2021 Austin Moto3 Race Result: No Stars Or Stripes On These Red Flags

Rodeo day at CotA got underway with the lightweight class braving the bumps in the warmest conditions of the weekend, but there was barely any time to discuss the infamous conditions because the race quickly turned into not one but two dramatic sprints. Little did Jaume Masia know when he lined up in pole position that he won’t end up in a featured role by the end of the day, but he did get a hint off the line, when Xavier Artigas made a suspiciously good start from the middle of the second row. Although Masia was back ahead by turn 2, the rookies were on a move, both Artigas and Izan Guevara getting past the poleman by the end of the first lap. However, Artigas swiftly received a double long lap penalty for a jump start, dropping him down to 15th position over the next few laps and leaving Guevara in the lead of the race, ahead of Masia and Alcoba.

Meanwhile, Dennis Foggia had lost some ground at the start, down to 8th place and was quickly trying to recover positions to rejoin the victory battle, as did John McPhee, and both riders made fast progress to catch up with the leading trio. The Italian joined the victory battle by lap five, bringing the likes of Deniz Öncü, Andrea Migno and the Petronas boys with him, but Pedro Acosta was also making progress and was up to 8th and only a second and a half behind the leader.

By lap six, it looked like an 11-man group had broken one second away from the next group led by Romano Fenati, but the Italian seemed keen to recover ground and had Ayumu Sasaki, Filip Salac and Artigas for company – the sanctioned rookie the fastest man on track at that stage.

Guevara continued to be at the front of the leading group over the next few laps, while Foggia, McPhee and Masia allowed him a bit of breathing room. Acosta picked up the chase seven tenths back, but red flags started waving on lap 7, as a consequence of Filip Salac requiring some medical attention after a crash at turn 11. While the Czech rider was taken to the medical centre, thankfully conscious, a brand new five-lap sprint got underway, with the grid positions based on the standings of the last completed lap, placing Guevara on pole from Foggia and McPhee.

Once the lights went out for a second time, Guevara kept the lead from pole, with McPhee and Öncü getting ahead of Foggia, who once again lost a couple places at the start. Öncü briefly found his way into the lead but Guevara fought back and the exchange allowed Binder to get in the mix. Acosta made a good start to join the top 6 early on, but then started losing ground and dropped down to 11th by lap two.

Guevara looked like extending a gap at the front but disaster struck on the second lap, when the Spaniard ran wide at turn 12 and retired with a mechanical problem. While the rookie was busy destroying the décor in his box in a bit of a tantrum, McPhee inherited the lead ahead of a 10-man lead group closed by Acosta. However, an unfortunate touch of wheels on the back straight on lap 3 caused a scary crash for Alcoba and catapulted Migno and Acosta a long way down the road. Another red flag was inevitable and watching all three riders walk away was almost unbelievable.

Riders returned to pitlane once more and the rulebook was back out, but it seemed useless in this unique scenario. After some deliberations, the race was understandably not resumed or restarted but confusingly, the results at the first red flag were declared final, handing Guevara a surprise maiden win and placing Foggia and McPhee on the podium. Initial poleman Masia had to make do with fourth, ahead of Öncü, Alcoba and Binder, with Acosta, Suzuki and Migno completing the top 10.

Although Acosta probably had more on his mind than the championship after the Sunday he’s had, he continues to lead the title standings, although Foggia reduced the gap slightly. Despite missing out on the race following a crash on Friday, Sergio Garcia remains third and not totally out of contention just yet.

Results:

Pos No. Rider Bike Time/Diff
1 28 Izan Guevara GASGAS 15'57.747
2 7 Dennis Foggia Honda +0.385
3 17 John McPhee Honda +0.499
4 5 Jaume Masia KTM +0.706
5 53 Deniz Öncü KTM +1.266
6 52 Jeremy Alcoba Honda +1.271
7 40 Darryn Binder Honda +1.391
8 37 Pedro Acosta KTM +1.543
9 24 Tatsuki Suzuki Honda +1.820
10 16 Andrea Migno Honda +2.480
11 82 Stefano Nepa KTM +2.683
12 55 Romano Fenati Husqvarna +3.257
13 71 Ayumu Sasaki KTM +3.492
14 43 Xavier Artigas Honda +3.652
15 23 Niccolò Antonelli KTM +6.086
16 20 Lorenzo Fellon Honda +8.944
17 73 Maximilian Kofler KTM +9.529
18 99 Carlos Tatay KTM +9.977
19 67 Alberto Surra Honda +10.130
20 54 Riccardo Rossi KTM +10.536
21 31 Adrian Fernandez Husqvarna +14.107
22 6 Ryusei Yamanaka KTM +14.228
23 27 Kaito Toba KTM +14.637
24 19 Andi Farid Izdihar Honda +14.794
25 92 Yuki Kunii Honda +14.968
Not Classified
  12 Filip Salac KTM 1 Lap
Round Number: 
15
2021
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Comments

those are the ugliest trophies i have ever seen!

"no animals were harmed in the making of these troph....eh, what's that? oh...oops!"

Something like that anyway. Dutch bands I loved during my bike racing wayward youth: Golden Earing and Focus. Still do. The title I think comes from Focus at the Rainbow in concert. No Hocus Pocus. What a weird and bizzare final result as deemed fit by race direction. A red flagged and cancelled race replaced by a five lap race, red flagged to have the first race re-instated as the final race result. What a load of rubbish. I fully agree with the red flags in both renditions of the the event. However. What next ? Red flag in race 2 declares the result as per race 1 leaderboard standing. Next they wil red flag events and award points based on grid positions. That temper tantrum kid that was awarded the win ? What a bloody disgrace. But that seems to be what the world is striving for these days. The soft bigotry of low expectations. McPhee won and I think the other Petronas was second. The rest is BS. Glad all the racers survived a horrible incident in race 2.

Moto3 madness goes on and on.   So glad everyone was ok, how on Earth...??  Acosta's crashes at Assen and here were both diabolical, and he was essentially uninjured in each.  Not even a scaphoid or a collarbone or something.  Not something to be made light of in this year with so many deaths, but rubber bones are a tremendous asset in this sport.

Oncu's riding was less reckless than much we've seen over the years (Mir's swerving across the back straight at Aragon in his M3 title year is imprinted in my mind) but the consequences very visible and coming at a time when they clearly need to clamp down. Race penalties seem the only real punishment, they have had plenty of warnings.