Moto3: Austrian GP Preview

The second half of the 2022 Moto3 season began in style with a thrilling British Grand Prix barely a fortnight ago. Now that the dust has settled, our attention turns to the Red Bull Ring in Austria for Round 13 of the championship this coming weekend (19/20/21 August).

Moto3 Sergio Garcia Picture courtesy of Aspar Team

The GASGAS Aspar duo of Sergio Garcia and Izan Guevara were unstoppable during the first half of the season, they sit first and second in the championship standings respectively, despite both crashing out in the latter stages at Silverstone. The chequered flag was taken by title rival Dennis Foggia, who masterfully guided his Leopard Racing Honda to victory, capitalising on the Spanish riders misfortune. The Italian is now just 42 points behind Garcia in the race for the Moto3 crown.

Perhaps the biggest talking point ahead of the Austrian GP is the new chicane which has been installed to reduce speeds on the approach to turn 3. The alteration was prompted after an incident in the 2020 MotoGP race, where Franco Morbidelli and Johann Zarco came together at high speed, nearly collecting the Yamaha duo of Valentino Rossi and Maverick Viñales in the process.

The revised layout has divided opinions, with some riders suggesting that the new chicane itself is dangerous. How the racing will be affected remains to be seen, but the hope of course is that the changes will lead to more overtaking as well as improved safety.

Moto3 Izan Guevara Picture courtesy of Aspar Team

As is often the case in this class, there are a number of contenders for victory. Last year’s podium finishers will all be in the hunt this weekend. 2021’s race was won by the aforementioned Garcia, with 3 wins already this season, he is probably the favourite. Turkish rider Deniz Öncü is still searching for his maiden Moto3 win, he was last year’s runner up and has the added motivation of Austria being both KTM and Red Bull’s home race. Foggia, who was third, has shown steady improvements in his results of late, though he knows as well as anyone that more victories will be required if he is to win the championship.

British fan’s hopes will once again rest upon the shoulders of Sterilgarda Husqvarna Max rider, John McPhee. The Scotsman rode well at Silverstone and almost led at one stage, though a chaotic final lap saw him shuffled back to 7th place. Visiontrack Racing Team’s Scott Ogden made progress through the field after a poor showing in qualifying, finishing 12th. He and teammate Josh Whatley will be hoping for better fortunes this weekend.

Moto3 Dennis Foggia Picture courtesy of Le0pard Racing

Weather was an infamous factor at the Red Bull Ring in 2021, and the forecast suggests it will be again this year. Thunderstorms are predicted for Friday, with showers anticipated on both Saturday and Sunday. The race is scheduled to start at 11:00am local time (10:00am GMT).

Moto3: Masia wins Chaotic Clash in COTA

Jaume Masia has come out on top, winning in COTA, ahead of a seven-way battle that rumbled on for much of the race. He was joined on the podium by Dennis Foggia and Andrea Migno.

It was the experienced Moto3 riders who came out on top at the Grand Prix of the Americas today. The chaotic race saw seven riders battling for only three podium positions for most of the race. Eventually, it was Jaume Masia who came out on top, taking the lead on the final lap.

Masia hasn’t won a race since the first round of the 2021 season, making it an emotional return to the top step of the podium for the Spanish rider. Having spent last year in the shadow of his teammate and eventual 2021 Moto3 champion, Pedro Acosta, this win will provide him with some much-needed confidence.

On the podium were fellow Italian riders Dennis Foggia, in second, and pole-sitter Andrea Migno, in third.

As the race commenced, it was Deniz Oncu who took an early lead, passing Migno at the first corner. He took rookie Diogo Moreira with him as he leapt from his starting position of sixth up to second. Oncu and Moreira were then battling for the lead and came to be side-by-side on the long straight. As they crossed the line to start the second lap, Moreira swerves across in to Oncu’s path. Oncu was forced to back off and Moreira stole the lead.

Further back, Kaito Toba enjoyed a good start as he leapt up from eighth to fifth. However, Scott Ogden had a more difficult start as he was shuffled back to 17th, despite claiming his best qualifying result and starting the race in 12th.

Foggia and Masia also struggled and, by lap 4, they were quickly shuffled back to 10th and 11th despite starting second and fifth respectively.

