Arenas hangs on to clinch epic Moto3™ season opener

by | Mar 8, 2020 | Honda, KTM, motoGP News, Suzuki

Arenas hangs on to clinch epic Moto3™ season opener

The Spaniard clinched the 100th Grand Prix victory for KTM after a last-lap duel with John McPhee

Aspar Team Gaviota’s Albert Arenas took the opening win of the 2020 Moto3™ World Championship in magnificent style as the lightweight class produced an epic under the lights at the QNB Grand Prix of Qatar. The Spaniard held off a hard-charging John McPhee (Petronas Sprinta Racing) on the final lap to take KTM’s 100th Grand Prix victory.

SIC58 Squadra Corse’s Tatsuki Suzuki got the perfect start from pole position and took the holeshot into Turn 1, with lightweight class rookie Deniz Öncü (Red Bull KTM Tech 3) getting a lightning start from row three of the grid to settle into fourth. The chaos then began to ensue with ten different riders leading throughout the course of the race.

First to steal the lead away from Suzuki was Raul Fernandez (Red Bull KTM Ajo), who slipstreamed his way to the front at the start of lap two, only to run wide at Turn 6 and allow Rivacold Snipers Team’s Tony Arbolino to the front of the pack. Then, CIP Green Power’s Darryn Binder began to muscle his way into the fight and eventually the lead.

The fight for the win included 19 riders at one point with Moto3™ reminding of us what we’ve missed over the winter months. Lap after lap, corner after corner we saw moves flying in left, right and centre but one thing remained constant: Arenas dictating the pace at the front. SKY Racing Team VR46’s Celestino Vietti became the first rider to crash out after contact from rookie Jeremy Alcoba (Kömmerling Gresini Moto3).

Five laps were left and a leading five were just starting to break clear. Arenas was still at the front, with Arbolino, Suzuki, Binder and Sergio Garcia (Estrella Galicia 0,0) queuing up behind. The five were unable to break clear though because as they came across the line to make it four laps left, Arenas was shuffled backwards as Arbolino hit the front. Suzuki pounced seconds later though, retaking the lead at Turn 2. McPhee was starting to make his move too, diving under Binder to sit third. The Scotsman wasn’t done there, calmly swooping past Arbolino to move second moments later.

Three laps to go and Suzuki lead over the line but the Japanese rider was swallowed up going into Turn 1 as everyone utilised the slipstream. It was McPhee that appeared out of the scrum in front of everyone else as the fight really began to heat up. The Scotsman held on but Gabriel Rodrigo (Kömmerling Gresini Moto3) decided the time was right to make his move as the final lap began it was the Argentinian leading the way.

Hard on the brakes into Turn 1 for the final time and there was always going to be drama. It involved Binder and Arbolino, with the South African crashing out after the Italian clipped his front wheel. Half a lap remaining and Arenas lead but he had pressure building behind from McPhee. Jaume Masia (Leopard Racing) moved into third ahead of Ai Ogura in the fight for the final podium place but they were a few bike lengths back meaning it came down to Arenas and McPhee in the final sector.

The Scotsman was stuck to the rear wheel of Arenas, seemingly waiting to make his move down the start-finish straight but as the pair exited the final corner, the KTM of Arenas held off the charging Honda of McPhee and the first 25 points of 2020 went the way of the Spaniard. The final podium place was seemingly Masia’s, however, Ogura was gifted third after Masia received a one place penalty for exceeding track limits on the final lap.

Suzuki completed the top five after the Gresini duo of Rodrigo and Alcoba in sixth and seventh were also handed last lap penalties for exceeding track limits. Rivacold Snipers Team’s Filip Salac recovered from a disappointing qualifying to take eighth, ahead of Dennis Foggia (Leopard Racing) and Fernandez.

