Motegi Moto3: Fenati dominates, Mir fails to score

Motegi Moto3: Fenati dominates, Mir fails to score
Oct 15, 2017, 3:35 AM

Romano Fenati took his second Moto3 victory in the space of three races in torrential conditions at Motegi, keeping the title race open as points leader Joan Mir struggled to 17th.

With an advantage of 80 points at the head of the standings, Leopard rider Mir had his first chance to close out the championship in Japan, with a victory or second place enough to guarantee him the crown.

However, the Spaniard could do no more than P14 in a wet qualifying session, which combined with his six-place grid penalty for "irresponsible riding" in Aragon meant he would start down in P20.

Things failed to improve for Mir in the race, as he dropped two places on the opening lap, seemingly lacking the confidence to push in the tricky conditions.

Meanwhile, from sixth on the grid, Fenati - who simply rode away from the pack in similar weather at Misano - was up to second by the end of the opening lap, and passed Niccolo Antonelli for the lead after a brief duel between the pair on the third lap.

By the end of the following tour, Snipers rider Fenati was 1.4s to the good, and two laps later he had extended the gap to more than two seconds.

In the end, Fenati cruised unchallenged to a third win of the season and the 10th of his career by a margin of 4.146s from Ajo KTM man Antonelli, who scored his first podium of the year in second.

Mir on the other hand finished out the points for the first time this season in P17, 23.8s down on nearest championship rival Fenati at the chequered flag.

It means his lead in the standings is slashed to 55 points with three races remaining.

Completing the podium was an unfamiliar face in the form of 18-year-old CIP Mahindra rookie Marco Bezzecchi, whose best result prior to this weekend was 14th.

Local hero Tatsuki Suzuki (SIC58) likewise scored a career-best result in fourth place, ahead of Aron Canet (Estrella Galicia), whose theoretical title hopes were ended with a run to fifth.

Poleman Nicolo Bulega (Sky Racing VR46) dropped from first to 15th with a dire opening lap, and could only recover to 12th place by the finish, 18s down on Fenati.

Race results:

1 5 italy Romano Fenati  Honda 29'22.278
2 23 italy Niccolo Antonelli  KTM 4.146
3 12 italy Marco Bezzecchi  Mahindra 5.013
4 24 japan Tatsuki Suzuki  Honda 8.767
5 44 spain Aron Canet  Honda 12.827
6 65 germany Philipp Ottl  KTM 14.865
7 21 italy Fabio Di Giannantonio  Honda 15.482
8 84 czech_republic Jakub Kornfeil  Peugeot 15.625
9 64 netherlands Bo Bendsneyder  KTM 15.947
10 17 united_kingdom John McPhee  Honda 16.216
11 41 thailand Nakarin Atiratphuvapat  Honda 16.414
12 8 italy Nicolo Bulega  KTM 18.783
13 16 italy Andrea Migno  KTM 19.057
14 42 spain Marcos Ramírez  KTM 19.536
15 88 spain Jorge Martin  Honda 21.208
16 33 italy Enea Bastianini  Honda 22.731
17 36 spain Joan Mir  Honda 23.879
18 95 france Jules Danilo  Honda 23.935
19 11 belgium Livio Loi  Honda 33.663
20 40 south_africa Darryn Binder  KTM 34.695
21 27 japan Kaito Toba  Honda 39.533
22 4 finland Patrik Pulkkinen  Peugeot 48.473
23 14 italy Tony Arbolino  Honda 1'30.837
24 70 australia  Tom Toparis  KTM 2'18.580
Ret 58 spain Juan Francisco Guevara  KTM 2 laps
Ret  19 spain Gabriel Rodrigo  KTM 4 laps
Ret  71 japan Ayumu Sasaki  Honda 4 laps
Ret  7 malaysia Adam Norrodin  Honda 7 laps
Ret  96 italy Manuel Pagliani  Mahindra 12 laps
Ret  48 italy Lorenzo Dalla Porta  Mahindra -
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About this article

Series Moto3
Event Motegi
Location Twin Ring Motegi
Drivers Romano Fenati , Joan Mir
Author Jamie Klein
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