On the same lap, Oncu took the lead back from Moreira. Shortly after, Xavier Artigas got the best of both of them and flew his way up in to the lead. Two laps later and Moreira was back in the lead of the race, only to be overtaken by Oncu shortly after.

At this point, a number of other riders joined the leading pack, stating their intentions for the win. Championship leader Sergio Garcia closed up to the leading three but then clashed with Daniel Holgado, who crashed in to him on the final corner. Both riders were able to rejoin the race but Garcia eventually retired on lap 13 and Holgado crashed again on the final lap of the race. Holgado will be disappointed with his race result today, as he makes his return from injury.

Lap 8 saw Ayumu Sasaki and Masia join the leading group, taking second and third respectively behind Oncu.

For much of the rest of the race, seven riders were battling at the front of the pack – these riders were Masia, Sasaki, Oncu, Moreira, Foggia, Artigas, and Migno.

As the grid started their final lap, Migno was leading ahead of Masia in second and Foggia in third. Moreira crashed at the first corner of the lap – he was trying to hard to make his way through the leading pack and showed his inexperience with a rookie error that ruined his hard work.

Due to a number of incidents around the circuit, yellow flags were hampering the progress of most riders and left it difficult to find a way past Migno. However, down the long straight, Masia made his move and took the lead. He went out wide and found himself on the rumble strips, giving some hope to Migno. However, as Migno tried to make his way around the outside of Masia at turn 19, giving it everything he had in an attempt to win, he ran wide and let Foggia through the inside to take second. Masia remained unbeatable out in front and crossed the line in first.

Just missing out on a podium finish was Sasaki in fourth, Oncu in fifth and Artigas in sixth.

Izan Guevara was deemed to have jumped the start and was given a double long lap penalty. As this wasn’t served quickly enough, the penalty then went up to three long laps. This should have ruined his race but he was able to climb back up the field and ended the day in seventh.

The top ten was rounded out by Carlos Tatay, Ricciardo Rossi and Tatsuki Suzuki in eighth, ninth and tenth respectively.

Championship Standings

Thanks to Foggia’s second-place finish today, he has now jumped to the top of the championship standings. He leads Garcia, in second, by 16 points. Migno is in third ahead of Guevara in fourth. Oncu is sitting in fifth ahead of today’s winner, Masia, in sixth.

Feature Image Credit: MotoGP

Moto3: Migno Claims Pole for the Grand Prix of the Americas

Andrea Migno has claimed pole position for tomorrow’s race in COTA. He will be joined on the front row by fellow-Italian, Dennis Foggia, and Xavier Artigas. Our championship leader, Sergio Garcia, had to settle for 11th.

Today’s qualifying session was dominated by Italian riders, Dennis Foggia and Andrea Migno – the latter rider was able to come out on top as he set a time of 2:15.814 to secure pole position ahead of tomorrow’s race.

Foggia was bested by only 0.067s, forcing him to settle for second for tomorrow’s race start. The front row will be rounded out by Xavier Artigas, who made his way through Q1 before posting an impressive time that was just 0.242s off pole.

The early pace setter was Izan Guevara, who eventually settled for 10th, before Migno jumped to the top of the timing sheets. Despite not opting for fresh tires part way through the session, Foggia was next to top the timing sheets.

It wasn’t until the final flying lap when Migno was able to lay down his pole-clinching lap – a time which simply couldn’t be bested by Foggia or Artigas.

Image Credit: MotoGP

Deniz Oncu, on the KTM Tech3 machine, and Jaume Masia, on the KTM Ajo machine, took fourth and fifth respectively. Rookie Diogo Moreira claimed sixth, ahead of Daniel Holgado who is returning from injury. The top ten is rounded out by Kaito Toba, Ayumu Sasaki and Izan Guevara in eighth, ninth and tenth respectively.

Three riders who made their way through from Q1 line up just outside the top 10 – Stefano Nepa, Scott Ogden, and Elia Bartolini took 11th, 12th and 13th respectively. This is Ogden’s best qualifying result in his rookie Moto3 year.

Our championship leader, Sergio Garcia, had a shocking day and was only able to claim 15th. He certainly seems to be off the pace after winning the last race in Argentina.

The grid will be in action at 2.30pm local time, and Crew on Two will have all the action for you.

