Moto3 Argentina: Masia converts pole to win after last corner scramble

Jaume Masia took a career first win in an extremely competitive Moto3 Grand Prix in Argentina
Moto3 Argentina: Masia converts pole to win after last corner scramble

Jaume Masia became the first rider to convert a pole start to a win at the Termas de Rio Hondo track as he stormed back through the pack to be in contention and then lunged ahead in the final corner scramble to take victory in the Moto3 Argentina Grand Prix.

The Bester Capital Dubai rider had an eventful race: a terrible start saw him lose the lead and lucky to stay upright on the KTM. The Spaniard remained in the mix in the early laps, but with a huge group of riders all in contention he got pushed back down the order and out of the top ten.

Masia was elated after securing the win - he picked up injuries in testing and then crashed out in Qatar, his luck did not improve this weekend initially either - he got tangled in Sergio Garcia’s warm-up crash - however the racecraft and determination shown by the teenager saw him able to fend off the attacks coming from all sides in the excitng closing lap.

Darryn Binder had also endured a tough weekend, crashing twice, including in warm-up. He struggled in qualifying where he could only manage a best of 20th but his aggressive race style saw him pick up place after place and lead several times over the duration. The CIP Green Power rider used his differing line choice to duck under his rivals and secure second, just 0.108s behind winner Masia.



Another podium debutant, Tony Arbolino, the best of the Honda riders for the Snipers team, held firm in the final corner chaos at turn thirteen to claim third at the chequered flag.

Niccolo Antonelli (SIC 58 Squadra Corse) filled just about every position before he eventually crossed the line fourth, narrowly ahead of Ayumu Sasaki (Petronas Sprinta Racing) in fifth -his best result to date.

The biggest loser was Gabriel Rodrigo, the Gresini rider had positioned himself perfectly for a home win after leading most of the final lap only to get nudged wide and out of contention, clipping the rear of Binder in the process which left him sixth, but he was pleased with the points after his recent collarbone injury hampered his progress in the season opener at Qatar.

Leopard’s Lorenzo Dalla Porta had lead at the start of the final lap but he too ended up shuffled out wide, finishing seventh.

Dennis Foggia lead briefly on his way to eighth for Sky Racing VR46, with Marcos Ramirez also hitting the front briefly before falling to ninth on the second Leopard entry.

Qatar winner Kaito Toba had slipped out of the points places after getting tangled up in the crash between Alonso Lopez and John McPhee, the Honda Team Asia rider really picked up the pace as the laps counted down to reach tenth and retain his lead in the championship standings.

Andrea Migno (Bester Capital Dubai) raced his way to eleventh, passing early frontrunner Aron Canet (Sterilgarda Max Racing Team) and leaving him twelfth.

The remaining points on offer went to Tatsuki Suzuki (SIC 58 Squadra Corse) in 13th, top rookie finisher Celestino Vietti (Sky Racing Team VR46) in 14th and Angel Nieto Team rider Raul Fernandez in 15th.

Romano Fenati (VNE Snipers) finished outside the points in 16th . Tom Booth-Amos was the top Briton after McPhee’s spill in 18th. The Petronas rider experienced contact with Lopez which buckled his front wheel and affected his brake line. When trying to pass at the next corner the man from Oban found his brakes were not working, causing the crash. He remounted to finish 21st and after review by Race Direction it was decided no further penalty was needed.

Philip Salac, Jakub Kornfeil and Can Oncu all also crashed and rejoined. Lopez and Vincente Perez were not as lucky and failed to finish.

Sergio Garcia will have to wait a little longer to take part in his first Grand Prix - the sixteen year old was declared unfit to race with concussion after being taken to hospital following his crash in warm-up which brought out the red flag.

Albert Arenas missed the second race of the season too following a spell in intensive care after a bicycle training accident between races left him carrying injury.