Dennis Foggia (Leopard Racing) is a winner for the second time in 2021 after emerging victorious in the Moto3™ Motul TT Assen, handing Leopard Racing their 30th 25-point haul on the Grand Prix stage. The Italian fended off second place Sergio Garcia (Gaviota GASGAS Aspar Team) by just 0.078s, as Romano Fenati (Sterilgarda Max Racing Team) returns to the podium for the first time since Jerez despite taking two long-lap penalties.
A classic Moto3™ race at the Cathedral
From second on the grid Fenati was the rider to grab the holeshot into Turn 1 as polesitter Jeremy Alcoba (Indonesian Racing Gresini Moto3) slotted into P2, as Garcia launched well to click into P3 on the opening lap. Fenati immediately got his head down at the front, knowing he had two long-lap penalties to take, and the first of those was done on Lap 3. This handed Foggia the lead, before Garcia grabbed the baton, as Fenati dived in for long-lap number two on Lap 5.
A lead group of seven formed with 16 laps to go, World Championship leader Pedro Acosta (Red Bull KTM Ajo) was P8 and 0.6s back. As always, slipstream was a factor and this meant the lead seven was now a 13 riders line astern, before Andrea Migno (Rivacold Snipers Team) and Niccolo Antonelli (Avintia Esponsorama Moto3) crashed unhurt at Turn 5. Acosta, just ahead, was out the saddle at Turn 5 too.
This incident split the group, Alcoba and Kaito Toba (CIP Green Power) – whose moment had a knock-on effect for Migno and Antonelli – were cut adrift, as nine riders streaked clear in the battle for victory. Foggia, Garcia, Darryn Binder (Petronas Sprinta Racing), his teammate John McPhee, Acosta, Fenati, Tatsuki Suzuki (SIC58 Squadra Corse), Xavier Artigas (Leopard Racing) and Gabriel Rodrigo (Indonesian Racing Gresini Moto3) were the frontrunners, as Acosta set the fastest lap of the race with seven laps to go. Rodrigo and Artigas then lost touch, meaning seven riders were now hunting 25 points.
Heading onto the last lap, Foggia led. The Honda rider had Garcia and Fenati for company, Suzuki in fourth was 0.5s back. Garcia and Fenati couldn’t quite get close enough to show Foggia a wheel on the final lap and using the power advantage of his machine, Foggia was able to hold onto P1 to claim victory for the second time in 2021. Garcia consolidated second in the Championship with P2 and closes the gap to 48 points between him and Acosta, Fenati’s ride was phenomenal to earn a 27th Moto3™ podium on team boss’ Max Biaggi’s 50th birthday.
Top 7 split by 1.5s
After missing qualifying on Saturday and having to spend the night in hospital, Acosta produces yet another wonderful performance to grab P4 at Assen from P18 on the grid. Suzuki missed Warm Up after returning a false negative PCR test, but the Japanese rider was seemingly unaffected to bring home a P5. McPhee picks up a solid P6 from the Dutch TT as Binder, despite crossing the line fourth, finishes seventh after being handed a three-place penalty for exceeding track limits on the last lap.
Rodrigo and Artigas weren’t able to keep tabs with the front runners, the Argentine and Spanish rookie cross the line P8 and P9 respectively, Alcoba settled for P10 from pole after being one of the unlucky ones to get caught up in the Migno-Antonelli crash.
The Moto3™ field will now head off for a well-earned summer break before heading to the Red Bull Ring at the beginning of August for Round 10. At the half way stage, Acosta leads Garcia by a healthy 48 points, Foggia moves up to third in the overall standings, 24 points behind Garcia.
1. Denis Foggia (Leopard Racing)
2. Sergio Garcia (Gaviota GasGas Aspar Team) + 0.078
3. Romano Fenati (Sterilgarda Max Racing Team) + 0.207
4. Pedro Acosta (Red Bull KTM Ajo) + 1.352
5. Tatsuki Suzuki (SIC58 Squadra Corse) + 1.445
6. John McPhee (Petronas Sprinta Racing) + 1.510
7. Darryn Binder (Petronas Sprinta Racing) + 1.338
8. Gabriel Rodrigo (Indonesian Racing Gresini Moto3) + 9.095
9. Xavier Artigas (Leopard Racing) + 9.140
10. Jeremy Alcoba (Indonesian Racing Gresini Moto3) + 10.383