Feature Image Credit: MotoGP

Moto3: Dominant Foggia Wins in Indonesia

Dennis Foggia took a dominant win at the Indonesian GP, putting him at the top of the championship standings after two races. Izan Guevara took second with Carlos Tatay in third after Andrea Migno crashed on the final lap.

Having taken the lead on the third lap of the race, Dennis Foggia on the Leopard Racing machine enjoyed a very dominant race as he quickly put clean air between himself and the rest of the field. After taking the race win in Indonesia he has also now put himself at the top of the Moto3 championship standings.

He was joined on the podium by Gaviota GASGAS rider, Izan Guevara, in second and CFMoto rider, Carlos Tatay, in third. Tatay also enjoyed a positive day as he recovered from a long lap penalty, incurred for taking a shortcut at turn nine. Our winner in Qatar, Andrea Migno was on track for a podium finish before crashing on the final lap of the race.

Image Credit: MotoGP

Before the race started, Diogo Moreira suffered a mechanical issue that forced him to give up second place on the grid and, instead, start at the back of the field. His day went from bad to worse as he then retired on lap eight.

As the race started, Sergio Garcia and his Gaviota GASGAS bike flew from seventh place on the grid to take an early lead. He took Foggia and Migno with him, as they also enjoyed strong race starts. Soon, Garcia had the lead stolen from him by Foggia on lap three.

Foggia was now leading Migno, Garcia and Guevara, as the four broke away from the rest of the pack. By lap seven, Foggia had put a gap of 1.5s between himself and Migno in second – this then increased to a 3.2s gap by lap nine and a 5.1s gap by lap ten. This consistent increase in pace was unsurprising after the times Foggia had posted in the warm-up session.

In the latter stages of the races, Foggia had flown off in to the distance and left a large group of riders all battling hard for a second-place finish. This group included Guevara who was 0.9s ahead in second, followed by Migno, Deniz Oncu, Jaume Masia, Daniel Holgado, Ayumu Sasaki and, as he eventually found his rhythm and caught up to the pack, Garcia.

Image Credit: MotoGP

However, disaster struck as Sasaki hit Migno in to turn 10 on the final lap of the race. The pair were both down and out, whilst Tatay also struggled with last lap nerves. As a result of Tatay going wide at turn 10, and Sasaki and Migno’s crash, Garcia was temporarily gifted the final podium position. That was until the penultimate corner when Tatay struck back to reclaim third.

Next to cross the line was Oncu followed by Xavier Artigas and Masia. The top ten was completed by Elia Bartolini, Holgado and Tatsuki Suzuki, all within a few tenths of each other.

Home hero Mario Aji on the Honda Team Asia bike eventually came home in 14th and was cheered through every corner.

Feature Image Credit: MotoGP

Moto3: Tatay secures maiden pole ahead of Indonesian GP

Ahead of tomorrow’s race, qualifying was topped by Carlos Tatay as he clinched his maiden pole. Lining up alongside him on the front row will be Diogo Moreira and Mario Aji.

As MotoGP returns to Indonesia for the first time in 25 years, qualifying saw the uprising of the rookies with two securing a front row start for tomorrow. One of these rookies is Indonesian rider, and home hero, Mario Aji.

However the honours of the day when to Carlos Tatay, who has secured his maiden pole position in his fourth year in Moto3. It is also the first pole position for the new CFMoto Racing team. The Spanish rider set a time of 1:41.232s with six minutes left of Q2.

Just 0.083s behind Tatay was the top rookie of the day, Diogo Moreira. The Brazilian also took the top rookie award when the chequered flag fell in Qatar last weekend, finishing the race in sixth.

Rounding out the front row for the start of tomorrow’s race will be Indonesian rider and home hero, Aji. The Honda Team Asia rider came through from Q1 to set the early pace in Q2.

Mario Aji; Image Credit: MotoGP

Xavier Artigas is in fourth thanks to excellent teamwork with Tatay. Andrea Migno, who set the fastest times in FP2 and FP3, will start the race in fifth. Having won the race in Qatar, he will be looking for a similar result this weekend.

The top six riders were covered by less than half a second, with Dennis Foggia just 0.442s off the polesitter. He claimed sixth despite crashing at turn two.

Sergio Garcia also took a tumble, crashing in Q1. However, he managed to make it in to Q2 and secured seventh place. This comes a week after his podium finish in Qatar.

Garcia’s teammate took eighth with Deniz Oncu and Ayumu Sasaki rounding out the top ten.

