MotoGP

Moto3 Austin: Canet in the clear after last lap scrap for COTA victory

Aron Canet found his way to the front of a huge final lap tussle for position to win the Moto3 Americas Grand Prix in Austin.
Moto3 Austin: Canet in the clear after last lap scrap for COTA victory

Aron Canet came out on top of a frantic final lap of the COTA track to win the Moto3 Americas Grand Prix in Austin, Texas to become the eighth consecutive different winner in the class.

The Spaniard registered his fourth career win - his first since Silverstone 2017 -after keeping clear of trouble as the bikes around him swapped paint, passing on the inside and having superior performance on the brakes to hold the best line. 

The win is also the first for his Sterilgarda Max Power Team, run by Max Biaggi and Peter Oettl, and sees him lead the championship jointly on points with Jaume Masia, both with a total of 45.

Masia completed an incredible weekend of turnaround performances by toughing it out for second, building on his win last time out in Argentina.

The Bester Capital Dubai rider had come through Q1 on Saturday to start fourth only to slip back as low as 15th by lap nine of the race. A determined performance saw him pick off one rider after another as his pace brought him into the lead group for the final laps, where his battling performance and wider line saw him climb to second to complete his eventful weekend.

The all KTM podium was completed by Andrea Migno - his first rostrum visit since the Le Mans round of 2018.

Also on Bester Capital Dubai machinery, Migno had inherited the lead in the race after Tatsuki Suzuki cruelly crashed out of first, his heartbreak clear to see as he slid across the tarmac at turn seven.

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Until that point the race had been unusually drawn out and gap-filled, but the fall saw the lead nine concertina back up at the front. Migno then battled with Canet over the final few laps, but suffered with a lack of tyre grip and was happy with his eventual third position, his best result of the year so far.

Gabriel Rodrigo was also in the mix in the closing corners before losing out to Migno at the line, leaving the Gresini rider fourth, the best placed of the Honda riders.

Early leader Niccolo Antonelli was fifth for SIC58 Squadra Corse after starting from pole.

He pipped Tony Arbolino who had to settle for sixth after catching the group of riders just in front for the Snipers team.

Rookie Raul Fernandez lead briefly during the opening laps but held his own to remain among the frontrunners for seventh, Alonso Lopez also impressed on his way to eighth for Estrella Galicia 0,0.

Celestino Vietti made up places with some strong late race pace to claim ninth for Sky Racing VR46, with his teammate Dennis Foggia right behind him to complete the top ten.

Ai Orugu (Honda Team Asia) also improved to move up to eleventh, while Marcos Ramirez (Leopard Racing) faded to twelfth.

His team-mate Lorenzo Dalla Porta struggled to 13th, John McPhee (Petronas Sprinta Racing) fought his way into the points for 14th with Darryn Binder (CIP Green-Power), an early contender at the front of the field unable to match the pace, leaving him 15th.

Can Oncu was the first to exit on lap two, Aleix Viu, replacing Albert Arenas as he continues to recover after his operation left the race on lap seven. Tom Booth-Amos didn’t last much longer with an off at turn nine with eight laps remaining.

The same lap saw Romano Fenati and Jakub Kornfeil tangle and end up in the gravel together, the Italian had worked his way up to the top ten after dropping to sixteenth only to lose the rear in the entry to turn eighteen, collecting the unfortunate Czech rider as he tumbled. Kornfeil was later diagnosed with a right collarbone fracture.

Immediately after Kaito Toba, who had lead the championship coming into the COTA round, suffered an almost identical crash to Fenati at the same corner. 

Ayumu Sasaki was the only other faller.

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