Race day in Valencia started in the same cool conditions as all weekend but riders got to bask in the sunshine while track conditions caused a delay to proceedings. Aron Canet seemed to still be under the curse of the flyaways and saw his machine break down on the sighting lap and dripping fluids between turns five and six. Once the clean-up operation made room for the victory operation, Marcos Ramirez made a lightning start but was soon getting harassed by Jaume Masia. The Mugen Race rider’s heroics ended on the exit of turn 4 and that allowed the race leader to stretch a gap at the front. By la two, Ramirez was over one second ahead of poleman Andrea Migno, who was trading the lead of the chasing pack with Tatsuki Suzuki. However, that battle was cut short on lap three, when the red flag waved following a scary multi-rider incident at turn 11 that left Dennis Foggia needing medical attention and his Sky machine on fire.
Since riders had not completed three laps, the shortened 15-lap race was eventually restarted with the original grid line-up, minus injured Foggia and Carlos Tatay, Masia and Niccolo Antonelli, who were also unfit to take part. The big loser of the restart was Romano Fenati, who missed the exit for the quick start procedure and had to start from pitlane, while the big winner was Canet, who was allowed to start from fourth on grid despite his early misfortune.
Migno made a better start at the second try but Ramirez was soon attacking for the lead, with Canet and Suzuki immediately on their tail. Rookies Sergio Garcia and Filip Salac were fighting to catch up, while Tony Arbolino benefited from all the gaps ahead of him on the grid to be leading the chase by lap two, one second down on the six leaders. However, more chaos ensued on lap 4, when Lorenzo Dalla Porta’s crash took out Arbolino, Alonso Lopez and John McPhee. While all the cameras were on the gravel trap, wildcard Xavier Artigas caught up with the leaders and was soon attacking for podium positions.
Ramirez remained untroubled at the front until the start of lap 8, when Garcia robbed him of the lead and the Spaniards had compatriot Artigas on their tail. Suzuki, Migno, Canet and Salac were still hanging onto the lead group but were not yet showing their cards in the battle for victory. With six laps to go, Artigas made a move for the lead, just as teammate Ramirez was starting to fade from the lead group together with Salac and Canet.
The favourites reduced to four for the final four laps, Artigas still showing the way to Migno, Garcia and Suzuki, who were battling for the honour of attacking the spectacular debutant. Artigas seemed to cope well with the pressure from compatriot Garcia until the wildcard suffered a moment in turn one while entering the final 2 laps, losing the lead and dropping to fourth. Migno inherited the lead from Garcia but Artigas was immediately on the attack, demoting Suzuki for a provisional podium. The Italian was holding off the Spaniards as the final lap started but Suzuki wanted a taste of the podium too.
It was the day of the teenagers, even by Moto3 standards, Garcia ending his rookie season with a first victory in the world championship, after making the decisive move on Migno at the final corner of the final lap. The Italian bid farewell to the Mugen Race team with a well deserved second place, while 16 year old Artigas pulled off a synchronised overtake at the final corner to score a podium on his first GP appearance. Suzuki had to settle for fourth once again, with Salac in fifth and almost catching up on the podium battle by the checkered flag. Canet was best of the rest but over two seconds down the road, while Ramirez’s seventh place ensures he gets to attend the gala as third in the championship. Celestino Vietti will be joining him as Rookie of the Year and completing the race top ten with Makar Yurchenko and Ai Ogura.
|20||75||Albert ARENAS||KTM||1 Lap|
|21||48||Lorenzo DALLA PORTA||Honda||3 Laps|
|21||Alonso LOPEZ||Honda||6 Laps|
|25||Raul FERNANDEZ||KTM||9 Laps|
|14||Tony ARBOLINO||Honda||12 Laps|
|17||John MCPHEE||Honda||12 Laps|
|40||Darryn BINDER||KTM||13 Laps|
|5||Jaume MASIA||KTM||0 Lap|
|99||Carlos TATAY||KTM||0 Lap|
|23||Niccolò ANTONELLI||Honda||0 Lap|
|52||Jeremy ALCOBA||Honda||0 Lap|
|7||Dennis FOGGIA||KTM||0 Lap|