John McPhee isn’t in action this weekend after fracturing two vertebrae in a training accident.

Moto3’s race will commence at 12pm (GMT+8) and you can stay up to date with all the action here at Crew On Two.

Feature Image Credit: MotoGP

Pedro Acosta – A star is born

Acosta

There aren’t many riders who enter their rookie season in Moto3 and blow both the fans and opposition away. But Pedro Acosta has done just that.

The young Moto3 rookie entered the category this year with an already impressive resume, winning the Red Bull Rookies Cup in 2020 and finishing as runner-up in the FIM CEV Moto3 Junior Championship in the same year.

At the tender age of 16, Acosta made his Moto3 debut in March with a strong and heavily experienced team of Red Bull KTM Ajo, meaning he had the equipment to run at the front.

It usually takes riders a few races to get up to pace with the close nature of Moto3; it can even take some a year and very often riders find themselves struggling to get up to speed at all.

It took Acosta just one race.

The Spaniard impressed everyone when he topped both FP1 and FP2 of the Grand Prix of Qatar and went one step further as he battled his way through the pack to finish second in the race, just 0.042s behind race winner Jaume Masia.

The paddock already knew he was the real deal, with Jack Miller even making what then seemed like a bold prediction that Acosta would win the championship.

Acosta
Credit: Rob Gray (Polarity Photo)/KTM Media Library

The now 17-year-old couldn’t stop impressing as he stunned everyone with a victory in the second round of the year, this time starting from the pit-lane and charging his way up the field to the front – something no Moto3 rider had accomplished beforehand.

Another two wins in Portugal and Spain saw Acosta become the first rider in Grand Prix history to achieve a podium in his first four races.

Acosta remained a regular front-runner from then on but only achieved a further four podiums, with his last coming in the Algarve GP, the race where he was crowned champion.

Ending off the season with 259 points – 43 points ahead of his nearest rival Dennis Foggia – Acosta has cemented himself as one of MotoGP’s future stars.

Moving into Moto2 for the 2022 campaign and already being linked to a MotoGP ride, the Spaniard will be looking to continue the already incredible form he has shown this season.

16 year old Pedro Acosta, Red Bull Ajo KTM, takes chequered flag in Qatar

The date 4th April 2021 may well go down in motorcycle racing history as the day that Pedro Acosta announced himself to the world. Still only 16 years old, the Spaniard pulled off one of the all-time great rides in any class in modern memory.

Pedro Acosta winner of the second round of the 2021 Moto3 Championship at Losail. Darryn Binder came second and in third place Niccolò Antonelli. Image courtesy of Rob Gray (Polarity Photo)|KTM.

Fans look back at 18th August 1996 when Valentino Rossi won his first 125cc Grand Prix at Brno or 6th June 2010 when Marc Marquez took his first victory in the same class at Mugello. You have to wonder in years to come just how historic the second race of the 2021 season will be in the career of young Acosta.

A rookie winning a race is nothing new, even in only his second race. What stands out though is that Acosta started from the pit lane along with six other riders, some eleven seconds after the lights went out to start the race. As the eighteen laps ticked away, Acosta and Romano Fenati (who finished tenth) dragged the late starters up to the main pack with seven laps remaining. Once there, Acosta picked his way through each rider and when he hit the front, and you might think he had over-used his tyres, he still pulled away. Darryn Binder nearly caught him by the end but the Red Bull rider held on to win by 0.039 seconds.

Of course, there is no guarantee that Acosta will be a star of the future as it was a young Fenati that finished second in his debut at Qatar in 2012 before winning in Jerez at the next round and he’s still in Moto3 at the age of 25 (largely through issues of his own creation).

Binder often featured in the leading pack and was so close to his second ever win. He was lucky to avoid being taken out by an incident involving his teammate John McPhee and Jeremy Alcoba however. With four laps to go, Binder led into turn one from Alcoba  who nearly clipped the back of the South African. Alcoba went over the handlebars and his cartwheeling Honda took out the innocent McPhee who was in the wrong place at the wrong time. The Scot reacted badly to being taken out of the race two weeks in a row and squared up to the Gresini rider before aiming a kick at his Spanish crown jewels. Both riders will receive a pit lane start at the next round at Portimao in Portugal on 18th April, with McPhee penalised one thousand Euros and 10 seconds and Alcoba one thousand Euros and five seconds.

