The Moto3 race in MotorLand Aragón was only decided in the last lap: Leopard driver Jaume Masia prevailed against KTM drivers Darryn Binder and Raul Fernandez.
Raul Fernandez on pole position is a familiar sight in the 2020 Moto3 season: For the fourth time, the Red Bull-KTM-Ajo driver secured the best starting position on Saturday, but so far he has not converted this into a podium. Also on the front row in MotorLand Aragón were Le Mans winner Celestino Vietti and World Championship leader Albert Arenas. Starting position 21 meant a personal best by the Austrian Maximilian Kofler.
The world championship fifth John McPhee (starting position 10) started with a mortgage in the Gran Premio Michelin de Aragón: The Petronas Sprinta driver has to complete a long lap penalty because of slow driving on the ideal line in the last Quali 1 laps. The same thing flourished for Alonso Lopez, but for a different reason: he had torpedoed his teammate Romano Fenati at the French GP a week ago, which led to the Husqvarna drivers’ double retirement.
This is how the race went:
Start: Arenas takes the lead, followed by Fernandez, Vietti, Suzuki and Fenati.
Lap 1: Fernandez takes the lead after a few corners – followed by Suzuki. Gabriel Rodrigo flies into turn 13 by highsider.
Round 2: Fernandez leads ahead of Suzuki, Arenas, Fenati, Vietti, Darryn Binder, Lopez and Tatay. Max Kofler is in 22nd place.
Round 3: McPhee (8th) is the fastest man on the track, but he has to take the penalty – as a result, he falls back to 18th place.
Lap 4: Fenati is hanging on the rear wheel of the third-placed arena. Vietti is passed through to the back. Lopez drops from 6th to 17th place due to the long lap penalty.
Lap 5: The top 5 (Fernandez, Suzuki, Arenas, Fenati and Binder) opened a gap of more than two seconds on the pursuers led by Masia. Binder grabs Fenati.
Round 6: Binder also passes Arenas and is now in 3rd place. World Cup runner-up Ai Ogura has meanwhile been pushed out of the top 10. At the end of the lap, Suzuki fell back to fourth behind Binder and Arenas.
Round 7: Binder takes the lead for the first time! McPhee is back in the top 10, Kofler is in 23rd place.
Lap 8: Fernandez regains 1st place, Suzuki pushes past Arenas. Masia (6th) approaches the top group, he is only 0.8 seconds short. The Spaniard has McPhee and Alcoba in tow.
Lap 9: Migno (17th) crashes into turn 7. Arenas is fighting its way forward to second place.
Lap 10: McPhee is now leading the chase group – and they are closing the gap!
Lap 11: McPhee passes Suzuki and is new fifth. Sergio Garcia has to serve a long lap penalty.
Lap 12: Suzuki also falls behind Alcoba and Masia. Ogura is now only in 16th place – and thus outside the points.
Lap 13: Fernandez leads, Binder and Arenas take turns in second place. Fenati, McPhee, Masia, Alcoba and Suzuki lurk behind them and receive a track limit warning.
Lap 14: Fenati is third for a short time, but then falls back to 5th behind Masia. The Leopard Honda driver then also snatched third place from Areans. Binder takes the lead!
Lap 15: Lots of battles for positions five laps to go: Fernandez falls back to 5th place, but he immediately fights past Masia and Fenati again. Arenas is the new leader – and Binder also loses second place to Fernandez.
Lap 16: Fernandez takes the lead back after the start-finish. Then Masia Arenas takes on.
Lap 17: Suzuki fights to keep up with the top group in eighth place (Fernandez, Masia, Arenas, Binder, McPhee, Alcoba, Fenati). Masia takes first place!
Lap 18: Fernandez hits back on the brakes in turn 1. Alcoba pushes past Arenas – and Binder. This makes the Gresini driver the new third. Suzuki rips off. Masia back on top! Kofler falls.
Last lap: Fernandez again heavily on the brakes after start-finish, he’s back in front! Masia risks going over the track limits.
The decisive moment: Masia passes Fernandez on the back straight. By the way: The Honda driver only came from 17th on the grid.
Fernandez then also loses second place to Binder, but the Ajo driver is happy about his first podium. Arenas is the big loser in the last corner, he drops back to P7. Nevertheless, he is expanding his World Cup lead.
Result, Moto3 race, Aragón (18.10.)
1. Masia, Honda, 31: 45,009 min
2. Binder, KTM, + 0.091 sec
3. Fernandez, KTM, + 0.196
4. Fenati, Husqvarna, + 0.327
5. McPhee, Honda, + 0,368
6. Alcove, Honda, + 0.385
7. Arenas, KTM, + 0,396
8. Suzuki, Honda, +1,933
9. Vietti, KTM, + 2.389
10. Foggia, Honda, + 2,461
11. Toba, KTM, + 2,966
12. Dad, KTM, + 3,020
13. Sasaki, KTM, + 4,872
14. Ogura, Honda, +10,949
15. Pioneer, KTM, + 10,979
22. Dupasquier, KTM, + 21,440
Moto3 World Championship stand after 11 of 15 races:
1. Arenas, 144 Punkte. 2. Ogura, 131. 3. Vietti, 126. 4. Arbolino 115. 5. McPhee, 109. 6. Masia, 108. 7. Fernandez, 89. 8. Suzuki, 83. 9. Binder, 82. 10. Rodrigo , 77.