Joan Mir: the master of Moto3 strikes again in Montmelo
Joan Mir (Leopard Racing) increased his advantage in the Moto3™ title standings once again at the Gran Premi Monster Energy de Catalunya, taking a stunning win to go from third to first in the final sector of the last lap – just following the announcement of his move to Moto2™ in 2018. Romano Fenati (Marinelli Rivacold) was another late attacker to take second, with polesitter Jorge Martin (Del Conca Gresini Moto3) completing the podium at home.
It was Juanfran Guevara (RBA BOE Racing Team) who got the holeshot into Turn 1, as compatriot and polesitter Martin was slow away from the line and dropped back slightly. Fenati soon struck against Guevara for the lead, however, with Championship leader Mir and fellow title hopeful Aron Canet (Estrella Galicia 0,0) then following the Italian through.
As the rhythm started to settle, there was a front group of five who emerged from the melee – Canet, Fenati, Martin, Fabio Di Giannantonio (Del Conca Gresini Moto3) and Mir – with Enea Bastianini (Estrella Galicia 0,0) the man pushing to bridge the gap.
Second row starter Marcos Ramirez (Platinum Bay Real Estate) dropped back slightly in the initial laps to lead the second group in P7, with RBA BOE Racing teammates Gabriel Rodrigo and Juanfran Guevara just tucked in ahead of Niccolo Antonelli (Red Bull KTM Ajo). Rodrigo then crashed out of contention at the final chicane following contact with Ramirez, moving Tatsuki Suzuki (SIC58 Squadra Corse) up a place in the fight.
With Bastianini arrived on the scene, the lead group of six chopped and changed positions – including a run off for ‘Diggia’, but the Italian tagged back onto the rear of the group as Ramirez and Suzuki started to come into contention. Another on the charge was Nicolo Bulega (Sky Racing Team VR46), as the Italian moved through the second group to also try and hunt down the leaders.
After a run off for Ramirez at Turn 1, the Spaniard rejoined just behind the front five as the final laps dawned – with Martin leading Fenati, Bastianini, Mir, Canet and the Platinum Bay Real Estate rider over the line for the last lap.
The tousle for positions saw some signature incredible Moto3™ moves as the corners remaining ticked down, with a decisive move from Mir then seeing the Mallorcan mug Martin for the lead, and Fenati sweep around the outside of the polesitter into the final chicane – with both holding their advantages over the line.
Bastianini beat Canet for fourth at the flag, with Ramirez completing another impressive performance to complete the top six. Di Giannantonio took P7, ahead of a stunning ride for Andrea Migno (Sky Racing Team VR46) after the Mugello winner managed to tag onto the frontrunners late on having stormed from P20 on the grid to take eighth. Teammate Nicolo Bulega was P9, with Tatsuki Suzuki completing the top ten in a fantastic result for SIC58 Squadra Corse.
There was drama further back on the final lap, as Guevara came together with Platinum Bay Real Estate rider Darryn Binder and both riders crashed out – with another crash also seeing Jules Danilo (Marinelli Rivacold Snipers) suffer a DNF.
British Talent Team rider John McPhee had a solid comeback ride into P12 from further down the grid, with Philipp Oettl (Südmetall Schedl GP Racing) leading a points for Mahindra rider Marco Bezzechi (CIP) and Bo Bendsneyder (Red Bull KTM Ajo) to lock out the top fifteen.
Next up it’s the historic TT Circuit Assen, with Mir now even further ahead in the standings as he celebrates his latest win – as well as a new three-year deal with EG 0,0 Marc VDS to move up to Moto2™ next season.
Moto3 Race Results
1 – Joan Mir (SPA – Honda) 42’11.846
2 – Romano Fenati (ITA – Honda) + 0.191
3 – Jorge Martín (SPA – Honda + 0.279