Moto3 at MotorLand wasn’t much of a miff, with an undisputed leader from lights to flag in Izan Guevara. The championship leader had a dream afternoon, leading each of the 19 laps on home soil and extending his advantage in the championship quite handsomely. Despite having Ayumu Sasaki glued to his rear wheel for much of the race, the Spaniard stretched enough of a gap over the final couple of laps to halt any attacks from the Japanese rider, who settled for second. Dani Holgado only dropped from the leading group in the last handful of laps and the rookie got to celebrate a maiden grand prix podium on home soil and with a cushy advantage over the rivals behind.
Guevara’s lightning start from pole position allowed him to quickly stretch a slight gap at the front, only Sasaki and Holgado seemingly able to keep up with his early pace. The trio immediately extended a second’s advantage over the chasing group led by Tatsuki Suzuki and including Ivan Ortolá and John McPhee. Another second back was a group of fast starters, with Deniz Öncü, Sergio Garcia and David Muñoz, who quickly joined the top 10 after starting as far back as the sixth row for Muñoz, while Dennis Foggia was going the other way, dropping out of the top 10 on the opening lap.
The three leaders’ advantage continued to grow over the first few laps, up to three seconds by lap six, while Suzuki struggled to bridge the gap and there was the threat of Öncü quickly coming from behind. The Turkish rider was the quickest of the group and quickly closed the gap to the battle for fourth, while Muñoz & Co seemed stuck one and a half seconds behind and with the title rivals out of the top 10 at that stage. Garcia eventually picked up the lead of that third group and tried to pick up the pace as well, but all eyes were on the men ahead, where Öncü quickly got past Ortolá, Suzuki and McPhee to lead the pursuit that had since dropped four seconds behind the leading trio.
There were no moves at the front in those early stages, allowing Guevara, Sasaki and Holgado to maintain their advantage over the pursuit, despite Öncü’s speed. Meanwhile, Garcia had joined that party, bringing a sizeable group with him, ending with Foggia in 15th position. The Italian’s hopes were short-lived though, as he struggled to make up positions and was dropped from the pursuit by lap 10. Garcia wasn’t faring much better either, the Spaniard going backwards once more, dropping outside of the top 10 at the halfway point of proceedings, towards the back of the group battling for fourth and seemingly unable to recover any ground over the next few laps.
Back at the front, Guevara and Sasaki seemed to have started dropping Holgado with five laps remaining, but the rookie faced no threat from behind, with Öncü over nine seconds back at one point. The order of the four men remained unchanged until the chequered flag, but the fight for fifth was a great deal more eventful. A harsh move from Muñoz over Adrian Fernandez dropped the Tech 3 rider from fifth to outside of the top 10 for the final handful of laps, while Muñoz himself dropped to 12th after serving the ensuing long lap penalty. Both riders made good use of the final couple of laps to recover ground, with Fernandez reclaiming fifth for a best career finish, ahead of another best grand prix finish for Ortolá in sixth and Muñoz climbing back into seventh position. Jaume Masia, Carlos Tatay and McPhee rounded out the top 10 places, while Suzuki faded late on and dropped to 12th.
Meanwhile, in the title battle, several mistakes for Garcia saw him lose ground and drop to 13th place for the final couple laps, ahead of an underwhelming Foggia, who had a lonely day in 14th position. All this gave Guevara even more reason to smile, the youngster now 33 points ahead of his teammate in the world championship standings and a massive 58 points ahead of Foggia.
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