Race day started with the hills of Aragon shrouded by fog, but clear skies returned in time for the lightweight class appetiser and it was a pretty tasty show. Having started 14th on the grid, Dennis Foggia was quick to join the podium battle and became one of the favourites for victory in the final half of the race. A last lap last corner overtake secured him a precious win, that brings him closer to championship contention too. Deniz Öncü was understandably frustrated to miss out after leading the way for much of the race but the KTM rider had to settle for second and was join on the podium for teammate Ayumu Sasaki, who inherited a first podium of the season after some big mistakes from the main title contenders.
Poleman Darryn Binder made a great start to lead the way from Gabriel Rodrigo, Sergio Garcia and Tatsuki Suzuki, with Pedro Acosta not too far back and keeping busy with Andrea Migno, Jeremy Alcoba and Öncü. Garcia attacked for top spot early on and immediately went wide but Rodrigo was more successful at turn 16 to lead across the line for the second lap. The long straights of MotorLand encouraged the lead to change hands over the next couple of laps, with Migno taking over into turn 1 on lap 3 and Öncü following his example on lap 4.
The Turkish rider managed to hold onto the lead for more than a lap and Acosta became his main challenger on lap 5, ahead of poleman Binder, title rival Garcia, fellow rookie Artigas and a fast starting Foggia, but with a sizeable group still in tow. That group included Izan Guevara, the rookie going up and down the pack in the early stages of the race, while Romano Fenati was more successful than Jaume Masia at joining the top 10, all three men having started pretty low down the grid. The group was reduced somewhat at the end of lap 6, when a high side at the final corner for Rodrigo took both him and Fenati out of contention, the Italian running wide to avoid him.
While Garcia, Acosta and the Leopards kept each other entertained behind him, Öncü continued to lead the way for the next few laps. By lap 8, a lead group of 9 men, also including Sasaki, Binder, Migno and Guevara, managed to put a one second gap into the pursuers led by rookie Lorenzo Fellon and Suzuki, who were trying to bridge the gap over the next few laps. The duo eventually tagged to the back of the podium battle at the halfway point of the race, with Niccolò Antonelli the next man two seconds down the road.
Öncü started getting challenged with 10 laps remaining, when Xavi Artigas attacked at the final corner but the KTM rider was back ahead within a lap, with the GASGAS and Leopard riders as his closest challengers at that stage. Acosta, Sasaki and Migno kept their powder dry for now, but Binder and Suzuki lost a bit of ground on the leaders and got reeled in by Antonelli. A mistake by Migno dropped him back as well but the Italian pushed to recover ground and brought that group back into contention.
Back at the front, Foggia made his bid for the lead at turn 1 with 7 laps left but Öncü quickly resumed control of the pack from the Leopard machines, leaving Garcia and Acosta to keep each other company, the world championship leader enjoying a lot of close contact throughout race. To make matters worse, Acosta made his first real mistake of the season when he lost the front at turn 5 and took himself and Artigas out of action with 4 laps remaining.
The replays could not linger much on the rookie’s mishap, as Foggia and Öncü were busy trading places at the front, the Italian leading the way going into the final lap. Although the two riders were the main actors, there were plenty of rivals glued to their tail and seemingly waiting to pounce. However, Öncü made his move at turn 5 and seemed to stretch a bit of a gap at the front, with only Foggia able to keep up. The Italian outbraked Öncü at turn 16 and the Turkish rider ran out of time to fight back, accepting defeat by four hundredths of a second. Garcia looked set for a podium position but in the rush to recover more points in the championship, the Spaniard lost the front at turn 12 on the final lap and rejoined to finish out of point scoring positions. That promoted Sasaki to the podium, with Guevara missing out by six hundredths of a second. Antonelli recovered a lot of ground to climb up to fifth, ahead of Migno, Binder and Nepa, with Suzuki and a pretty anonymous Masia rounding out the top 10 positions.
Garcia’s heart-breaking mistake allowed Acosta to get away with his own, the gap staying at 46 points in the championship standings. Foggia’s victory promotes him to third, 58 points behind, with Fenati’s misfortune dropping him to 4th, 67 points down.
|20||19||Andi Farid Izdihar||Honda||+38.640|
|52||Jeremy Alcoba||Honda||1 Lap|
|20||Lorenzo Fellon||Honda||1 Lap|
|43||Xavier Artigas||Honda||4 Laps|
|37||Pedro Acosta||KTM||4 Laps|
|99||Carlos Tatay||KTM||7 Laps|
|2||Gabriel Rodrigo||Honda||14 Laps|
|12||Filip Salac||KTM||17 Laps|