StyrianGP: Celestino Vietti takes maiden win in battling Moto3 race
Celestino Vietti has claimed his maiden Moto3 victory aboard his SKY VR46 Racing Team KTM in a hardly fought Moto3 race.
From pole it was Gabriel Rodirgo who took the lead into turn one, but the nature of the track and the power of the slipstream meant that into turn three and four, Tony Arbolino found himself in the lead.
The battle continued throughout the race, with Vietti, Arbolino and Rodrigo featuring at the forefront of the field with Tatsuki Suzuki and Ai Ogura in the fight as well.
John McPhee recovered from a poor start to cross the line in sixth place, the Scott would pull off some hard and impressive overtakes throughout the race, his best coming at turn three on lap eight when he went from fourth to second. Sadly, after being forced wide at turn four, McPhee pushed too hard and slid out of the race on lap 22 of 23, with a lowside at turn nine.
The first faller of the race came on lap three when Riccardo Rossi slid out at the third corner, he was later joined by Jeremy Alcoba who slid out of the race on lap 14.
Championship leader, Albert Arenas, found himself down in tenth at the end of the first five laps – it is known that the Spanish rider is still struggling with his foot injury sustained in Jerez.
As we hit half race distance, the battle was still raging on with the lead changing every corner, McPhee had strong pace but couldn’t keep the positions gained in the corners when the Scot reached the straights.
Vietti made a costly mistake on lap 14 as he tried to go the long way around a handful of riders but nearly got caught up on the rear wheel of Ogura and Binder.
The battle raged on as things got close between a few riders at turn nine, clipping handlebars into the final corner. Binder was also fighting hard, pinballing his way into turn four as he bounced off the two riders either side of him.
As we started lap 19, the two Tech3 KTM riders came to grief when Deniz Oncü bounced his way into his team-mate under braking at turn one, wiping the pair out of the race. Oncü was stretchered off the track and is undergoing treatment in the medical centre. Meanwhile, Celestino Vietti had fought his way back into the lead of the race and started to pull the front four away from the chasing group.
As we started the penultimate lap, McPhee found himself back in the podium fight after making a small mistake and slightly losing touch. But McPhee couldn’t clear Ogura’s Honda down the straight and invited Rodrigo to the inside of the pair, forcing McPhee wide and down into sixth. McPhee tried to recover, but in his efforts, crashed out of the race at turn nine.
As we started the final circulation of the Red Bull Ring, Celestino Vietti and Tony Arbolino had ridden clear of the fight for third, and crossed the line in that order while Ai Ogura held onto the final podium finish – in what was a much less dramatic finish to last weekend’s Grand Prix.
Albert Arenas crossed the line in fifth place behind Gabriel Rodrigo, and extends his championship lead to 25 points over Ai Ogura, who jumps ahead of McPhee and into second.
Moto3 will now take a few weeks off before returning to action with a double-header on the Adriatic Coast in Misano on September 13th.
Featured image: MotoGP.com