Thursday, June 13, 2024

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Back-to-back glory for Alonso

Back-to-back Glory For AlonsoDavid Alonso (Gaviota GASGAS Aspar Team), take a bow. The young Colombian takes his third victory in four races after beating Jaume Masia (Leopard Racing) and Deniz Öncü (Red Bull KTM Ajo) in a phenomenal Moto3™ battle at the Gran Premio Red Bull di San Marino e della Riviera di Rimini.

The top three crossed the line 0.2s apart as World Championship leader Daniel Holgado (Red Bull KTM Tech3) struggled to P16, blowing the title race wide open.

It was Ayumu Sasaki (Liqui Moly Husqvarna Intact GP) who got the best launch from the middle of the front row as the Japanese star grabbed the holeshot into Turn 1, but Masia immediately responded to take the lead at Turn 4. Kaito Toba (SIC58 Squadra Corse) lost ground on the first lap, he was shoved down to P5 as Diogo Moreira (MT Helmets – MSI) and Alonso made forward progress.

Masia held a 0.6s advantage on Lap 2 as Sasaki and Moreira squabbled for second place. The lead was up to a second heading onto Lap 3, with the chasing pack needing to settle down and work together to try and reel in the early runaway leader. However, settling down isn’t something Öncü can do. The Turk shoved his way past Moreira and set his sights on catching Masia.

By Lap 6 of 20, Öncü and Moreira had bridged the gap. Sasaki, David Muñoz (BOE Motorsports), Alonso and Toba were a further 0.7s adrift, with World Championship leader Holgado battling outside the top 10.

With 12 laps left, a lead group of seven had formed with Collin Veijer (Liqui Moly Husqvarna Intact GP) and Jose Antonio Rueda (Red Bull KTM Ajo) tagging onto the back of the battle in P8 and P9. Lap 11 of 20 saw the lead change for the first time as Masia went from P1 to P3 in the blink of an eye, with Öncü now at the front.

With seven laps remaining, a top four of Öncü, Masia, Muñoz and Alonso had gapped Moreira, Sasaki, Toba, Veijer and Rueda. The front quartet were two seconds up the road, with Holgado still P11 and over a second off tenth place Ivan Ortola (Angeluss MTA Team).

It was bubbling up nicely for a final lap spectacular in Misano. The top four was as you were for a few laps before Muñoz had a big front-end moment at Turn 2 – the Spaniard did well to keep it upright but lost P3 to Alonso.

Heading onto the final lap, Öncü led from Masia and Alonso, with Muñoz 0.6s adrift in P4. Alonso slammed in the fastest lap of the race as we strapped in for a last-lap thriller. It stayed the same through the first half of the lap before Alonso grabbed P2 at Turn 10. Then on the run into Turn 14, Masia pocketed a two-for-one deal. It was a cracking move but Alonso returned the favour on the cutback and managed to hold onto the lead all the way to the flag. The Colombian beat Masia by 0.036s to P1 with Öncü settling for P3 having led for most of the second half of the race.Back-to-back Glory For Alonso

Muñoz bounced back from his Catalan GP disappointment with a solid P4, as Veijer takes home a top five after showing great late race pace. Japan’s Toba and Sasaki crossed the line in P6 and P7 respectively, with Ortola doing well to claim P8 after being shoved well wide in the early exchanges. Rueda and Romano Fenati (Rivacold Snipers Team) rounded out the top 10, as Taiyo Furusato (Honda Team Asia), Moreira, Stefano Nepa (Angeluss MTA Team), Ryusei Yamanaka (Gaviota GASGAS Aspar Team) and Tatsuki Suzuki (Leopard Racing) rounded out the points.

For Holgado, P16 is what the Spaniard has to swallow in Misano. The #96 remains the title leader, but his gap has been cut to just four points ahead of the inaugural Grand Prix of India. The top six – Holgado, Sasaki, Masia, Öncü, Alonso and Ortola – are split by just 29 points now. It’s game on in the Moto3™ title race! Joins us for more in India!

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