The lightweight class opened race day in dry conditions but patches of blue sky were scarce throughout the 23 laps. Even with the well-behaved weather, the Moto3 race still served some drama, although different to its usual musical chairs routine. For a long time it looked like the strongest man throughout the weekend would cruise through to the top spot of the podium but instead of that, Dennis Foggia claimed his fifth victory in the class and proved to be the man of the moment in Moto3. It was a bespoke show for the home crowd, with Niccolo Antonelli and Andrea Migno joining him on the podium.
Antonelli had made the best launch off line to arrive into turn 1 first but poleman Romano Fenati was back ahead by turn 2, the duo leading the way from Migno, Foggia, Jaume Masia and Xavier Artigas. Having started 12th, Sergio Garcia quickly climbed into 7th, while title rival Pedro Acosta was more cautious down in 10th, behind Darryn Binder and Riccardo Rossi. By lap 2, Foggia and Antonelli were battling it out for the right to challenge the poleman’s lead, while Fenati was starting to extend a bit of a gap around half a second. That gap kept steady over the next couple of laps but the hot pace at the front saw a group of 12 riders put a one second gap into the second group led by Carlos Tatay.
Fenati’s fast pace kept Antonelli around six tenths behind, the Avintia rider in turn putting a similar gap in between himself and Migno. By lap 7, only Masia, Foggia, Binder, Garcia seemed to stay in podium contention, with Artigas and Acosta dropping a second and a half back, in a feisty chasing group also including Nepa, Ayumu Sasaki and Rossi. Quite unusual for the lightweight class race, there were not many exchanges at the front of the pack, but Acosta was being kept busy in the battle for 8th, which reduced in numbers once Artigas got served with a long lap penalty.
Back at the front, the poleman kept his advantage steady but six tenths quickly turned into a second and a half when Antonelli had a big moment at turn 4 and suddenly dropped from 2nd to 7th on lap 10. Foggia was left in charge of the pursuit but Fenati’s gap increased to two seconds over the next couple of laps, while the Leopard rider was fending off second place from Migno, Garcia, Binder, Masia and Antonelli. Nepa led the next group 3 seconds down the road, holding off Acosta by a couple of tenths.
Fenati continued untroubled in the lead of his home race and added a few tenths to his advantage by the midway point of the race. The Italian seemed in control of proceedings until the penultimate turn on lap 14, when he crashed out quite spectacularly and the mistake took him out of championship contention too. Foggia got the biggest benefit out of his compatriot’s misfortune, the Leopard rider inheriting the lead but still had 5 other challengers on his tail. One thing working in his advantage was that Migno, Masia, Garcia and Antonelli were too busy fighting for second to bother him much going into the final 5 laps.
The unsettled chasing group allowed Foggia to maintain his gap to around 6 tenths going into the final lap, with Antonelli as his main rival after he pulled a move on Migno at turn 1. Mistakes from Garcia and Masia on the final lap allowed the Italians to decide the podium positions but the order was unchanged at the chequered flag, Foggia securing the win ahead of Antonelli and Migno. Garcia settled for fourth in front of Masia, with Binder taking a lonely sixth after dropping out of the lead group in the second half of the race. Acosta took all race to find a way past Nepa and before he could find one, Tatay made a harsh move at turn 9 that dropped Acosta to 10th, with a handful of laps to recover all that ground. The championship leader did well to reclaim 7th place at the finish line, ahead of Tatay, Nepa and Sasaki, who rounded out the top 10 positions.
Consecutive wins for Foggia make him Acosta’s main rival in the championship, although tied on points with Garcia on a 42-point deficit.
|24||19||Andi Farid Izdihar||Honda||+53.470|
|12||Filip Salac||KTM||6 Laps|
|43||Xavier Artigas||Honda||9 Laps|
|55||Romano Fenati||Husqvarna||10 Laps|
|22||Elia Bartolini||KTM||22 Laps|