After a sweltering start to the weekend, the sun gave riders a bit of a break and cloud cover was a novel sight around the Sachsenring, dropping temperatures somewhat, but that didn’t make the battle in the lightweight class any less heated. After another less than stellar qualifying from the championship leader, Pedro Acosta was back to winning ways in Germany, securing his fourth victory of the season after a race-long battle with the men joining him on the podium. Given his heavy crash on Saturday, Kaito Toba looked like he might not be fit for the race but he quickly forgot any lingering pain as he fought for his first podium of the year in second place. Dennis Foggia was the rider who spent the most time at the front of the race and almost missed out on the podium altogether but did get to enjoy some cava after a post-race penalty for Jeremy Alcoba.
Toba had made his intentions clear even since he overtook poleman Filip Salac into turn 1 at the start of the race but he didn’t get to keep prime position for long, as compatriot Tatsuki Suzuki slid past at turn 2 to lead ahead of Toba, John McPhee and Salac. Foggia and rookie Lorenzo Fellon held onto the leaders, while Acosta quickly joined the top 10, having started 13th. Garcia had started right behind him and was slower to progress but was doing a lot better than Jaume Masia, who lost a lot of ground at the start and dropped to 21st position. Darryn Binder progressed from 18th on the grid to 10th by lap 2 but he had a ride through penalty to serve for irresponsible riding in Q1, which dropped him to the back of the field one lap later, 25 seconds behind the rider ahead.
Toba had resumed the lead on the second lap but a mistake at turn 3 surrendered top spot to Foggia and the duo were soon under attack from the championship leader, who got ahead of McPhee, Andrea Migno and Suzuki, but with a big group still in pursuit. Acosta picked up the lead for the first time at the start of lap 6 but could only hold on for one lap, Foggia finding the inside at turn 1 next time around. The Italian was a bit more successful at the front, aided by some exchanges between Acosta, Suzuki, Toba and Migno, while Garcia and Gabriel Rodrigo turned up to the podium party by lap 7 by joining the top 10. Meanwhile, Masia’s day was progressively getting worse, with a long lap penalty for prompting an incident with Yuki Kunii that dropped him to the back of the leading group on lap 8.
Despite some wheels being shown by Acosta & Co, Foggia kept the lead until lap 11, when Toba demoted him once more. However, one of the main contenders abandoned the fight that same lap, Rodrigo highsiding out of turn 5. The pack reduced further one lap later, when a naughty move by Romano Fenati took out Deniz Öncü and Fellon at turn 1. Toba entered the second half of the race still at the front of the pack, while more and more challengers left the lead group, following crashes at turn 1 for Stefano Nepa and Masia and with Fenati and McPhee losing touch with the 10 leaders.
Fresh off a track limits warning, Acosta took another turn at the front with 12 laps remaining, but Foggia replied immediately, the Italian leading once more ahead of Suzuki and Acosta. The trio spent the most time in the limelight but Garcia, Toba, Migno, Xavier Artigas, Niccolò Antonelli, Alcoba and Izan Guevara were still in the mix for the podium battle. Garcia first joined the top 2 with 7 laps remaining and had four tenths to recover on Foggia to attack for the lead but Acosta pulled another move at his favourite turn 12 to get ahead of his compatriot. Acosta went on to test Foggia again but the Italian started the final four laps back at the front of the group.
With Foggia more than happy to lead the way, Acosta bided his time for another attack but wasn’t exactly getting bored, with a twitch here, a mistake there and Garcia keen to spice things up behind him. Acosta led the way going into the final lap and Foggia wanted to strike back but Acosta made the decisive move at turn 8, while Foggia was forced into the green and lost some ground. Acosta held onto the win ahead of Toba, who passed Alcoba at turn 12 on the final lap. Having started 20th, Alcoba had joined the top 3 for the last couple of laps but did not notice a penalty to drop one position, which had to be applied after the race and dropped him to fourth. Foggia inherited the final podium spot, while Migno joined the top 5. Antonelli got sixth after both Garcia and Suzuki had to drop one position for exceeding track limits on the final lap, while rookies Artigas and Guevara rounded out the top 10. Over 30 seconds later, Binder managed to grab a couple points for 14th position.
In the championship standings, Acosta extends his advantage to 55 points from Garcia, with Masia third and 73 points behind his teammate.
|15||19||Andi Farid Izdihar||Honda||+38.297|
|82||Stefano Nepa||KTM||12 Laps|
|5||Jaume Masia||KTM||13 Laps|
|54||Riccardo Rossi||KTM||13 Laps|
|20||Lorenzo Fellon||Honda||15 Laps|
|12||Filip Salac||Honda||15 Laps|
|2||Gabriel Rodrigo||Honda||17 Laps|
|31||Adrian Fernandez||Husqvarna||20 Laps|
|92||Yuki Kunii||Honda||24 Laps|