With the first few umbrellas opening to fend off the sun, the lightweight class took to the track to show us the true meaning of chaos for yet another weekend. Although the lead was exchanged at every slipstreaming opportunity, à la Moto3, it’s somehow always the same names ending up on top.
Just as the Estrella Galicia Marc VDS team was announcing Joan Mir as their Moto2 rider for next season, the championship leader was running a tactical race that snatched him victory in the final few turns of the race.
Romano Fenati fought all the way throughout the race but couldn’t find an answer to Mir’s last lap antics and had to settle for second position, while pole sitter Jorge Martin missed yet another opportunity to convert a pole start into a win. Despite leading on the final lap, the Spaniard took the last podium position available.
The race started poorly for Martin, a terrible start dropping him back significantly as Juanfran Guevara grabbed the lead before Fenati resumed his usual tactics and took over halfway through the first lap. Despite the grid penalty dropping him to the second row of the grid, Aron Canet found his way to third on the first lap and led by lap three. Martin slowly picked up places to get back in the limelight and go top on lap four.
This was just the main contenders introducing themselves on stage as an elite group including Martin, Fenati, Canet, Fabio Di Giannantonio and Mir started to break away from the pursuers. Montmeló specialist Enea Bastianini worked hard in the first handful of laps to catch up with them, leaving the rest of the chasing group falling behind slightly. Marcos Ramirez didn’t give up the fight that easily, the Spaniard also catching up with the group and taking Tatsuki Suzuki with him.
Meanwhile, at the front, the lead changed hands more times that you could count – so the usual Moto3 slipstreaming affair – Jorge Martin the only rider able to hold his lead for more than one lap and avoid being slipstreamed on the straight. With the top eight tightly bunched up, it was difficult to pick a winner but Fenati went all out to make a break with five laps to go, the Italian posting a few personal best sectors to stretch a gap of half a second. Mir had none of that, quickly making up ground to finally snatch the lead two laps later.
The poleman slipstreamed his way into the lead soon after, Fenati, Mir and the Estrella Galicia duo breaking away to dispute the podium between themselves. Martin defended his position brilliantly until turn thirteen on the final lap, when Mir made up a move out of thin air and did not give up the lead until the line.
Bastianini got as close as one tenth of a second to continuing his record of finishing all races in Barcelona on the podium but could only finish fourth, ahead of his teammate, Aron Canet.
Leading the charge for KTM was, perhaps unsurprisingly, Marcos Ramirez, the Spaniard finishing sixth, ahead of Di Giannantonio, who faded in the final part of the race.
Behind the lead group, the Sky VR46 duo was leading the pursuers, almost three seconds behind halfway through the race, Andrea Migno and Nicolo Bulega managing to bring the gap down significantly but only made it past Suzuki to finish eighth and ninth – still a good result considering they started towards the bottom of the top twenty.
With this home win in his pocket, Mir extends his lead in the championship to almost two race wins’ worth of points, 45 ahead of Fenati, who climbs two spots in the rankings. Canet is only three points behind the Italian, with Di Giannantonio losing a further five. Migno and Martin are tied on points in fifth and sixth positions, both 57 points down on the leader.
|7||21||Fabio DI GIANNANTONIO||Honda||+1.143|
|19||48||Lorenzo DALLA PORTA||Mahindra||+22.718|
|40||Darryn BINDER||KTM||1 Lap|
|95||Jules DANILO||Honda||1 Lap|
|19||Gabriel RODRIGO||KTM||16 Laps|
|63||Vicente PEREZ||KTM||18 Laps|