2021 Jerez Moto3 Race Result: Faultless Amongst Chaos

After a punishing warm up session in cool conditions, things hotted up to more a more pleasant ambiance by the time lights went out for the lightweight class race and the action got nearly flammable throughout the 22 laps. But as unpredictable as Moto3 races tend to be, the end result seems to be the same this season, extraordinary rookie Pedro Acosta turning his worst qualifying position of the season into a third consecutive victory, becoming the first ever rider to take four podiums in his first four grand prix. He came under less than friendly fire from his KTM colleagues but after some final corner drama, Romano Fenati took second, in his first podium of the year, while Jeremy Alcoba completed the podium after passing through the naughty corner of the long lap penalty twice during the race.

The start of the race told a different story, poleman Tatsuki Suzuki making a great start from pole from Andrea Migno and Gabriel Rodrigo, while front row starter Alcoba dropped a few positions and started planning his double long lap penalty, given for irresponsible riding in Q1. Darryn Binder, Fenati, Ayumu Sasaki, John McPhee, and Niccolo Antonelli closely followed, while Acosta quickly joined the top ten, having started 13th. McPhee was the first to drop out of the leading group at turn seven, leaving Jerez with an unfortunate zero points on the season’s scoresheet.

Despite the great opening lap from Suzuki, Rodrigo picked up a slipstream into turn one to start lap 2 in the lead, the duo making noise at the front in the early stages, while Binder, Migno and Fenati kept close and Alcoba did his first long lap penalty, dropping him out of the top ten, right ahead of Masia, who had made a poor start. Acosta was up to 8th and chasing down his Red Bull KTM Tech 3 colleagues Sasaki and Deniz Öncü. After a good showing in warm-up, Carlos Tatay made an excellent start from 16th on the grid, to exchange places with Acosta early on.

Rodrigo kept in control at the front for the next couple of laps and while the threat from Binder and Suzuki in particular was ever present, it was his own mistake that took him out of contention with a big high side at cursed turn 7 on lap 5. The ensuing chaos left Öncü in charge of the pack and Acostra picking up the role of the main challenger. Binder, Migno and Suzuki kept a close eye on proceedings in a sizeable lead group.

Acosta first picked up the lead on lap 8 and although Binder quickly changed, the Honda man was surrounded by KTM machines eager to make his life difficult. The top end of the lead group was a KTM invasion, with Öncü, Acosta, Masia, Sasaki and the undercover KTM of Fenati, while Binder and Migno were the most prominent of the Hondas. Sergio Garcia, Suzuki and Tatay were also in the lead group, just ahead of Alcoba, who kept close to the top ten despite his double long lap roadtrip. Things got even more frantic mid-race, with track limits infringements all round and even more long lap penalties dished out. The next big victim in the lead group was poleman Suzuki, who crashed out at turn 2 with 10 laps remaining, in yet another heart-breaking DNF for last year’s victor.

Öncü, Acosta and Masia were an orange blur exchanging places at the front of the pack for the next few laps, while the likes of Fenati, Binder, Sasaki and Migno bided their time to break the Red Bull party. Artigas dropped over a second behind the leading group, leading the chasing pack including the likes of Tatay, Alcoba, Garcia and Antonelli, who had to pick up the pace if they wanted a whiff at the podium.

When a gaggle of KTMs battle, a Husqvarna apparently ends up on top, with Fenati picking up the lead at turn 6 with 7 laps remaining and fighting off Acosta, Öncü, Masia and Sasaki for the next couple of laps. Öncü was the feistiest of the lot in the closing stages, which also cost him a track limits warning but the Turkish rider retook control of the leading group for the final five laps. The shenanigans at the front also allowed a few of the men behind to join the battle, including Tatay and Alcoba, although the Avintia rider was soon slapped with another long lap penalty for exceeding track limits.

