Le Mans Moto3: Garcia wins wet race, Acosta extends points lead

Sergio Garcia dominated a wet Moto3 French Grand Prix ahead of Filip Salac, as Pedro Acosta recovered to eight after an early crash to extend his championship lead.

Le Mans Moto3: Garcia wins wet race, Acosta extends points lead

So treacherous were the conditions at the start that Avintia’s Carlos Tatay crashed exiting pitlane on his sighting lap, which forced him to the back of the grid.

Poleman Andrea Migno held firm on the run up to the Dunlop chicane at the start, though ran off track and allowed Ajo KTM’s Jaume Masia to move into the lead – Migno slipping back to fifth.

Masia made a mistake down at the Garage Vert double-apex right-hander a moment later, dropping to third and promoting the other Avintia KTM of Niccolo Antonelli into the lead.

But Antonelli’s race lasted just a few more corners as he crashed at the final corner, with the Snipers Honda of Filip Salac taking over at the front of the pack.

Championship leader Pedro Acosta had made great gains from 21st of the grid, the Ajo KTM rider 11th at the end of lap one and up to sixth by the start of the third tour.

But Acosta slid off at the Dunlop chicane, dropping back outside the top 20 and forcing him into another recovery ride.

Teammate Masia crashed out of podium contention seconds earlier at the last corner, with the conditions also catching out SIC58 Honda’s Tatsuki Suzuki and the Gresini duo of Jeremy Alcoba and Gabriel Rodrigo.

Riccardo Rossi briefly snatched the lead from Salac on the second lap, but made an error at La Chaelle, which allowed Salac back into first.

At the Chemin aux Boeufs esses on lap two, Garcia moved ahead of Salac, with the pair quickly putting a buffer of over five seconds between themselves and Rossi behind.

By lap eight Garcia’s lead was already over a second, but Salac dug deep over the following tours to reduce his deficit to under a second again.

A mistake from Garcia at Garage Vert allowed Salac briefly back into the lead on lap 13, though Garcia would reclaim the position a few corners later.

Once back in the lead, Garcia opened up a lead over over two seconds to ease to the chequered flag for his second Moto3 victory and first since Valencia 2019.

Salac remained second for his maiden podium, with BOE Owlride KTM’s Rossi resisting a late charge from John McPhee to hold onto his first podium in third.

Petronas Sprinta’s McPhee scored his first points of 2021 in fourth ahead of Tech 3 KTM’s Ayumu Sasaki and Max Racing KTM rookie Adrian Fernandez.

Xavier Artigas was seventh on his Leopard Honda having been forced to visit hospital on Saturday following a crash in FP3.

Acosta completed the top eight after his earlier fall, which opens his championship lead up to 54 ahead of Garcia following a disastrous race for the likes of Antonelli and Masia.

Deniz Oncu was ninth on the sister Tech 3 KTM, with Romano Fenati completing the top 10 on his Max Racing KTM. 

Race results:

Cla # Rider Bike Gap
1 11 Spain Sergio García GASGAS  
2 12 Czech Republic Filip Salač Honda 2.349
3 54 Italy Riccardo Rossi KTM 5.589
4 17 United Kingdom John McPhee Honda 7.158
5 71 Japan Ayumu Sasaki KTM 14.882
6 31 Mexico Adrian Fernandez Husqvarna 27.279
7 43 Spain Xavier Artigas Honda 27.408
8 37 Spain Pedro Acosta KTM 29.880
9 53 Turkey Deniz Öncü KTM 35.098
10 55 Italy Romano Fenati Husqvarna 36.616
11 16 Italy Andrea Migno Honda 42.347
12 6 Japan Ryusei Yamanaka KTM 42.739
13 50 Switzerland Jason Dupasquier KTM 42.756
14 28 Spain Izan Guevara GASGAS 50.891
15 19 Indonesia Andi Gilang Honda 52.753
16 73 Austria Maximilian Kofler KTM 53.054
17 82 Italy Stefano Nepa KTM 53.568
18 7 Italy Dennis Foggia Honda 1'18.995
19 20 France Lorenzo Fellon Honda 1'19.103
20 40 South Africa Darryn Binder Honda 1'54.124
21 27 Japan Kaito Toba KTM 1 Lap
22 52 Spain Jeremy Alcoba Honda 4 Laps
  99 Spain Carlos Tatay KTM  
  32 Takuma Matsuyama Honda  
  2 Argentina Gabriel Rodrigo Honda  
  5 Spain Jaume Masia KTM  
  24 Japan Tatsuki Suzuki Honda  
  23 Italy Niccolo Antonelli KTM  
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