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European Moto3: Fernandez wins as Arenas is disqualified

Raul Fernandez took his maiden win in a dramatic Moto3 European Grand Prix in which championship leader Albert Arenas was disqualified following an early crash.

European Moto3: Fernandez wins as Arenas is disqualified

Celestino Vietti got the holeshot from third on the grid, while Arenas and Alonso Lopez made contact off the line on the charge down to Turn 1. 

Lopez would take the lead at the start of the second tour, with Fernandez coming through at the second corner.

Vietti retaliated through Turn 4, with Fernandez holding firm as the VR46 rider highsided out of the corner. 

This forced Arenas to check up, leaving Lopez with nowhere to go but straight into the back of the Aspar rider and damaging his KTM. 

The chaos allowed Fernandez to escape to a lead of over two seconds to start lap three, while Vietti remounted at the back of the pack and Arenas came into pitlane to try and have his KTM repaired. 

His Aspar team was able to do so, but he rejoined several laps down and would be disqualified on lap 13 for getting involved in the podium battle and ignoring blue flags.

Fernandez’s advantage at the front of the pack extended to 2.9s after the first handful of laps and hovered around that margin for a long time. 

The second-placed pack of Tony Arbolino (Snipers Honda), Honda Team Asia’s Ai Ogura and Segio Garcia on the EG 0,0 Honda had reduced Fernandez’s lead to under two seconds for the first time on lap 17.

That gap between Fernandez and Arbolino would come down to 1.5s with three laps to go, though Garcia and Ogura would lose touch of Arbolino slightly in the final laps as they engaged over third place.

Garcia and Ogura attacked Arbolino into Turn 1 on the final lap, with the former moving into second, before Ogura scythed up the inside of the Snipers rider to grab the final podium place.

Once clear, Garcia threw caution to the win and got Fernandez’s lead down to under a second by the final sector – but Fernandez held on by seven tenths to claim his maiden grand prix victory. 

Ogura held onto third across the final lap to move to within three points of championship leader Arenas with two rounds to go.

Despite his non-score, Vietti is still just 20 points behind Arenas, with Arbolino 23 points adrift in fourth after finishing the race fourth.

Darryn Binder was cast adrift of the podium battle early on, with the CIP rider fifth at the chequered flag ahead of Avintia’s Carlos Tatay, while Stefano Nepa (Aspar) pipped Gresini’s Jeremy Alcoba for seventh. 

Snipers’ Filip Salac and the Tech 3 KTM of Ayumu Sasaki rounded out the top 10, while there were costly crashes for title contenders John McPhee – who fell from his Petronas Sprinta Honda on lap five having started from pole – and Aragon winner Jaume Masia (Leopard). 

Race results:

Cla Rider Bike Time
1 Spain Raúl Fernández KTM  
2 Spain Sergio García Honda 0.703
3 Japan Ai Ogura Honda 1.005
4 Italy Tony Arbolino Honda 1.037
5 South Africa Darryn Binder KTM 13.392
6 Spain Carlos Tatay KTM 13.424
7 Italy Stefano Nepa KTM 16.719
8 Spain Jeremy Alcoba Honda 16.824
9 Czech Republic Filip Salač Honda 16.964
10 Japan Ayumu Sasaki KTM 17.088
11 Italy Riccardo Rossi KTM 17.344
12 Italy Andrea Migno KTM 17.467
13 Italy Romano Fenati Husqvarna 17.589
14 Turkey Deniz Öncü KTM 18.191
15 Argentina Gabriel Rodrigo Honda 18.358
16 Japan Ryusei Yamanaka Honda 18.441
17 Japan Yuki Kunii Honda 19.128
18 Switzerland Jason Dupasquier KTM 19.583
19 Italy Davide Pizzoli KTM 27.457
20 Belgium Barry Baltus KTM 27.836
21 Austria Maximilian Kofler KTM 31.328
22 Malaysia Khairul Idham Pawi Honda 31.661
23 Italy Celestino Vietti Ramus KTM 1'20.533
  Italy Niccolo Antonelli Honda  
  Japan Kaito Toba KTM  
  Japan Tatsuki Suzuki Honda  
  Italy Dennis Foggia Honda  
  Spain Jaume Masia Honda  
  United Kingdom John McPhee Honda  
  Spain Alonso López Husqvarna  
  Spain Albert Arenas KTM  
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About this article

Series Moto3
Event Valencia
Drivers Raúl Fernández
Author Lewis Duncan