Round twelve of the 2019 Moto3 World Championship took place at Silverstone for the British Grand Prix, in which Marcos Ramirez (Leopard Racing) took victory, his second of the season.
Tony Arbolino (VNE Snipers) made a strong start from pole position and made the holeshot. It was the #14 rider who most people were worried about escaping, having had a strong pace throughout the weekend. Some early fighting in the first corners allowed him a small advantage, but the high-speed nature of Silverstone meant that the pack soon closed back up.
For most of the first half of the race, the pack remained quite close together, but as the race approached the final ten laps, thirteen riders pulled themselves significantly clear at the front, identifying themselves as the leading group.
Throughout the second half of the race, Ramirez made progress and with five laps to go he came into the top positions. Onto the final lap Ramirez was second to his teammate, championship leader Lorenzo Dalla Porta (Leopard Racing), and ahead of pole sitter Arbolino, who passed Ramirez in turn one. Ramirez came back at Arbolino once more into Stowe, and when Dalla Porta ran wide in Vale, the Spaniard was well-placed to take advantage.
Some battling between the two Italians, Dalla Porta and Arbolino, in Village and The Loop gave Ramirez an advantage going into the Wellington Straight, towards Brooklands, and this proved enough. As the two behind fought over second, the #42 was able to ride relatively alone in the final part of the lap, and take his second career victory, ahead of Arbolino and Dalla Porta.
Despite the strong fighting at the front, a lot of attention in the race was diverted further back in the pack, towards Aron Canet (Sterilgarda Max Racing Team), who had been taken out by Albert Arenas (Sama Qatar Angel Nieto Team) at Village on lap three. The #44 rider was able to remount quickly, and a strong recovery ride saw him go from last, without a hope of a point, to thirteenth in fifteen laps. The failure of Dalla Porta to take victory, finishing third, in combination with Canet’s tremendous comeback could be critical come Valencia.
Whilst Marcos Ramirez was delighted to pick up his second win of the season, Tony Arbolino will have been somewhat disappointed with second place, having inflicted relative dominance on the Moto3 field throughout the weekend. Nonetheless, taking four points out of Dalla Porta saw him close to thirty-eight points adrift of his compatriot in the standings, and if he continues to work in that direction, this title fight could quite conceivably become a three-way scrap.
Niccolo Antonelli (SIC 58 Squadra Corse) had a relatively quiet race, but came home to finish fourth ahead of teammate Tatsuki Suzuki (SIC 58 Squadra Corse). Ayumu Sasaki (Petronas Sprinta Racing) had his best finish of the season in sixth place, ahead of teammate John McPhee (Petronas Sprinta Racing) and the SKY VR46 duo of Dennis Foggia and Celestino Vietti in eighth and ninth respectively, in what was a very ‘Noah’s Ark’ top ten, rounded out by Honda Team Asia’s Ai Ogura.
Jaume Masia (Bester Capital Dubai) was eleventh having run on at Maggots in the middle of the race, ahead of Darryn Binder (CIP Green Power) and the recovered Canet. Gabriel Rodrigo’s replacement at Kommerling Gresini Moto3, Jeremy Alcoba, was fourteenth, while his former Monlau teammate in CEV, Alonso Lopez (Estrella Galicia 0,0), completed the points scorers in fifteenth.
Sixteenth went to Jakub Kornfeil (Redox PruestelGP), who was ahead of Andrea Migno (Bester Capital Dubai), Raul Fernandez (Sama Qatar Angel Nieto Team) who started from the front row, Sergio Garcia (Estrella Galicia 0,0) and Kaito Toba (Honda Team Asia) who completed the top twenty.
Filip Salac (Redox PruestelGP) was announced by VNE Snipers to be partnering Tony Arbolino in 2020, but he was unable to celebrate that news with a good result, finishing twenty-first on his first visit to Silverstone. The Czech rider was followed over the line by Stefano Nepa (Reale Avintia Arizona 77), the pair split by little more than half a tenth. Makar Yurchenko (BOE Skull Rider Mugen Race) was twenty-third, ahead of Can Oncu (Red Bull KTM Ajo), Tom Booth-Amos (CIP Green Power), Kazuki Masaki (BOE Skull Rider Mugen Race), Riccardo Rossi (Kommerling Gresini Moto3), Maximilian Kofler (Sama Qatar Angel Nieto Team), the wildcard falling close to the end of the race, and Brandon Paasch (FPW Racing) who was last on his Grand Prix debut.
Despite the hectic racing, only Arenas and Romano Fenati (VNE Snipers) retired from the race.
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