2022 Qatar Moto3 Race Result: Duel In The Desert

The lightweight class provided the first shot of adrenaline of the season as more or less naughty youngsters lined up on the start grid at Lusail, with the poleman of 24 hours prior sent to the back of the grid for irresponsible riding. Luck seemed to go Ayumu Sasaki’s way as he inherited the prime spot on the grid and looked like a sure winner for much of the race but bad luck was right around the corner – turn 6 to be precise – and it set the scene for a tough fight for victory. Andrea Migno was placed under serious pressure all the way to the finish line but the class veteran took a long awaited victory by only three hundredths of a second. That was how close Sergio Garcia got to the win but the Spaniard did well to stay in contention after serving a long lap penalty early in the race. Kaito Toba also had to fight all the way to the flag, where he earned his place on the first podium of the season.

Having a Japanese flag on the podium looked like a certainty from the very beginning of the race, when Sasaki kept the lead from pole from Jaume Masia and Migno and immediately extended a half second gap over the duo. Garcia, Deniz Öncü, Carlos Tatay, Ryusei Yamanaka and Toba were joined by rookies Ivan Ortola and Diogo Moreira in the leading group, but Tatay did not get to finish the opening lap as he crashed out at turn 7 following a nudge from Garcia. Meanwhile, Izan Guevara, Tatsuki Suzuki and Dennis Foggia were making their way through the pack after being punished to the back of the grid due to irresponsible riding in qualifying. By lap 2, Guevara had progressed to 14th position, Suzuki to 18th and Foggia was 20th, but the trio still had long lap penalties to serve.

Back at the front, the early advantage kept Sasaki safe from the slipstream bonanza and he continued to increase the gap to one full second by lap 4, while Migno, Masia and Garcia battled to lead the sizeable pursuit. Garcia’s hopes for victory soon looked to be in danger as the Spaniard got a long lap penalty for nudging Tatay off on the opening lap and the sanction dropped him to 11th position on lap 5, a second behind the leading group and another second ahead of teammate Guevara, who had served his own long lap penalty a couple laps prior. The battle for second did not lack contenders though, with Migno and Masia challenged by Öncü and Toba and with Moreira, Ortola, McPhee, Yamanaka and Artigas still in the mix. Meanwhile, Foggia had served his two long lap penalties and fought to rejoin the top 20.

Somewhat unusually for a Moto3 plotline, Sasaki continued to extend his advantage to well over two seconds by lap 8 but much more predictable was his rivals’ inability to cooperate to reel him in. Compatriot Toba led the chasers at that stage, with Migno, Masia and Öncü as his main challengers but with Moreira, McPhee, Yamanaka, Ortola and Garcia also biding their time right behind. While Garcia steadily made his way through the group, teammate Guevara was stuck in a lonely 12th position, 2.5 seconds behind the large group of podium contenders, with Foggia joining the top 15 by lap 9.

Sasaki continued completely untroubled at the front, leading the way by three seconds at the halfway point of proceedings and the chasing group soon lost a serious contender when Masia crashed out at turn 12. Once Migno picked up the pursuit, Sasaki’s lead seemed to fade and the Italian was suddenly a mere second behind the leader. It soon became clear that Sasaki had saved a highside at turn 6 but loosened his fairing in the process and it left him defenceless as the pursuit caught up and swallowed him before he was forced to retire.

The battle for victory was back on with 6 laps to go, Migno inheriting the lead ahead of Öncü and Garcia, but the feisty trio was unable to shake off the rest of the contenders just yet, with Toba, McPhee and rookie Moreira still within touch of the podium battle. Only 7 tenths back, Yamanaka, Ortola, Artigas, Foggia and Guevara were fighting for 7th position but perhaps still hoping for more.

Back at the front, Migno had Garcia glued to his rear tyre with 3 laps to go but the Spaniard failed to make a move and got punished by Öncü next time around on the straight. Garcia retaliated soon after and finally tried a move on Migno, but the Italian stayed in control and started the final lap in the lead. Although under severe pressure from his rivals, Migno defended beautifully and only Garcia was able to keep up with him all the way to the line, where the Italian took the chequered three hundredths of a second ahead of the Spaniard. Toba and Öncü dropped half a second behind on the final lap and the Japanese rider climbed on the final step of the podium with only two hundredths of a second advantage over Öncü. McPhee lost touch with the leaders over the last couple of laps and settled for a top five, while sixth place was an admirable result for top rookie Moreira. Foggia’s title bid starts with a solid seventh place despite the multiple penalties he served, one step ahead of Guevara and with Yamanaka and Artigas completing the top 10.

Results.

Pos No Rider Bike Time Diff
1 16 Andrea Migno Honda 37'59.522  
2 11 Sergio Garcia GASGAS 37'59.559 0.037
3 27 Kaito Toba KTM 38'00.095 0.573
4 53 Deniz Öncü KTM 38'00.116 0.594
5 17 John McPhee Husqvarna 38'00.586 1.064
6 10 Diogo Moreira KTM 38'01.003 1.481
7 7 Dennis Foggia Honda 38'01.473 1.951
8 28 Izan Guevara GASGAS 38'02.067 2.545
9 6 Ryusei Yamanaka KTM 38'02.264 2.742
10 43 Xavier Artigas CFMOTO 38'05.577 6.055
11 48 Ivan Ortolá KTM 38'05.602 6.08
12 54 Riccardo Rossi Honda 38'12.455 12.933
13 82 Stefano Nepa KTM 38'12.496 12.974
14 31 Adrian Fernandez KTM 38'12.511 12.989
15 66 Joel Kelso KTM 38'12.606 13.084
16 96 Daniel Holgado KTM 38'12.521 12.999
17 18 Matteo Bertelle KTM 38'28.620 29.098
18 23 Elia Bartolini KTM 38'28.650 29.128
19 64 Mario Aji Honda 38'29.019 29.497
20 22 Ana Carrasco KTM 38'42.630 43.108
21 87 Gerard Riu Male KTM 38'47.486 47.964
22 70 Joshua Whatley Honda 38'47.794 48.272
Not Classified
  71 Ayumu Sasaki Husqvarna 25'23.179 6 laps
  5 Jaume Masia KTM 19'02.739 9 laps
  67 Alberto Surra Honda 19'14.608 9 laps
  19 Scott Ogden Honda 12'50.251 12 laps
  20 Lorenzo Fellon Honda 6'28.962 15 laps
  24 Tatsuki Suzuki Honda 6'29.363 15 laps
  99 Carlos Tatay CFMOTO 7'50.588 15 laps
Round Number: 
1
2022
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