Jerez Moto3: Antonelli wins as Masia crashes
SIC58 Squadra Corse rider Niccolo Antonelli took his first Moto3 victory since 2016 at Jerez as championship contenders Jaume Masia and Marcos Ramirez crashed out.
For most of the race, the lead was contested between Antonelli's teammate Tatsuki Suzuki and pole-sitter Lorenzo Dalla Porta with the duo trading positions on numerous occasions.
Their teammates Ramirez and Antonelli broke the status quo heading into the last couple of laps as both passed Suzuki.
But Ramirez ended up hitting the back of Antonelli on the exit of Turn 4, his bike dangerously sliding across the track and several riders coming close to hitting it.
In the end, everyone avoided it but Romano Fenati, the Italian caught out and forced to retire.
Antonelli stayed ahead for one more lap before Suzuki passed him, but rookie Celestino Vietti then moved to the front with a Turn 1 overtake on the penultimate lap.
Vietti was demoted by Antonelli at the final corner of the same lap and, despite running slightly wide at T6, Antonelli spent the entire last lap in the lead.
Antonelli scored his fourth Moto3 win, and his first since the 2016 Qatar opener.
Suzuki took his maiden Moto3 podium by passing Vietti, who bagged his second top-three finish in eight Moto3 races, at Turn 9.
Max Racing Team's Aron Canet spent the whole race in the top group and grabbed fourth to take the championship lead, one point ahead of Antonelli.
Albert Arenas (Angel Nieto) survived Gabriel Rodrigo dive-bombing - and crashing - at T13 of the opening lap and finished fifth ahead of Kaito Toba (Honda Team Asia) and Jakub Kornfeil (Pruestl GP).
Dalla Porta ran wide on the penultimate lap and in the end settled for eighth followed by Ai Ogura (Honda Team Asia) and Andrea Migno (Bester Capital Dubai).
Masia, who started the race as the championship leader, crashed on Lap 2 as fellow local riders Sergio Garcia and Raul Fernandez collided at Turn 6, the former taken out by the latter.
Tom Booth-Amos and Makar Yurchenko also crashed while Filip Salac retired in the pits.
|3||Celestino Vietti Ramus||KTM||22||39'30.632||0.305|
|8||Lorenzo Dalla Porta||Honda||22||39'31.618||1.291|
|Makar Yurchenko||KTM||21||38'31.715||1 Lap|
|Sergio Garcia||Honda||18||32'20.580||4 Laps|
|Raul Fernandez||KTM||18||32'20.825||4 Laps|
|Romano Fenati||Honda||18||32'21.011||4 Laps|
|Tom Booth-Amos||KTM||18||32'55.504||4 Laps|
|Gabriel Rodrigo||Honda||14||25'50.040||8 Laps|
|Filip Salac||KTM||10||18'12.168||12 Laps|
|Jaume Masia||KTM||2||3'43.018||20 Laps|
|View full results|
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|Teams||SIC58 Squadra Corse|