Top 10:
1. Albert Arenas (Aspar Team Gaviota)
2. John McPhee (Petronas Sprinta Racing) + 0.053
3. Ai Ogura (Honda Team Asia) + 0.344
4. Jaume Masia (Leopard Racing)* + 0.247
5. Tatsuki Suzuki (SIC58 Squadra Corse) + 0.789
6. Gabriel Rodrigo (Kömmerling Gresini Moto3)* + 0.426
7. Jeremy Alcoba (Kömmerling Gresini Moto3)* + 0.559
8. Filip Salač (Rivacold Snipers Team) + 0.823
9. Dennis Foggia (Leopard Racing) + 0.964
10. Raul Fernandez (Red Bull KTM Ajo)* + 0.834
*one place penalty for exceeding track limits

Click here for full results!

Every race weekend LIVE and OnDemand, exclusive interviews, historic races and so much more fantastic content: this is VideoPass!

Source link

MotoGP NEWS FEED

Triumph Extends Moto2 Partnership Until 2029

Triumph Motorcycles has signed a new contract to remain an Exclusive Engine Supplier for the FIM Moto2™ World Championship for another five seasons. Triumph is developing a full new race gearbox, which will debut in the 2025 season, alongside improvements for the 2024...

Wolfman Peak Tail Bag WP | Gear Review

The Wolfman Peak Tail Bag WP is a 6.5L waterproof, rack-mounted motorcycle tail bag with an 840D nylon exterior and RF-welded seams. MSRP is $169.99. (Story and photos by Moshe K. Levy, aka Moto Mouth Moshe) Wolfman’s Peak Tail Bag WP provides a compact but versatile...

2021 Kawasaki Z900RS/Café

2021 Kawasaki Z900RS. (Kawasaki/)UpsClassic replica styling of the original Z1Modern chassis, suspension, brakes, wheelsDownsUnder 100 hp fromSuspension a bit softVerdictRetro classic fever caught on big with the motorcycle industry in the latter half of the past...

Can-Am and Road Warrior Foundation Sponsor Veterans on Cross-Country Ride

The 2022 Road Warrior Ride, sponsored by Can-Am, ended at the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame Museum in Columbus, Ohio. During the week of Sept. 23-30, a group of veterans seeking adventure, camaraderie, and healing rode Can-Am Spyders from Florida to Ohio, covering over...

BMW Motorrad Days to return to the Alps

BMW Motorrad Days will return to Garmisch-Partenkirchen for 2024 after two years away. Garmisch-Partenkirchen has hosted the annual festival eighteen times before, however for the last two years the event has moved to Berlin. Back in the Alps again this year between 5...

Single and ready to mingle: Ducati’s Hypermotard 698 Mono

Introducing the latest addition to the Ducati Hypermotard family – the 698 Mono. This new model, unveiled today, boasts a single-cylinder engine known as the ‘Superquadro Mono’. The Ducati Hypermotard 698 Mono boasts class-leading supermoto performance as the first...

2022 BMW F 900 XR Adventure Sport Review

We go for another ride aboard BMW’s easy-riding F 900 XR. (Joseph Agustin/)The 2022 F 900 XR is a plus-size middleweight adventure sport from BMW Motorrad. When BMW introduced this model for the 2020 model year, we were there for the official press introduction; see...

The Speedshop roars into action for a series of adventures on BBC Two

Photo: Mark Riccioni Following a successful pilot, The Speedshop returns for 6×60 episodes with former Special Forces operator Titch Cormack designing and building bespoke motorbikes and cars from his “souped-up man-cave” on Poole’s picturesque waterfront. This series...

Elf Total Classic Car Engine Oil HTX Collection Multigrade 20W50 5 Litre Tin

HTX collection 20W-50 is a customized solution for old and young vintage vehicles with engines made in original state with or without turbocharger, especially those made since 1950. The excellent viscosity balance permits low-wear starts even after longer...

2021 KTM 200 Duke, 390 Duke, 890 Duke, and 1290 Super Duke R | Comparison Review

KTM’s line of naked bikes has steadily evolved over the past 25 years. We assembled the latest lineup of Dukes (left to right: 200 Duke, 390 Duke, 890 Duke, and 1290 Super Duke R) for a side-by-side evaluation. Photos by Kevin Wing. KTM rose to prominence with its...