The Championship leader arrives with a slightly bigger lead as the pressure shifts to his rivals.
A couple of months ago, seventh place would have felt like a tougher race for Championship leader Albert Arenas (Solunion Aspar Team Moto3). But it was enough in the Aragon GP to see the Spaniard extend his lead at the top fairly significantly as his key rivals faltered, and he now has 144 points to Ai Ogura’s (Honda Team Asia) 131. Arenas also fought it out for the podium and took a front row start, so he has speed at the venue he’ll be hoping to use to extend that gap at the top.
So can he? Ogura’s run of tougher races continues, and Celestino Vietti (Sky Racing Team VR46) struggled on Sunday. The Italian did, however, only miss out on pole by half a tenth – so he’ll be aiming to rediscover that speed in the Gran Premio Liqui Moly de Teruel. And what about John McPhee (Petronas Sprinta Racing)? The Brit has his 2021 plans wrapped up and arrives with less to lose, in fifth overall, and he took an impressive fifth place in the Aragon GP despite serving a Long Lap penalty early in the race.
The others in that front group that Arenas ultimately lost out to will arrive confident in their form as well. Winner Jaume Masia (Leopard Racing) played it to perfection for the win, Darryn Binder (CIP – Green Power) was only a tenth down. What can they do? Masia moved up from P17 on the grid to win and bridged the gap to the front along with McPhee, and Darryn Binder also had to play catch me if you can. If they’re further up from the off, it could be ominous.
Raul Fernandez (Red Bull KTM Ajo) took his first Grand Prix podium too, and his Friday, Saturday and Sunday speed also looks a little ominous. With the Spaniard finally having converted a quick weekend into some silverware, he’ll be one to watch. Jeremy Alcoba (Kömmerling Gresini Moto3) had an impressive race to take sixth as well, and Romano Fenati (Sterilgarda Max Racing Team) – who has already won at MotorLand, in 2015 – was once again a key presence at the front. Can the likes of Vietti, Dennis Foggia (Leopard Racing) and Ogura bridge the gap if the frontrunners stay ahead? And can Tatsuki Suzuki (SIC58 Squadra Corse) take that step to stay quick over the whole race distance?
And then there’s Tony Arbolino (Rivacold Snipers Team). The Italian was forced to miss the Aragon GP due to mandatory self-isolation despite testing negative for Covid-19, and he’ll be raring to get back to action as soon as possible. He’ll have less track time under his belt but some serious motivation – and he remains only 29 points off the top. Can he pick up where he left off? We’re about to find out…
Tune in for the Gran Premio Liqui Moly de Teruel Moto3™ race at the slightly later time of 11:20 (GMT +1) on Sunday!
Moto3™ Championship Standings
1 Albert Arenas – Solunion Aspar Team Moto3 – KTM – 144
2 Ai Ogura – Honda Team Asia – Honda – 131
3 Celestino Vietti – Sky Racing Team VR46 – KTM – 126
4 Tony Arbolino – Rivacold Snipers Team – Honda – 115
5 John McPhee – Petronas Sprinta Racing – Honda – 109
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