The Spaniard takes back to the top step to beat Alcoba by just 0.015, with Öncü promoted to third and a first podium
Sergio Garcia (Solunion GASGAS Aspar Team) took his second Grand Prix victory of the season in the Gran Premi Monster Energy de Catalunya, the Spaniard battling through to come out on top in one of the hardest-fought races of the season. Jeremy Alcoba (Indonesian Racing Gresini Moto3) took second from second on the grid, with Deniz Öncü (Red Bull KTM Tech3) crossing the line fourth but promoted to third – and a first Grand Prix podium – as Jaume Masia (Red Bull KTM Ajo) exceeded track limits on the last lap.
Polesitter Gabriel Rodrigo (Indonesian Racing Gresini Moto3) took the holeshot ahead of Niccolo Antonelli (Avintia Esponsorama Moto3) and Alcoba, and so began the battle. A huge group fought it out for the points from there on out, with the long main straight in Barcelona seeing the slipstream play a key part in the shuffle as riders went four, five and more wide into Turn 1. Garcia, from the back end of the top 20 on the grid, made quick progress to get into the freight train fight.
From then on, the group see-sawed with the slipstream, positions changing nearly every corner. Just before the field raced across the line to start the last lap, Alcoba was leading. But not wanting to get swamped down the straight, the Spaniard sat up and looked behind between Turns 13 and 14, and Masia emerged in the lead for the first time and held the baton all the way to Turn 1. But then Garcia pounced just as rookie teammate Izan Guevara (Solunion GASGAS Aspar Team) tucked the front from P3 and luckily took no one with him.
Some contact was then made between Garcia and Alcoba on the run into the penultimate corner, Garcia held on and held firm though to take the chequered flag in P1 by just hundredths. With it he returns to second in the World Championship standings. Alcoba was the man denied, with Öncü crossing the line fourth but promoted to third for an emotional first podium. Masia ran onto the green asphalt on the exit of Turn 4, and was demoted a place from P3.
Masia therefore takes P4, with Darryn Binder (Petronas Sprinta Racing) cementing a P5, the South African a constant threat at the front throughout. Rodrigo will feel hard done by to finish P6 after looking so strong in the closing stages, with Championship leader Pedro Acosta (Red Bull KTM Ajo) coming from P25 on the grid to P7. The rookie sensation took his turn leading before losing out near the end, but his lead is 39 points heading to Round 8. Niccolo Antonelli (Avintia Esponsorama Moto3), Kaito Toba (CIP Green Power) and Stefano Nepa (BOE Owlride) completed a top ten covered by 1.1s.
Behind the front few over the line however, the race was Red Flagged after a crash for Ayumu Sasaki (Red Bull KTM Tech 3), collecting Dennis Foggia (Leopard Racing) and Xavier Artigas (Leopard Racing), and Romano Fenati (Sterilgarda Max Racing Team) also dropped back but stayed in the race. The Leopard riders hitched a ride back to pitlane, with Sasaki taken to local hospital for checks. He suffered a concussion is kept in overnight for observation as a precautionary measure.
Fenati, Yuki Kunii (Honda Team Asia), Elia Bartolini (Avintia Esponsorama Moto3), Ryusei Yamanaka (CarXpert PruestelGP) and Daniel Holgado (CIP Green Power) completed the points. John McPhee (Petronas Sprinta Racing) crashed out the lead and Andrea Migno (Rivacold Snipers Team) and Tatsuki Suzuki (SIC58 Squadra Corse) went down too, and Riccardo Rossi (BOE Owlride) before the start.
Moto3™ will be back on track at the Sachsenring in two weeks, make sure to tune in for more.
1 Sergio Garcia – Solunion GASGAS Aspar Team – GASGAS – 38:33.760
2 Jeremy Alcoba – Indonesian Racing Gresini Moto3 – Honda – +0.015
3 Deniz Öncü – Red Bull KTM Tech3 – KTM – +0.118
Sergio Garcia: “It was a crazy race, the straight was completely… I don’t know how to explain it. But I’m very happy for this victory, it was amazing. Amazing but difficult race and I’m very happy.”
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