The last step on the podium went to Nico Antonelli who won here five years ago. The Italian started twelfth and positioned himself in the top six with a lap to go. Fortunately for him, last week’s winner Jaume Masia took Gabriel Rodrigo wide half way around the lap and Antonelli popped up to fourth. The 25-year-old then passed his compatriot Andrea Migno for third and beat him to the line by 0.032 seconds. Masia came home seventh while Argentine rider Rodrigo was only thirteenth.

Kaito Toba, who won here in 2019, finished fifth for his second top ten finish in a row with the rookie taking his best finish so far with sixth. Ayumu Sasaki took his best Losail result in seventh followed by fellow Japanese rider Ryusel Yamanaka who took his best ever finish with eighth in his twentieth start. With Tatsuki Suzuki finishing twelfth and Yuki Kunii fifteenth (his first points finish) there were five Japanese riders in the top fifteen for the first time since Jerez 2019.

RESULTS (TOP 15)

1 – Pedro Acosta – SPA – Red Bull Ajo KTM – 25
2 – Darryn Binder – RSA – Petronas Sprinta Honda – 20
3 – Nico Antonelli – ITA – Avintia Esponsorama KTM – 16
4 – Andrea Migno – ITA – Rivacold Snipers Honda – 13
5 – Kaito Toba – JAP – CIP Green Power KTM – 11
6 – Izan Guevara – SPA – Gaviota Aspar Gas Gas – 10
7 – Ayumu Sasaki – JAP – Red Bull Tech 3 KTM – 9
8 – Ryusel Yamanaka — JAP – CarXpert PruestelGP KTM – 8
9 – Jaume Masia – SPA – Red Bull Ajo KTM – 7
10 – Romano Fenati – ITA – Sterilgarda Max Husqvarna – 6
11 – Jason Dupasquier – SUI – CarXpert PruestelGP KTM – 5

12 – Tatsuki Suzuki – JAP – SIC58 Squadra Corse Honda – 4
13 – Gabriel Rodrigo – ARG – Indonesian Gresini Honda – 3
14 – Max Kofler – AUT – CIP Green Power KTM – 2
15 – Yuki Kunii – JAP – Honda Team Asia Honda – 1

STANDINGS (TOP 15)

1 – Pedro Acosta – SPA – Red Bull Ajo KTM – 45
2 – Darryn Binder – RSA – Petronas Sprinta Honda – 36
3 – Jaume Masia – SPA – Red Bull Ajo KTM – 32
4 – Nico Antonelli – ITA – Avintia Esponsorama KTM – 26
5 – Izan Guevara – SPA – Gaviota Aspar Gas Gas – 19
6 – Kaito Toba – JAP – CIP Green Power KTM – 18
7 – Gabriel Rodrigo – ARG – Indonesian Gresini Honda – 14
8 = Sergio Garcia – SPA – Gaviota Aspar Gas Gas – 13
8 = Andrea Migno – ITA – Rivacold Snipers Honda – 13
10 – Tatsuki Suzuki – JAP – SIC58 Squadra Corse Honda – 12
11 = Romano Fenati – ITA – Sterilgarda Max Husqvarna – 11

11 = Jason Dupasquier – SUI – CarXpert PruestelGP KTM – 11
13 – Ryusel Yamanaka — JAP – CarXpert PruestelGP KTM – 10
14 – Ayumu Sasaki – JAP – Red Bull Tech 3 KTM – 9
15 – Carlos Tatay – SPA – Avintia Esponsorama KTM – 4

Red Bull top of table after Race 1 in Moto3, Qatar

Jaume Masia won an exciting race to start the 2021 season, winning in Qatar ahead of his Red Bull teammate Pedro Acosta. The pair had spent the majority of the race near the front of the leading pack and took first and second at the start of the last lap. For Masia it was his fourth win in Moto3 and he has now won three of his last six races after he won both rounds at Aragon last year.

Jaume Masia Winner of the 2021 Moto3 Grand Prix of Qatar. Pedro Acosta second. Image courtesy of Polarity Photo/KTM

Rookie Acosta qualified eleventh but worked his way forward early on to work well with his teammate, especially when trying to break away from Darryn Binder who finished third. The sixteen-year-old Spaniard proved he is one of the rookies to look out for this season with a confident ride. Another rookie worth noting for the right reasons is Izan Guevara who qualified on the front row for the new Gas Gas team and finished seventh in the race.

