Portimao Moto3: Arenas wins title in thrilling decider

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Portimao Moto3: Arenas wins title in thrilling decider
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Albert Arenas won the Moto3 title in a thrilling three-way title decider at Portimao against rivals Ai Ogura and Tony Arbolino, as Raul Fernandez scored a dominant win.

Arenas, Ogura and Arbolino came into the final round covered by 11 points, with Arenas prevailing by just four after crossing the line in 12th to seal the deal.

Ajo KTM rider Fernandez grabbed the holeshot from pole ahead of SIC58’s Tatsuki Suzuki, as championship rivals Ogura and Arenas followed.

Arenas powered past Ogura into Turn 1 at the start of lap three, while Arbolino had worked his way up to 13th on his Snipers Honda having come from 27th on the grid. 

Fernandez played no part in the battle behind as he continued to extend his lead opening up an advantage of well over nine second en route to a second win of the season.  

The podium group behind Fernandez swelled as the race wore on, with Arenas and Ogura slipping from the top three down the order.

Arbolino’s charge would take him to seventh by lap 17 after a hard dice with Arenas at Turns 10 through to 12, with the Snipers rider taking position on the run to Turn 1 on the following tour using the power of his Honda. 

Ogura and Arenas engaged on lap 18 over eighth spot, with the Honda Team Asia rider moving up the inside of Arenas at Turn 5 and forcing him off track at Turn 8 with a hard retaliation after the Aspar KTM man tried to take the position back. 

Dropping to 10th, Arenas rallied over the next few laps to get back into seventh behind Arbolino, while Ogura dropped to ninth.

With Ogura and Arbolino too far away from the podium battle, Arenas simply needed to stay upright on the final lap to win the title.

But he came close to contact with VR46’s Celestino Vietti on at Turn 3 and had a rear-end moment exiting Turn 4 after running wide. 

Despite the chaos, Arenas survived to cross the line in 12th behind SIC58’s Niccolo Antonelli to be crowned Moto3 world champion before stepping up to Moto2 next year.

Leopard’s Dennis Foggia took second in the race despite serving two long lap penalties, the Italian fending off Gresini’s Jeremy Alcoba - who took his first podium to cap off 2020 as rookie of the year - by 0.056 seconds.

Sergio Garcia was just under six tenths off the podium on his EG 0,0 Honda ahead of Arbolino, who could do nothing more than fifth having come from 27th to end up second in the standings equal on points with eighth-placed Ogura.

Between Arbolino and Ogura came Darryn Binder (CIP) and Vietti, while John McPhee on the Petronas Sprinta Honda and Tech 3’s Deniz Oncu rounded out the top 10.

There was a late crash for the second Leopard Honda for Jaume Masia, who had also worked his way into podium contention having served two long lap penalties, while Suzuki and Max Racing’s Alonso Lopez also tumbled out of the race. 

Race results:

Cla # Rider Bike Laps Gap
1 25 Spain Raúl Fernández KTM 21  
2 7 Italy Dennis Foggia Honda 21 5.810
3 52 Spain Jeremy Alcoba Honda 21 5.866
4 11 Spain Sergio García Honda 21 6.447
5 14 Italy Tony Arbolino Honda 21 12.998
6 40 South Africa Darryn Binder KTM 21 13.065
7 13 Italy Celestino Vietti Ramus KTM 21 13.907
8 79 Japan Ai Ogura Honda 21 13.929
9 17 United Kingdom John McPhee Honda 21 13.945
10 53 Turkey Deniz Öncü KTM 21 14.438
11 23 Italy Niccolo Antonelli Honda 21 14.487
12 75 Spain Albert Arenas KTM 21 14.708
13 71 Japan Ayumu Sasaki KTM 21 19.285
14 99 Spain Carlos Tatay KTM 21 23.195
15 27 Japan Kaito Toba KTM 21 24.233
16 70 Belgium Barry Baltus KTM 21 24.260
17 6 Japan Ryusei Yamanaka Honda 21 24.321
18 31 Mexico Adrian Fernandez Honda 21 24.425
19 82 Italy Stefano Nepa KTM 21 24.625
20 55 Italy Romano Fenati Husqvarna 21 24.672
21 16 Italy Andrea Migno KTM 21 27.637
22 92 Japan Yuki Kunii Honda 21 34.490
23 50 Switzerland Jason Dupasquier KTM 21 34.884
24 54 Italy Riccardo Rossi KTM 21 35.003
25 73 Austria Maximilian Kofler KTM 21 35.092
26 9 Italy Davide Pizzoli KTM 21 35.216
27 2 Argentina Gabriel Rodrigo Honda 21 40.329
28 89 Malaysia Khairul Idham Pawi Honda 21 46.973
  24 Japan Tatsuki Suzuki Honda 19 2 Laps
  5 Spain Jaume Masia Honda 17 4 Laps
  21 Spain Alonso López Husqvarna 14 7 Laps
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About this article

Series Moto3
Event Algarve
Drivers Albert Arenas
Teams Aspar Team
Author Lewis Duncan