triumphs in another Moto3™ stunner
Polesitter Romano Fenati (Sterilgarda Max Racing Team) got an inch-perfect getaway as the lights went out and comfortably held P1 into Turn 1, with Öncü making a great start from the second row to grab P2. The Turkish rider didn’t take long to turn P2 into P1, Turn 4 the chosen passing place as Öncü took the lead on Lap 1. Acosta wasted no time in making his way to the front, the Spaniard taking the lead at the start of Lap 3, with second in the Championship Garcia also climbing his way through the pack expertly from 14th on the grid to the top five.
Öncü, Fenati and Acosta stood as the top three for a number of laps in the opening exchanges, as we saw top 10 competitors Darryn Binder (Petronas Sprinta Racing) tagging Ayumu Sasaki (Red Bull KTM Tech3) at the final corner on Lap 6, the latter crashing out of contention unhurt. A lead group of six then formed, Garcia, Jaume Masia (Red Bull KTM Ajo) and Foggia joining the aforementioned trio, with Petronas Sprinta Racing’s Binder and John McPhee sat a second adrift.
The Petronas duo breached the gap with 10 laps to go, which meant we had a lead group of eight fighting for victory in Austria. Öncü was a mainstay in the lad of the race and with eight laps to go, the Turkish rider had eked a slight lead. Typically, though, Acosta and co. reeled Öncü back in, and it was starting to get busy. Acosta and Fenati made slight on the exit of Turn 4 with six laps to go, as Binder and McPhee lost touch.
At Turn 3 with three to go, Garcia got two for the price of one. The Spaniard took the lead as Acosta followed him through on Öncü, with Acosta then taking the lead at Turn 4. However, a stunning run out of Turn 8 saw Öncü return to P1 heading onto Lap 22 of 23. Last lap, Öncü led onto it with Acosta right behind him. The latter was up the inside at Turn 3 but Öncü got the cutback, as Garcia then passed title rival Acosta at Turn 4, which cost the Championship leader dearly.
Garcia then locked his radar onto race leader Öncü and chose Turn 9 as the place to pounce. Up the inside went Garcia, Öncü could do nothing to fight back as Garcia held the defensive line into the final corner. The GASGAS rider managed to hold his advantage to the line and claim victory at the Red Bull Ring by 0.027s, with Foggia getting the better of Acosta on the last lap to demote the number 37 to P4.
Last Sunday: Loses victory with two corners to go! ❌— MotoGP™???? (@MotoGP) August 15, 2021
Today: Takes victory with two corners to go! ✅
How the tables have turned for @garciadols11! ????#Moto3 | #AustrianGP ???????? pic.twitter.com/EvdbhkAI7G
The points finishers
Fenati finished less than half a second from the win and takes home a P5 for his efforts, another great race from the experienced Italian, who edged out Masia on the last lap. McPhee claimed a commendable P7 ahead of a late charging Izan Guevara (Santander Consumer GASGAS). Binder faded in the latter stages to claim P9, as Japan’s Kaito Toba (CIP Green Power) rounded out the top 10.
Compatriot Tatsuki Suzuki (SIC58 Squadra Corse) was less than a second away from Toba in P11, with Filip Salac (CarXpert PrüstelGP) beating Stefano Nepa (BOE Owlride) to P12. Six seconds behind 13th place Nepa was Jeremy Alcoba (Indonesian Racing Gresini Moto3), the Spaniard leading home Andi Farid Izdihar (Honda Team Asia) in 15th.
Andrea Migno (Rivacold Snipers Team) crashed out at the final corner on the opening lap after contact with teammate David Salvador, Adrian Fernandez (Sterilgarda Max Racing Team) retired from the Austrian GP.
A third win of the season and a third podium on the bounce sees Garcia close the gap to Acosta down to 41 points ahead of Silverstone, the battle between the two Spaniards is well and truly on in 2021. A weekend off now awaits for the Moto3™ field as they recover from a Red Bull Ring double header, while setting sights on Silverstone. What does the legendary layout have in store at the end of the month?
1. Sergio Garcia (Santander Consumer GASGAS)
2. Deniz Öncü (Red Bull KTM Tech3) + 0.027
3. Denis Foggia (Leopard Racing) + 0.319
4. Pedro Acosta (Red Bull KTM Ajo) + 0.394
5. Romano Fenati (Sterilgarda Max Racing Team) + 0.462
6. Jaume Masia (Red Bull KTM Ajo) + 0.794
7. John McPhee (Petronas Sprinta Racing) + 1.331
8. Izan Guevara (Santander Consumer GASGAS) + 1.440
9. Darryn Binder (Petronas Sprinta Racing) + 2.339
10. Kaito Toba (CIP Green Power) + 6.135