A thrilling first race at the Red Bull Ring broke a fourteen-race record of no winners from pole position in Moto3. The track also saw the first rookie winner of the season, Joan Mir following on his first pole position with a fantastic win for KTM on their home soil.
The result was hardly as straightforward as that, the Spaniard taking the win after a hardly fought race from start to finish with a five-man group switching places every other second. World championship leader Brad Binder finished a close second with Enea Bastianini grabbing yet another podium in the final turn, from Fabio Quartararo, with Philipp Oettl completing the leading group.
Binder had taken the lead at the start but that only lasted about a turn, Bastianini and Mir overtaking him and fighting for the lead while the three were distancing themselves slightly from the rest of the pack. Led by Quartararo and Bagnaia, the pack started to close down on the leaders with twenty laps to go, as Aron Canet was slipping back to finish a disappointing twenty-first.
Quartararo joined the lead group to make it a four-way fight, the Frenchman the fastest of the group but taking his time in attacking. While all the rubbing of elbows at the front was slowing the gang down, Phillip Oettl and Jorge Martin joined the party, with Bagnaia leading the second group half a second away.
With thirteen laps to go, Binder tried to make a break for it while Oettl, Bastianini and the Leopard boys were fighting for every inch of track. His mission was briefly successful but he was dragged back into the fight soon after. Quartararo, Mir, Oettl and Bastianini all got some fresh air at the front, the top five seeing every possible configuration in the final laps, the order changing on every straight and every turn.
Navarro failed to make up many places at the start, yoyo-ing outside of the top ten, around two seconds off the lead pack, in a competitive group with Loi, Bendsneyder, Herrera and the RBA racing duo. The Spanish title contender found some speed halfway through the race and closed the gap, closing in fast on the top five that were disputing the win. With Binder in his eyeline, the Estrella Galicia rider crashed in turn three with five laps to go.
That serves a heavy blow to his title chances, now 67 points behind Brad Binder and opening up the battle for second in the championship. Despite not taking part in the race following a suspension on disciplinary reasons, Romano Fenati keeps his third place for now, the future uncertain for the Italian rider.
|8||4||Fabio DI GIANNANTONIO||Honda||+4.970|
|27||89||Khairul Idham PAWI||Honda||+40.361|
|9||Jorge NAVARRO||Honda||5 Laps|
|19||Gabriel RODRIGO||KTM||9 Laps|
|53||Marco BEZZECCHI||Mahindra||18 Laps|
|24||Tatsuki SUZUKI||Mahindra||18 Laps|