After a grandstand finish and a 1-2 on home turf for the Aspar Team, Le Mans awaits – with another final corner that tempts a showdown.
Izan Guevara (Gaviota GASGAS Aspar Team) pulled a genius rabbit out the hat to take his first win of the year in Jerez, heading round the outside of the final corner to outfox the rest. In doing so he underlined his impressive form in the World Championship – and in 2022 so far – and brought himself a few points closer to the top. But the top remains in the hands of more veteran teammate Sergio Garcia, with the Spaniard playing arguably the right cards in Jerez but coming up just short – nevertheless extending his lead over closest rival Dennis Foggia (Leopard Racing). Next up it’s Le Mans, and the final corner at the French venue offers another opportunity for those whose ambition is matched by their talent. So does anyone have an answer for the duo this time out?
Last season the weather put paid to a more usual Moto3™ showdown, and that will once again be a key consideration as Le Mans can be one more prone to rain. Even then though, Garcia won it and by more than a couple of seconds, so there’s no salvation coming from the weather for those looking to cut the gap. Foggia, with a more difficult record in the wet, will be one hoping it’s dry, and the Italian’s record at the venue doesn’t pencil it in as a key target for a place to make up ground either – so it could be damage limitation.
Guevara’s track record, meanwhile, doesn’t seem to have mattered much so far this season as he’s been fast everywhere, although Jerez is a track where the number 28 has more experience. Tracks like Le Mans are a good place to prove the step forward. For Jaume Masia (Red Bull KTM Ajo), who’s now on quite a podium run, it’s another chance to prove his consistency too, with the veteran having taken a rostrum at Jerez for the first time to secure another top finish. Deniz Öncü (Red Bull KTM Tech3), meanwhile, will likely be tired of taking fourth and fifth – and the Turk can usually be relied on to try that move. Now he needs to make it stick, and on the team’s home turf.
Ayumu Sasaki (Sterilgarda Max Racing Team) is another to watch after the Japanese rider turned a back of the grid penalty into a sixth place finish, with super speed once again. His teammate – and former Le Mans winner – John McPhee is hoping to be back on track too, and the Scotsman was already feeling ready to give it a shot in Portugal. He’s the only rider in the field to have won at the track from pole.
Rookies Daniel Holgado (Red Bull KTM Ajo) and Diogo Moreira (MT Helmets – MSI) will be aiming high too after two more solid finishes, and home hero Lorenzo Fellon (SIC58 Squadra Corse) is hoping to be back. He missed the Spanish GP after a shoulder dislocation on Friday.
It’s now 21 points of advantage for Garcia at the top, and that’s only to Foggia. The Italian, and Honda, will be hoping to find something more for the French GP to stop that growing – especially after rookie Scott Ogden (VisionTrack Racing Team) was the lead Japanese machine home last time out. Find out what they have in the locker when the lights go out at the French GP at 11:00 (GMT +2) for Moto3™.
Moto3™ CHAMPIONSHIP: TOP 5
1 Sergio Garcia (Gaviota GASGAS Aspar Team) – GASGAS – 103
2 Dennis Foggia (Leopard Racing) – Honda – 82
3 Izan Guevara (Gaviota GASGAS Aspar Team) – GASGAS – 73
4 Jaume Masia (Red Bull KTM Ajo) – KTM – 70
5 Deniz Öncü (Red Bull KTM Tech 3) – KTM – 63
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