One rookie with a race to forget was Xavier Artegas after he took out three riders as well as himself on the second lap with a move which could be described as optimistic or adventurous at best, or likely in less polite terms by the riders he retired. Coming into the heavy-braking left hand corner he tried to go up the inside but had too much speed and too little grip to make it work. His move took out Jeremy Alcoba, Andrea Mignoe and one of the pre-race favourites John McPhee. The Brit had qualified on the front row with his new teammate Binder on pole position.

Binder had a solid race from the front row, riding in his usual aggressive style with late-braking passes and was in the top three for many of the eighteen laps. In the end though he could not catch the breakaway from the Red Bull riders on the last lap and settled for his fifth career podium.

The entire race was a typical Moto3 affair with places changing every lap and plenty of riders going three or four wide into turn one. In the penultimate lap though there was one fantastic rear-facing onboard shot showing the riders going six-wide into one right hand turn and all coming out unscathed. It was a perfect example of the combination of skill and madness required to race at this level.

Guevara’s teammate Sergio Garcia had a solid race on the Gas Gas, running in the leading pack throughout and staying out of trouble. He just did not have enough at the end to reach he podium. It was very similar for Argentine rider Gabriel Rodrigo although at one point it did look like his chance of a high finish had gone when he clipped Masia’s rear wheel and ran wide. The 24-year-old pulled himself back up from outside the top ten to finish fifth in the end.

Jaume Masia Winner of the 2021 Moto3 Grand Prix of Qatar. Pedro Acosta second and Darryn Binder third. Image courtesy of Polarity Photo/KTM1

Nico Antonelli qualified tenth and was largely unnoticed in the early stages of the race but in the final third he worked his way through to the front and led shortly before the final lap. He dropped back to sixth by the chequered flag.  His 2020 teammate Tastsuki Suzuki finished eighth with Gueveara between them. The Japanese rider started dead last after failing to set a qualifying time in Q1 so a top ten finish was a great result.

2019 winner Kaito Toba finished tenth ahead of Jason Dupasquier who took his first points finish. Romano Fenati made his name here in 2012 on his debut with second place but struggled around to eleventh ahead of Carlos Tatay.

TOP FIFTEEN RIDERS

1 – Jaume Masia – SPA – Red Bull Ajo KTM – 25 points
2 – Pedro Acosta – SPA – Red Bull Ajo KTM – 20
3 – Darryn Binder – RSA – Petronas Sprinta Honda – 16
4 – Sergio Garcia – SPA – Aspar Gas Gas – 13
5 – Gabriel Rodrigo – ARG – Indonesian Gresini Honda – 11
6 – Nico Antonelli – ITA – Avintia KTM – 10
7 – Izan Guevara – SPA – Aspar Gas Gas – 9
8 – Tatsuki Suzuki – JAP – SIC58 Squadra Corse Honda – 8
9 – Kaito Toba – JAP – CIP Green Power KTM – 7
10 – Jason Dupasquier – SUI – CarXpert PruestelGP KTM – 6
11 – Romano Fenati – ITA -Max Racing Husqvarna – 5

12 – Carlos Tatay – SPA – Avintia KTM – 4
13 – Filip Salac -CZE – Rivacold Snipers Honda – 3
14 – Ryusei Yamanaka – JAP – CarXpert PruestelGP KTM – 2
15 – Max Kofler – AUT – CIP Green Power KTM – 1

Double Delight for Petronas Sprinta in Moto3 Qualifying from Qatar

Petronas Sprinta Racing were delighted with their qualifying efforts as both riders will start on the front row on Sunday. Darryn Binder took pole position after coming through Q1 in first place while teammate John McPhee took third place with his last lap of Q2.

Into the first corner, of the 2020 Jerez Moto3 GP. Image courtesy of Polarity Photo/KTM

Binder’s time of 2’04.075 is a new record for Moto3 at a race weekend and the South African will look to make the most of his second ever pole tomorrow. Brit McPhee was hampered by a Leopard Racing bike on his penultimate lap but still made third place, just 0.079 seconds ahead of fourth place.

