Lorenzo Dalla Porta (Leopard Racing) pulled off an incredible win in the Pramac Generac Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix to take the 2019 Moto3™ World Championship in style, less than a tenth ahead of teammate Marcos Ramirez and 2018 Phillip Island winner Albert Arenas (Gaviota Angel Nieto Team) over the line. The hard-fought group battle went down to the wire, although the Italian took a step towards the Championship early in the race as key rival Aron Canet (Sterilgarda Max Racing Team) crashed out.
It was Ramirez who took the holeshot from his maiden pole position, with the initial pack led by the Spaniard, compatriot Arenas, Romano Fenati (VNE Snipers), Canet and Tony Arbolino (VNE Snipers), with Dalla Porta losing out a little off the line. Darryn Binder (CIP – Green Power) didn’t waste much time in ruffling a few feathers either as he suffered a moment – no harm done and up from way back on the grid – as Ramirez then ceded the lead to Fenati up front.
After that shuffle, there was even bigger drama not far off. From the thick of it in the fight at the front, Canet suddenly slid out at Turn 1 – leaving Dalla Porta with a open goal, but in one of the most brutally hard-fought Moto3™ races of the season; no mean feat.
The lead group was 20 deep, with the likes of John McPhee (Petronas Sprinta Racing), Arbolino, and Tatsuki Suzuki (SIC58 Squadra Corse) just a few names who took turns to lead. One name was always there though – that of Dalla Porta. It was a classy ride from the Italian as trouble unfolded behind; Andrea Migno (Mugen Race) and Kaito Toba (Honda Team Asia) crashing out at Turn 4 with three to go and the lead was changing sector by sector.
Heading onto the last lap, however, Dalla Porta had it from Suzuki and McPhee. The Japanese rider then took the lead at Turn 4, somehow staying on the bike – and in the lead – after getting crossed up on the exit. A top-notch manoeuvre around Lukey Heights then saw Dalla Porta take the lead back as teammate Ramirez dived up the inside of a few riders to get himself up to P4…
Celestino Vietti (Sky Racing Team VR46) and Jaume Masia (Mugen Race) were the next to crash, heartbreakingly with two only corners to go, but the glory on the Island was about to go to Dalla Porta. Under attack out the final corner with those behind tucked into the slipstream, it was incredibly close but the number 48 claimed the win and the Moto3™ Championship in the best way possible – with victory. Ramirez was able to draft Suzuki and Arenas to make it a Leopard 1-2, with Arenas pushed back to third and Suzuki once again JUST losing out..
McPhee got a little caught up at Turn 10 and eventually crossed the line in P5, with Binder’s early scorchers giving him the chance to take home an impressive P6 from nigh on the back of the grid. Ayumu Sasaki (Petronas Sprinta Racing) was able to grab his best finish since the British GP in seventh, too.
Speaking of best finishes, the man in eighth put together a powerhouse performance on Phillip Island. Tom Booth-Amos (CIP Green Power) produced by far his best ride of his rookie season to pick up his first top ten and fight in the front group, impressing once again after a solid Saturday to boot. Arbolino eventually had to settle for P9 after tasting the race lead in the early laps, while Stefano Nepa (Reale Avinita Arizona 77) was another top performer as he finished in his second top 10 position of the year in tenth.
Dennis Foggia (Sky Racing Team VR46), Fenati, Alonso Lopez (Estrella Galicia 0,0), Ai Ogura (Honda Team Asia) and Jakub Kornfeil (Redox PrüstelGP) completed the points, Lopez via a slightly more scenic route. The Spaniard had to do the Long Lap Penalty twice due to cutting across the white line on his first attempt after he was penalised for contact with Filip Salač (Redox PrüstelGP). Gabriel Rodrigo (Kömmerling Gresini Moto3) and Raul Fernandez (Gaviota Angel Nieto Team) were involved in an incident at Lukey Heights with eight laps to go, and Sergio Garcia (Estrella Galicia 0,0) and wildcard Yanni Shaw (Double Six Motor Sport) also crashed out.
So, after an Island stunner, we have our 2019 Moto3™ World Champion. Congratulations to Dalla Porta on a sensational season, but with two races to go, everyone will be wanting to finish the year on a high – none more so than Canet. Malaysia is next and Sepang International Circuit awaits in less than a weeks’ time.
Lorenzo Dalla Porta: “It’s been fantastic for me, I don’t understand what we achieved! But I’m over the moon, I wanted to do it from the start of the season, winning the Championship and the race is something incredible. I think I have to sleep on it to understand that we won the Championship!
“This race was difficult, but when I saw Aron crashed, I tried to win. Because winning the Championship and the race is better! I tried, and I thought if I crashed then ok, we’ll try and win in Malaysia instead. But ok, we’re here. This is for my Grandma, my family and my team.
“I think I led a lot of laps throughout the races, and I think that’s why I won the title. I was first a lot of the time, consistent. And my team worked so hard and they did a fantastic job in all of the races!”
1 – Lorenzo Dalla Porta (ITA – Honda) 37’45.817
2 – Marcos Ramirez (SPA – Honda) +0.077
3 – Albert Arenas (SPA – KTM) +0.088
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