2022 Portimão Moto3 Race Result: The Momentum Swings Again

Race day in Portugal started in pretty cool conditions and mostly overcast, but the clouds gave way to a touch of sunshine by the time the lightweight class lined up on the grid for the first showdown of the day. Without enjoying much dry track time this weekend, riders had quite a mission navigating the 21-lap race but a strong group of five emerged early on and battled all the way to the final lap, when Sergio Garcia reclaimed the lead in the championship with a second victory of the season – and a fourth crash of the weekend, thankfully in parc fermé. Jaume Masia was a tough opponent but an impeccable last lap from Garcia left him with no options to improve on second position, while Ayumu Sasaki joined them on the podium in third.

Poleman Öncü was another fixture in the leading group, the Turkish youngster having made an impressive start off the grid and was unbeatable into turn one. Garcia made an equally great launch to take second from the back of the second row, ahead of Mario Aji, Carlos Tatay and Izan Guevara. Öncü and Garcia seemed to be in a rush to ditch the pursuers and the duo stretched a half second gap over the opening lap, the Spaniard sneaking past on the start-finish straight to pick up the lead. Garcia continued to push at the front and over the next lap also dropped Öncü, who was under pressure from Guevara, with a sizeable group in tow as well. Further down that group, the likes of Masia, Andrea Migno and Dennis Foggia were still trying to join the top 10, the then-championship-leader down to 17th position after the opening lap and struggling to make progress early on.

Garcia’s early pace in clear air placed him over one second ahead of the pursuers by lap four, helped by the exchanges between Öncü and Guevara. Sasaki was also on the attack and fighting his way through the pack to join the podium battle, ahead of Tatay, Lorenzo Fellon, Scott Ogden, Masia and Diogo Moreira, a small half second gap keeping them ahead of the next group down the road. Foggia was yet to make any significant moves and was even further behind, in 16th position and over five seconds behind the leader by lap six.

Although Garcia maintained the one second gap over the next couple of laps, Guevara, Sasaki, Öncü and rapidly progressing Masia prevented him from extending that further, while dropping the rest of the challengers almost two seconds back by lap eight. Guevara’s hot pace started to reel in his leading teammate soon enough, the gap down to half a second only one lap later and barely anything by the start of lap 10, making it a five-man victory battle. Guevara was just as quick to make his move for the lead, slipstreaming past Garcia into turn one, with Masia and Sasaki also trying to pounce and Öncü holding back at the tail end of the leading group. Five seconds down the road, Tatay led the chase in a group including the likes of Moreira and Masia, while Foggia finally knocked on the doors of top 10.

The battle for the lead got spicy with 10 laps remaining, a busy turn one allowing Sasaki to take control for the first time, although the leaders only enjoyed short one-lap stints at the front at that stage, with Garcia, Masia, Sasaki and Guevara trading top spot with each passing of the main straight. Öncü was still holding onto the leaders but was yet to make a move for the podium until five laps to go, when the poleman finally attacked at turn one to briefly resume control of the group and show his intentions after a calmer few laps.

The exchanges continued at the front, with turn one still the main attraction and Garcia attacking there to start the final lap in the lead. Although Masia was keen to find a way past, his compatriot did not leave any doors open and Garcia secured victory by six hundredths of a second. Sasaki claimed the final podium position ahead of poleman Öncü, with Guevara dropping to fifth. Almost four seconds later, Tatay crossed the finish line to claim sixth ahead of Migno, while Moreira held off Foggia for eighth place but a penalty for exceeding track limits on the last lap dropped the Brazilian to 10th, behind Foggia and fellow rookie Joel Kelso.

Garcia’s masterful last lap victory rewarded him with a one-point advantage over Foggia in the world championship standings, Masia climbing to third with a 29-point deficit, four points ahead of Migno.

Results:

Pos No. Rider Bike Time/Diff
1 11 Sergio Garcia GasGas 38:17.7250
2 5 Jaume Masia KTM 0.069
3 71 Ayumu Sasaki Husqvarna 0.110
4 53 Deniz Öncü KTM 0.210
5 28 Izan Guevara GasGas 0.373
6 99 Carlos Tatay CFMoto 4.094
7 16 Andrea Migno Honda 4.729
8 7 Dennis Foggia Honda 7.170
9 66 Joel Kelso KTM 7.241
10 10 Diogo Moreira KTM 7.165
11 54 Riccardo Rossi Honda 7.276
12 24 Tatsuki Suzuki Honda 7.334
13 19 Scott Ogden Honda 7.442
14 20 Lorenzo Fellon Honda 18.989
15 82 Stefano Nepa KTM 22.437
16 64 Mario Aji Honda 22.627
17 27 Kaito Toba KTM 25.411
18 18 Matteo Bertelle KTM 26.195
19 23 Elia Bartolini KTM 26.213
20 43 Xavier Artigas CFMoto 26.580
21 6 Ryusei Yamanaka KTM 27.217
22 38 David Salvador Husqvarna 30.402
23 87 Gerard Riu Male KTM 42.926
24 63 Syarifuddin Azman Honda 42.989
25 72 Taiyo Furusato Honda 50.532
26 70 Joshua Whatley Honda 50.902
27 80 David Alonso Kalex 51.199
28 22 Ana Carrasco KTM 54.005
Not Classified
  96 Daniel Holgado KTM 31:06.2090
  48 Ivan Ortola KTM 12:55.1590
Round Number: 
5
2022
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Comments

Fifth race in Moto3 and JK66 is in the top ten. 7 hundredths of a second behind the championship leader after 38 minutes of racing.

Go the fast redhead!