Sixteen-year-old rookie Izan Guevara was the surprise of both Q1 and Q2. The Spaniard came through the first session in second place behind Binder and finished second again in Q2, closing the gap from 0.6 seconds to 0.2 seconds in the sessions. It was a fantastic start for the Aspar Gas Gas team on their Moto3 debut.

The second row will see Spaniards Jeremy Alcoba and Jaume Masia joined by Japan’s Kaito Toba. Row three will see Gabriel Rodrigo, Sergio Garcia and Riccardo Rossi.

Romano Fenati came through Q1 in third place only to miss setting a time in Q2 by leaving the pit lane too late to set a time. Tatsuki Suzuki had already made the same mistake in Q1 and will start last, behind new teammate Lorenzo Fellon.

1 – Darryn Binder – RSA – Petronas Sprinta Honda

2 – Izan Guevara – SPA – Aspar Gas Gas

3 – John McPhee – GBR – Petronas Sprinta Honda

4 – Jeremy Alcoba – SPA – Indonesian Racing Gresini Honda

5 – Jaume Masia – SPA – Red Bull Ajo KTM

6 – Kaito Toba – JAP – CIP Green Power KTM

7 – Gabriel Rodrigo – ARG – Indonesian Racing Gresini Honda

8 – Sergio Garcia – SPA – Aspar Gas Gas

9 – Riccardo Rossi – ITA – BOE Owlride KTM

10 – Nico Antonelli – ITA – Avintia Esponsorama KTM

11 – Pedro Acosta – SPA – Red Bull Ajo KTM

12 – Jason Dupasquier – SUI – CarXpert PruestelGP KTM

Moto3 – the Season Preview so far …… by Si Boyle

With Sky Racing Team VR46 and Estrella Galicia leaving Moto3 to focus their resources on MotoGP and Moto2 projects, the lightweight class grid will look a little different in 2021. The top five riders in last season’s standings have all moved up to Moto2 also. So with a full breakdown of the teams and riders at the bottom of this page, I’m going to first give you my six to watch in 2021.

John McPhee

Now the elder

Tony Arbolino, Romano Fenati and John McPhee. Moto3 2019: Round Eleven – Red Bull Ring, Austria. Image courtesy of Hondanews.eu

statesman of Moto3, it had looked likely that the Brit would move to Moto2 with MV Augusta in 2021 but he has re-signed for a third season with Petronas Sprinta to race the Honda for another shot at the title. John has three wins under his belt, including Misano last year but to date has lacked the consistency and luck for a sustained challenge for the crown with his best overall being fifth in 2019. Can this be his year at last?

Darryn Binder

McPhee’s new teammate could be another title challenger in South African Brad Binder’s younger brother, Darryn. The 22-year-old has been in Moto3 since 2015 and took his maiden win in Catalunya last year. The first race of the 2021 will be his 100th in the class but also his first on a Honda after previously riding Mahindra and KTM machinery. So far in his career, Darryn has certainly been a Sunday rider, often coming through the pack in exciting fashion after qualifying poorly the day before. If he can start higher up the grid in 2021 it could make a huge difference to his season.

Into the first corner, of the 2020 Jerez Moto3 GP. Image courtesy of Polarity Photo/KTM

Jaume Masia

The young Spaniard is surely one of the favourites for the 2021 title. Of the riders staying in Moto3 from last season he finished the highest in sixth place, taking two wins in the double-header at Aragon. This is his fourth full season in the class and a move to one of the best teams on the grid, Red Bull KTM Ajo is his best shot at the title yet. The challenge for Masia may come from one rider I haven’t included in this sextet, his own teammate Pedro Acosta who won the Red Bull Rookies Cup last season.

Tatsuki Suzuki

The relationship between the likeable Japanese rider and the popular SIC58 Squadra Corse team continues for a fifth season in 2021. After seven races of 2020, the 23-year-old was a title contender with victory at Jerez in round three and a podium at Misano. Tatsuki appears to have formed a strong bond with Paolo Simoncelli over the years and it would be great to see the pair back on the podium in 2021.

Dennis Foggia

The former VR46 Academy rider starts his fourth season in Moto3 with perhaps more expectation than any previous year. H

Dennis Foggia, Moto3 race,,Aragon MotoGP 2019. Image courtesy of Gold and Goose/KTM

e remains with the competitive Leopard team and has a rookie for a teammate in Spaniard Xavier Artegas which should help the team focus on his title bid. The 20-year-old Italian also took his maiden win last season at Brno and was second at the final race of the year in Portugal.

