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15 days ago

Guevara extends his Championship lead with victory at Aragon

Three races in Spain, three wins for the Spaniard, and now a big gap in the World Championship

The Autosolar GASGAS Aspar Team’s Izan Guevara has moved 33 points clear at the top of the Moto3™ World Championship with an all-the-way victory at the Gran Premio Animoca Brands de Aragon. The Spaniard gapped Sterilgarda Husqvarna Max’s Ayumu Sasaki late in the 19-lap encounter at MotorLand Aragon while Red Bull KTM Ajo rookie Daniel Holgado clinched what became a lonely third place. On the other Autosolar GASGAS Aspar Team entry, Sergio Garcia collected just three points as he finished 13th, and it is a big deficit he now faces to his team-mate at the top of the table.

The top three pull clear

Guevara had qualified on pole position and he got the holeshot when the lights went out, leading fellow front row starters Sasaki and Holgado to the first corner. They quickly gapped the chasing pack and were nearly two seconds clear when John McPhee (Sterilgarda Husqvarna Max) slipped underneath Tatsuki Suzuki (Leopard Racing) to take over fourth position on Lap 4 at Turn 4, which made room for Ivan Ortola (Angeluss MTA Team) to relieve the Japanese rider of fifth also. Seventh at that point was Deniz Öncü (Red Bull KTM Tech3), from David Muñoz (BOE Motorsports), Adrian Fernandez (Red Bull KTM Tech3), and Garcia, who had qualified 12th.

Guevara, Sasaki, and Holgado continue to creep away as a group of three while McPhee, Öncü, Suzuki, and Ortola chopped and changed in the battle for fourth position. Garcia was shuffled back outside the top 10 when Jaume Masia (Red Bull KTM Ajo) took him wide at Turn 1, but had climbed to eighth and was closing the gap to the aforementioned quartet after half a dozen laps of racing. Dennis Foggia (Leopard Racing), on the other hand, had slipped to 15th from sixth on the grid by that point and did not look like making a recovery anytime soon.

A ferocious battle for fourth

With 10 laps completed and nine to go, the top three ran as you were, but with their gap over the rest more than five seconds by then. The battle just behind them was seriously heating up, however, with Öncü fourth from Muñoz, Suzuki, Fernandez, Ortolo, Diogo Moreira (MT Helmets - MSI), Masia, Garcia, and McPhee in 12th. Moments earlier, Garcia had been running as high as seventh but ran wide when he attacked Ortola at Turn 5 and lost four positions.

On Lap 12, Garcia found himself in a battle with McPhee for 12th but when he made an error entering the main straight, Xavier Artigas (CFMoto Racing PruestelGP) picked him off and relegated the Aspar rider to 13th, ahead of Carlos Tatay (CFMoto Racing PruestelGP) and Foggia. One spot came back to Garcia when, two laps later, Muñoz made an aggressive move for fifth position on Fernandez at Turn 5. They made contact and Fernandez plummeted to 13th, while stewards would slap Muñoz with a Long Lap Penalty.

Guevara opens the gas

Meanwhile, Guevara was putting the hammer down at the very front of the field and while Sasaki was keeping touch at a couple of tenths of a second behind, Holgado had drifted to a full second in arrears on Lap 16. Soon, even Sasaki was struggling to keep up with incredible Izan. The margin was exactly four tenths of a second with a lap to go and 0.957 seconds when they took the chequered flag. For Guevara, it is a hat-trick of victories on Spanish soil this year, after winning also at Jerez and Catalunya, and a big result in the context of the World Championship battle.

Öncü finished 6.370 seconds away from the podium in fourth position, having broken away from the second bunch of riders when they kept carving each other up at the MotorLand. In a frenetic final lap, Fernandez eventually claimed fifth, ahead of Ortola and Muñoz, who dropped as far back as 12th when he finally served his Long Lap Penalty. Eighth went to Masia and ninth to Tatay.

How the rest finished

McPhee recovered as far as fifth position at one point but ran wide on Lap 17 at Turn 1 and had dropped to 10th by the time he reached the Reverse Corkscrew again, the same position in which he would cross the finish line. Artigas claimed 11th, ahead of Suzuki, and Garcia, who was back in the top 10 until he also drifted off the race line at Turn 1 on Lap 18. Foggia was classified 14th and Moreira – who got a Long Lap Penalty for persistent track limits breaches – scored a single Championship point.

Three riders were involved in a crash at the opening corner, namely Lorenzo Fellon (SIC58 Swuadra Corse), Nicola Carraro (QJMotor Avintia Racing team), and Joshua Whatley (VisionTrack Racing Team) – an incident for which stewards opted to take no further action. Ryusei Yamanaka (MT Helmets - MSI) went down later on the opening lap and while he re-mounted, he eventually pitted, but those would be the only four DNFs of the contest.

Now, it’s time for the Asian flyaways. Can Guevara tighten his grip on the Championship even further at the Motul Grand Prix of Japan? Catch Round 16 from the Mobility Resort Motegi, on September 23-25.

Moto3™ Race Top 10:

1. Izan Guevara (Autosolar GASGAS Aspar Team)
2. Ayumu Sasaki (Sterilgarda Husqvarna Max) + 0.957
3. Daniel Holgado (Red Bull KTM Ajo) + 6.536
4. Deniz Öncü (Red Bull KTM Tech 3) + 12.906
5. Adrian Fernandez (Red Bull KTM Tech 3) + 16.695
6. Ivan Ortola (Angeluss MTA Team) + 16.721
7. David Muñoz (BOE Motorsports) + 16.855
8. Jaume Masia (Red Bull KTM Ajo) + 16.961
9. Carlos Tatay (CFMoto Racing PrustelGP) + 17.048
10. John McPhee (Sterilgarda Husqvarna Max) + 17.071

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