Joan Mir has taken an impressive victory at the first race of the season at Qatar, putting in an astounding last lap to hold off a charging group.
The weather played ball for the Moto3 class, near perfect conditions allowing a classic Moto3 race to unfold. The Losail circuit's kilometer-long front straight prevented anyone from getting away easily, meaning that a large group of fourteen riders broke away from the start. Joan Mir was a constant feature at the front, but came under constant pressure from the leaders of the group. John McPhee, Andrea Migno, Romano Fenati, Philipp Oettl, Juanfran Guevara, and Jorge Martin swapped the lead constantly down the front straight, the slipstream offering the best choice of overtaking.
The group was slowly whittled down to seven riders, with a stronger group of four emerging in the latter stages of the race. Mir, Fenati, McPhee and Martin were strongest, though they could never quite break free of Canet, Migno, Antonelli or Di Giannantonio.
The race would be decided on the final lap, as so many Moto3 races have in Qatar. Mir played his hand superbly, understanding that he was strong enough to lead from the last corner to the line if he had a couple of tenths going into the last corner. The Leopard Racing rider pushed hard around the back of the circuit, where he knew he was stronger, and just opened a slim piece of clear space. Going into the last corner, he had just enough room to take a commanding victory.
John McPhee took second, after an impressive first outing with the brand new British Talent Team. Jorge Martin got the run out of the last corner, the Gresini man just sneaking past Romano Fenati to take third, and bringing Aron Canet with him. That gave Honda a clean sweep of the top five at Qatar, with Andrea Migno the first KTM home in sixth.
|8||21||Fabio Di Giannantonio||Honda||0.878|
|23||48||Lorenzo Dalla Porta||Mahindra||28.388|
|4||Patrik Pulkkinen||Peugeot||4 Laps|
|58||Juanfran Guevara||KTM||6 Laps|
|65||Philipp Oettl||KTM||6 Laps|
|75||Albert Arenas||Mahindra||14 Laps|