Lorenzo Dalla Porta (Leopard Racing) has been the bridesmaid a number of times this season in Moto3™, but in the HJC Helmets Motorrad Grand Prix Deutschland the Italian finally took to the top step and became the eighth different winner in nine races, just 0.072 ahead of teammate Marcos Ramirez over the line. Aron Canet (Sterilgarda Max Racing Team) put in a stunning ride through the field from P22 on the grid to take third, losing the Championship lead but ending the day only two points down on Dalla Porta.
It was Romano Fenati (VNE Snipers) who took the holeshot from the second row of the grid, with Ramirez and Kaito Toba (Honda Team Asia) also getting past polesitter Ayumu Sasaki (Petronas Sprinta Racing) early on. A crash between Alonso Lopez (Estrella Galicia 0,0) and Kömmerling Gresini Moto3’s Gabriel Rodrigo then split the group slightly, and Fenati was left leading a gaggle of six riders around the Sachsenring.
John McPhee (Petronas Sprinta Racing) and Can Öncü (Red Bull KTM Ajo) soon managed to bridge the gap to make it a group of nine battling at the front, however, and the two Leopard machines, McPhee, Jakub Kornfeil (Redox PrüstelGP) and Fenati were battling it out. But on Lap 11, Ramirez was able to get into the lead and managed to pull out a small gap, holding onto it for a numbers of laps before a couple of mistakes saw the chasers reel him in; Dalla Porta and McPhee slicing past.
By that point Canet had made good progress to get himself inside the points, but it looked unlikely that the Spaniard would be able to challenge for the podium with the top seven then over a second clear of Tatsuki Suzuki (SIC58 Squadra Corse) in P8. But the Japanese rider just ahead of Canet suddenly went half a second quicker than the leaders and seven became nine heading into the final five laps, with the Spaniard soon starting to pick his way through to the front.
Soon up into fourth, once more through Turn 1 he was up to second. The fight between the top men at the top of the standings was well and truly on, but it was Ramirez who was back in the lead on the penultimate lap, again pulling out a slight gap. Heading around Turn 7 though, the Honda rider got a bit out of shape that gave Canet and Dalla Porta the chance to pounce down ‘The Waterfall’, with the Spaniard in the lead heading onto the final lap.
As the freight train chugged down the hill last time around, Dalla Porta went for his attack and pulled out to dive into the lead, with Ramirez following him through – pushing Canet down to P3. With his teammate in the lead, would Ramirez make a move into the last corner? He seemed to think about it, but ultimately it all came down the the drag to the line,and Dalla Porta was just able to stay ahead for his first win of the year. That makes him the new Championship leader heading into the summer break, with Ramirez doing a top job for the team to keep Canet at bay and take second. The number 44, meanwhile, stays within two points of the top…
Fenati picked up his best result of the season in fourth having battled for the win throughout, with Raul Fernandez (Sama Qatar Angel Nieto) taking P5 – the reigning Moto3™ Junior World Champion collecting his best Grand Prix finish. McPhee settled for sixth and the Scotsman now sits P6 in the Championship, with Ai Ogura (Honda Team Asia) taking home another top finish in P7 after two consecutive sixth places in Barcelona and Assen. Ogura heads a trio of Japanese riders inside the top ten, with Suzuki in P8 after clawing back the gap to the leaders in the latter stages and Sasaki taking ninth from pole. Kornfeil, a threat throughout, completed the top ten.
Sergio Garcia (Estrella Galicia 0,0) took P11 and some solid points, with Niccolo Antonelli (SIC58 Squadra Corse) gaining a few places from his qualifying position in P12, although he’s now 36 points off Canet. Filip Salac (Redox PrüstelGP) made good on his promise to take points, ahead of Can Öncü (Red Bull KTM Ajo) and a surprisingly difficult weekend for Tony Arbolino (VNE Snipers) and Jaume Masia (Bester Capital Dubai).
As well as Rodrigo and Lopez’ early incident, Albert Arenas (Sama Qatar Angel Nieto Team), Toba, Celestino Vietti (SKY Racing Team VR46), teammate Dennis Foggia, Darryn Binder (CIP Green Power) and teammate Tom Booth-Amos (CIP Green Power) all crashed.
That’s it from the lightweight class and now school’s out for summer. After finally winning this season, Dalla Porta makes it eight winners in nine races and the Italian takes a two-point Championship lead into the summer break. Can Canet fight back at Brno? Find out on the 4th August.
Lorenzo Dalla Porta: “It’s fantastic to take a victory after so many podiums where I wanted to win so many times. Today was our day and we have to enjoy it! It’s fantastic for the team because we took first and second. I did a good race though I didn’t have the best race pace, but when the other riders where in front of me I could ride fast and for that reason I tried to put myself first, second, third or maximum fourth. And I saw that I had to start the last lap second to win the race…I did it and it’s fantastic!”
1 – Lorenzo Dalla Porta (ITA – Honda) 39’29.348
2 – Marcos Ramirez (SPA – Honda) +0.072
3 – Aron Canet (SPA – KTM) +0.120