Qatar Moto3: Arenas takes KTM's 100th win by 0.053s

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Qatar Moto3: Arenas takes KTM's 100th win by 0.053s
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Albert Arenas clinched the first Moto3 win of the new decade and KTM’s 100th after beating John McPhee by 0.053 seconds in a thrilling Qatar Grand Prix.

Arenas spent several stints at the head of the field, and made a break with McPhee in tow on the final lap, repelling the Petronas Sprinta rider’s advances to secure his fourth grand prix victory.

Poleman Tatsuki Suzuki led off the line on the SIC58 Squadra Corse machine, though would lose out to Ajo KTM’s Raul Fernandez on the drag along the 1km main straight into Turn 1 on the second tour.

After Tony Arbolino got the Snipers Honda into the lead at Turn 6 on lap two, Arenas capitalized on a mistake for the Italian to put the Aspar Team KTM at the head of the pack at the end of the third tour. 

Arenas was able to get his bike out of the last corner better than the rest and hold the lead despite the pack swarming behind him in the slipstream for a handful of laps.

As the lead group grew to 19 by lap nine, Fernandez finally deposed Arenas, before Leopard’s Jaume Masia used the power of his Honda to blast past into Turn 1 on the following circulation. 

Arenas worked his way back into the lead when he scythed through on Darryn Binder (CIP KTM) at Turn 2, and remained in first place for three laps.

Arbolino, Suzuki and McPhee then all took turns at the head of the pack as the laps counted down, before Gabriel Rodrigo moved his Gresini Honda to the front at the start of the penultimate tour.

As the last lap started, Arbolino made slight contact with Binder as he drifted over to the outside of the track under braking for Turn 1 and sent the CIP rider down in a frightening accident.

Through the chaos, Arenas found himself back in the lead having been forced wide at Turn 1 and down a handful of spots a few laps previous.

McPhee went with him as Arenas tried to break away on the last lap, but could do nothing on the run to the chequered flag to deny the Aspar rider.

Masia did cross the line in third on his debut ride for Leopard, but was hit with a post-race penalty for exceeding track limits and was demoted to fourth.

This promoted an initially dejected Ai Ogura on the Honda Team Asia bike to the final podium place, with Suzuki completing the top five behind Masia. 

Rodrigo was also hit with a one-place drop and was sixth in the end, with Gresini teammate Jeremy Alcoba seventh and lucky to avoid a penalty after taking Sky VR46’s Celestino Vietti out at Turn 6 late on.

Filip Salac (Snipers Team) recovered from 20th on the grid to finish eighth, with Dennis Foggia (Leopard) coming from 19th to finish ninth and Fernandez rounding out the top 10.

Race results

Cla # Rider Bike Laps Time Gap
1 75 Spain Albert Arenas KTM 18 38'08.941  
2 17 United Kingdom John McPhee Honda 18 38'08.994 0.053
3 79 Japan Ai Ogura Honda 18 38'09.285 0.344
4 5 Spain Jaume Masia Honda 18 38'09.188 0.247
5 24 Japan Tatsuki Suzuki Honda 18 38'09.730 0.789
6 2 Argentina Gabriel Rodrigo Honda 18 38'09.367 0.426
7 52 Spain Jeremy Alcoba Honda 18 38'09.500 0.559
8 12 Czech Republic Filip Salač Honda 18 38'09.764 0.823
9 7 Italy Dennis Foggia Honda 18 38'09.905 0.964
10 25 Spain Raúl Fernández KTM 18 38'09.775 0.834
11 11 Spain Sergio García Honda 18 38'10.202 1.261
12 53 Turkey Deniz Öncü KTM 18 38'10.426 1.485
13 21 Spain Alonso López Husqvarna 18 38'10.543 1.602
14 27 Japan Kaito Toba KTM 18 38'11.731 2.790
15 14 Italy Tony Arbolino Honda 18 38'11.516 2.575
16 16 Italy Andrea Migno KTM 18 38'12.121 3.180
17 55 Italy Romano Fenati Husqvarna 18 38'14.743 5.802
18 92 Japan Yuki Kunii Honda 18 38'14.770 5.829
19 71 Japan Ayumu Sasaki KTM 18 38'15.050 6.109
20 6 Japan Ryusei Yamanaka Honda 18 38'17.398 8.457
21 99 Carlos Tatay KTM 18 38'17.421 8.480
22 82 Italy Stefano Nepa KTM 18 38'25.181 16.240
23 9 Italy Davide Pizzoli KTM 18 38'30.391 21.450
24 54 Italy Riccardo Rossi KTM 18 38'35.150 26.209
25 50 Jason Dupasquier KTM 18 38'35.353 26.412
26 89 Malaysia Khairul Idham Pawi Honda 18 38'37.130 28.189
27 73 Austria Maximilian Kofler KTM 18 38'37.458 28.517
28 13 Italy Celestino Vietti Ramus KTM 18 38'41.047 32.106
29 60 Dirk Geiger KTM 18 38'50.872 41.931
  40 South Africa Darryn Binder KTM 17 36'02.360 1 Lap
  20 Spain Jose Garcia Honda 13 27'55.707 5 Laps
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About this article

Series Moto3
Event Losail
Sub-event Race
Drivers Albert Arenas
Author Lewis Duncan