Jeremy Alcoba

The rookie of the year in 2020 took his first podium at the final round in Portugal. The 19-year-old also finished in the top ten in eight of the fifteen races and showed great consistency across the season (only one finish outside the points and two retirements). Of the riders yet to win a race in Moto3, Jeremy is my tip for one in 2021.

 

FULL LIST OF TEAMS AND RIDERS

Petronas Sprinta Racing – Honda

17 – John McPhee (GBR) – 26yo – 151 races, 3 wins – 7th overall in 2020

40 – Darryn Binder (RSA) – 22yo – 99 races, 1 win – 8th overall in 2020

Red Bull KTM Ajo – KTM

5 – Jaume Masia (SPA) – 20yo – 53 races, 3 wins – 6th overall in 2020

37 – Pedro Acosta (SPA) – 16yo – Rookie – 2020 Red Bull Rookies Cup Champion, 3rd in FIM CEV Moto3 in 2020

Red Bull KTM Tech3 – KTM

53 – Deniz Oncu (TUR) – 17yo – 15 races, 0 wins – 17th overall in 2020

71 – Ayumu Sasaki (JAP) – 20yo – 70 races, 0 wins – 16th overall in 2020

Aspar Team Moto3 – GasGas

11 – Sergio Garcia (SPA) – 17yo – 32 races, 1 win – 9th overall in 2020

28 – Izan Guevara (SPA) – 16yo – Rookie – 2020 FIM CEV Moto3 Champion, 9th in Red Bull Rookies Cup in 2020

Leopard Racing – Honda

7 – Dennis Foggia (ITA) – 20yo – 54 races, 1 win – 10th overall in 2020

43 – Xavier Artigas (SPA) – 17yo – Rookie – Runner-up in FIM CEV Moto3 in 2020

Team Gresini Moto3 – Honda

52 – Jeremy Alcoba (SPA) – 19yo – 20 races, 0 wins – 11th overall in 2020

2 – Gabriel Rodrigo (ARG) – 24yo – 103 races, 0 wins – 13th overall in 2020

SIC58 Squadra Corse – Honda

24 – Tatsuki Suzuki (JAP) – 23yo – 103 races, 2 wins – 12th overall in 2020

20 – Lorenzo Fellon (FRA) – 16yo – Rookie – 11th in FIM CEV Moto3 in 2020

Sterilgarda Max Racing Team – Husqvarna

55 – Romano Fenati (ITA) – 24yo – 128 races, 12 wins – 14th overall in 2020

31 – Adrian Fernandez (SPA) – 16yo – 1 races, 0 wins – 7th in FIM CEV Moto3 in 2020

Rivacold Snipers Team – Honda

16 – Andrea Migno (ITA) – 24yo – 115 races, 1 win – 15th overall in 2020

12 – Filip Salac (CZE) – 19yo – 33 races, 0 wins – 21st overall in 2020

CIP Green Power – KTM

27 – Kaito Toba (JAP) – 20yo – 69 races, 1 win – 18th overall in 2020

73 – Maximilian Kofler (AUT) – 20you – 19 races, 0 wins – No points in 2020

Reale Avintia Moto3 – KTM

23 – Niccolo Antonelli (ITA) – 24yo – 147 races, 4 wins – 19th overall in 2020

99 – Carlos Tatay (SPA) – 17yo – 17 races, 0 wins – 22nd overall in 2020

BOE Skull Rider Facile.energy – KTM

82 – Stefano Nepa (ITA) – 19yo – 40 races, 0 wins – 20th overall in 2020

54 – Riccardo Rossi (ITA) – 18yo – 33 races, 0 wins – No points in 2020

CarXpert Prustel GP – KTM

6 – Ryusei Yamanaka (JAP) – 19yo – 19 races, 0 races – 24th overall in 2020

50 – Jason Dupasquier (SUI) – 19yo – 15 races, 0 wins – No points in 2020

Honda Team Asia – Honda

92 – Yuki Kunii (JAP) – 16yo – 15 races, 0 wins – No points in 2020

19 – Andi Farid Izdihar (INA) – 23yo – Rookie in Moto3 – 16 Moto2 races in 2020 with no points

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