The KTM familia of Acosta, Fenati and Öncü continued to exchange top spot for the final four laps, with Masia keeping a bit more quiet right behind them. Öncü spent the most time in the limelight out of the foursome but was unable to stretch a gap at the front. A shaky moment for Acosta with two laps remaining put him and Fenati on the backfoot but the duo quickly bridged the four tenths gap and the Spaniard soon picked up the lead with a fine move at turn six, that got him past both Masia and Öncü on the final lap.

Acosta was faultless to the finish line but things got predictably frantic at the final turn, where an over enthusiastic Öncü crashed and picked up Masia and Binder, the trio ending up in the gravel. The end result was that Fenati and Alcoba inherited the remaining podium positions, Migno missing out by two hundredths of a second after spending the final part of the race more as a passive observer. Sasaki completed the top five, while Tatay, Dupasquier, Antonelli, Artigas and Yamanaka rounded out the top ten positions.

Another phenomenal victory for exceptional rookie Acosta extends his championship lead to an impressive 51 points from Antonelli, with Migno another 2 points back. Fenati jumps six positions to fourth, 55 points behind the leader, while Masia is a painful 56 points behind his teammate.

Results:

Pos No. Rider Bike Time/Diff
1 37 Pedro Acosta KTM 39'22.266
2 55 Romano Fenati Husqvarna +0.417
3 52 Jeremy Alcoba Honda +0.527
4 16 Andrea Migno Honda +0.548
5 71 Ayumu Sasaki KTM +0.971
6 99 Carlos Tatay KTM +0.997
7 50 Jason Dupasquier KTM +1.043
8 23 Niccolò Antonelli KTM +1.144
9 43 Xavier Artigas Honda +1.383
10 6 Ryusei Yamanaka KTM +1.596
11 28 Izan Guevara GASGAS +3.986
12 12 Filip Salac Honda +4.389
13 11 Sergio Garcia GASGAS +5.191
14 92 Yuki Kunii Honda +7.204
15 82 Stefano Nepa KTM +8.194
16 27 Kaito Toba KTM +12.822
17 54 Riccardo Rossi KTM +12.869
18 19 Andi Farid Izdihar Honda +12.990
19 73 Maximilian Kofler KTM +17.318
20 53 Deniz Öncü KTM +18.162
21 5 Jaume Masia KTM +19.439
22 40 Darryn Binder Honda +25.337
23 20 Lorenzo Fellon Honda +32.323
24 31 Adrian Fernandez Husqvarna +46.228
Not Classified
  7 Dennis Foggia Honda 3 Laps
  24 Tatsuki Suzuki Honda 10 Laps
  2 Gabriel Rodrigo Honda 18 Laps
Not Finished 1st Lap
  17 John Mcphee Honda 0 Lap
Round Number: 
4
2021
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Comments

Anyone else sense the impending debacle as the gaggle of riders vying for the win accelerated towards turn 13 on the final lap? Acosta looks like one of those golden pilots that comes along every dozen years or so. The powerful mixture of raw talent, intelligence and a bit of the uncanny ability of being in the right place at the right time in order to maximize his potential. He has the right people around him to help nurture his growing skills, and he seems to be in the right place on the track when chaos ensues. Impressive race craft today.

Once again, the Moto3 race is the star of the show. I'm not a gambling man but I'd have cheerfully put a substantial amount on it, about five laps from the end, that it was going to end in tears and Oncu was going to be the one to make that happen. That young man might want to rethink the win it or bin it strategy. Nine times out of ten it's only going to end one way, given the close quarters dogfights so typical these days, where there isn't the room to lose it by an inch without clattering someone else.

Acosta - truly impressive again, and as you say, sprinkled with lucky dust. Though if you're good enough you start creating your own luck. You'd have to think the MotoGP factory teams will already be looking at snapping him up quickly in place of those who continue to disappoint.

I was sad to see John McPhee crash out again. He's having the most torrid season so far and you'd have to think this could cost him his ride if he doesn't do something spectacular very soon.

his last lap pass for the lead into t6 was incredible. everyone on the limit, yet he seems to have some magic in the lever on his right handlebar. i said a couple of years ago that watching marc marquez ride a motogp machine was like watching someone playing around in their back yard on a crf100. acosta looks quite similar.