Red Bull Ring Moto3: Fenati scores first win since return

Romano Fenati took the first win of his comeback Moto3 season at the Red Bull Ring, escaping into the distance after fighting off teammate Tony Arbolino.

Red Bull Ring Moto3: Fenati scores first win since return
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Fenati, whose debut Moto2 season last year was cut short when he was sacked by his team for grabbing Stefano Manzi’s brake lever at Misano, was only 16th in the lightweight-class standings this year coming into Red Bull Ring, yet set the fastest time in qualifying.

John McPhee had inherited pole position from Fenati following a raft of post-qualifying penalties, but lined up on a wet patch on the grid as a result of some rainfall in the morning.

He thus immediately dropped behind the two Snipers riders, with Arbolino and Fenati scrapping for the lead until the lattter ran wide at Turn 4 and allowed McPhee back through.

Unusually for Moto3, the leading trio began to break away swiftly after that, pulling as many as three seconds over the chasing pack by the time Fenati fought back through to the lead at the start of the fifth lap.

He and Arbolino swapped the lead several times over during the next few laps, but after getting back ahead on the ninth lap, Fenati began to make a break for it, streaking away as his teammate switched focus to fighting off McPhee.

Fenati stretched the gap over the pair to two seconds and maintained it from there onwards, easing up the pace towards the end to finish a second clear.

Behind him, Jaume Masia and Celestino Vietti had closed in on the Arbolino – McPhee scrap, and on the penultimate lap Masia tried to send it down the inside of the Scotsman for third, only to run out wide and highside off the bike on the wet part of the circuit.

This allowed Vietti into third past McPhee, but while the Italian then challenged Arbolino for second, he was instead re-passed by McPhee on the run to the chequered flag in a photo-finish.

Marcos Ramirez led Leopard teammate Lorenzo Dalla Porta in fifth, the latter taking the championship lead by one point over Aron Canet, who had to settle for 10th, some 18 seconds behind Fenati.

Makar Yurchenko scored a career-best seventh place, as he, Jakub Kornfeil and Niccolo Antonelli, slotted in between the two title rivals.

Raul Fernandez, Tatsuki Suzuki, Sergio Garcia, Andrea Migno and Can Oncu joined Masia in crashing, with Oncu first tagging the back of Stefano Nepa at Turn 3 and then falling once more at Turn 9.

Race results:

Cla # Rider Bike Laps Time
1 55 Italy Romano Fenati Honda 23  
2 14 Italy Tony Arbolino Honda 23 1.097
3 17 United Kingdom John McPhee Honda 23 1.105
4 13 Italy Celestino Vietti Ramus KTM 23 1.120
5 42 Spain Marcos Ramirez Honda 23 6.789
6 48 Italy Lorenzo Dalla Porta Honda 23 7.559
7 76 Kazakhstan Makar Yurchenko KTM 23 17.880
8 84 Czech Republic Jakub Kornfeil KTM 23 17.902
9 23 Italy Niccolo Antonelli Honda 23 17.936
10 44 Spain Arón Canet KTM 23 18.030
11 75 Spain Albert Arenas KTM 23 18.730
12 79 Japan Ai Ogura Honda 23 23.800
13 71 Japan Ayumu Sasaki Honda 23 23.884
14 7 Italy Dennis Foggia KTM 23 24.240
15 40 South Africa Darryn Binder KTM 23 24.955
16 21 Spain Alonso López Honda 23 25.595
17 53 Turkey Deniz Öncü KTM 23 28.156
18 27 Japan Kaito Toba Honda 23 40.414
19 12 Czech Republic Filip Salač KTM 23 40.668
20 73 Austria Maximilian Kofler KTM 23 41.032
21 52 Jeremy Alcoba Honda 23 43.327
22 82 Italy Stefano Nepa KTM 23 48.553
23 54 Italy Riccardo Rossi Honda 23 53.478
24 22 Japan Kazuki Masaki KTM 23 1'16.731
25 69 United Kingdom Tom Booth-Amos KTM 23 1'20.178
26 16 Italy Andrea Migno KTM 23 1'24.566
27 11 Spain Sergio García Honda 22 1'15.526
  5 Spain Jaume Masia KTM 21  
  61 Turkey Can Öncü KTM 11  
  25 Spain Raúl Fernández KTM 8  
  24 Japan Tatsuki Suzuki Honda 4  
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