In Qatar it was Kaito Toba (Honda Team Asia) who took his first Grand Prix win and in Argentina the pattern became such with Jaume Masia’s (Bester Capital Dubai) impressive victory – adding to Can Öncü’s (Red Bull KTM Ajo) victory in Valencia last year. It’s the first time first timers have taken three wins in a row since Moto3™ began, so there’s an obvious question as we head north to the USA: will it be four first time winners in a row? There are plenty of candidates on a grid stacked with quality, but there are two more veteran names who’ve shone in Austin before: Romano Fenati (VNE Snipers Team) and Aron Canet (Sterilgarda Max Racing Team).
The expansive Circuit of the Americas is certainly one behemoth of a track to tame. The two long straights often make a spectacular scene in Moto3™, but the technical and challenging remainder of the lap has meant we’ve seen riders break away from the pack before. In 2016, Fenati was the man to manage it and won by over six seconds, and in 2017 the win was his with a margin of more than four despite a shortened race. That year, however, someone else had outpaced the Italian for much of the weekend: Canet.
The Spaniard broke the lap record and looked certain for a charge at the win, but Fenati outduelled him and forced an error. Could we see a repeat head to head two years on? Or has the chasing pack more than caught the two in the interim?
The likes of recent frontrunners Masia, Toba, Gabriel Rodrigo (Kömmerling Gresini Moto3), Tony Arbolino (VNE Snipers Team), Lorenzo Dalla Porta (Leopard Racing), Darryn Binder (Bester Capital Dubai) and Ayumu Sasaki (Petronas Sprinta Racing) will be hoping so – and a good few of them have yet to take a podium or win so there’s plenty on the line.
Watch Moto3™ tackle Texas from 11:00 (GMT -5) local time on Sunday 14th April.
Kaito Toba (JPN) – 31
Lorenzo Dalla Porta (ITA) – 29
Jaume Masia (SPA) – 25
Niccolo Antonelli (ITA) – 21
Darryn Binder (AUS) – 20
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