Moto3: Jaume Masia Wins Aragon Clash, Arenas Only Seventh
Leopard Racing’s Jaume Masia delivered a Moto3 masterclass on Sunday, taking his first win of the season in Aragon.
The 19-lap Grand Prix was a slow burner, championship-leader Albert Arenas grabbed the holeshot and immediately found himself in a battle with pole-man Raul Fernandez.
Celestino Vietti had a tough start to the Grand Prix, like Le Mans, the Italian opted for the harder rear tyre which proved to be the wrong decision as the SKY VR46 rider dropped like a stone in the first half of the race.
The opening lap saw Gabriel Rodrigo violently crash out, high siding at turn 13, ending his race before it really began. The crash marks the Argentines first DNF of the season.
Back at the front, Arenas had Tatsuki Suzuki for company and battled with the Japanese rider for second.
John McPhee had made a promising start, however, on lap three the Scottish rider took his long lap penalty and dropped to 17th with 17 laps remaining. The PETRONAS rider battled his way through the field, eventually re-joining the leading group for the second half of the race.
As the laps ticked by, the leading five riders, Fernandez, Arenas, Suzuki, Darryn Binder and Romano Fenati had opened a two-second gap over Jaume Masia, who quickly had McPhee for company. The eventual race winner fell behind his fellow Honda rider but used McPhee’s strong pace to drag himself to the leading five, bringing Jeremy Alcoba with him.
Meanwhile, Binder was using the slipstream and his heavy braking style to pick his way through the pack, taking the lead on lap seven.
The riders battled hard with the lead changing almost every corner; however, when it mattered, it was the usual suspects at the front.
Championship leader Arenas started the final lap in podium contention but slipped down to seventh when the flag fell. That left Masia and Fernandez to fight for the lead, with Alcoba and Binder close on their tails.
Masia made a mistake on the run into turn 12, touching the green as he aimed to squeeze passed Fernandez, however, that didn’t stop the Spaniard on passing the Red Bull KTM AJO machine into the final corner, pinching the race victory from Fernandez who found himself in third by the time he crossed the line.
Masia took the 25 points ahead of Binder and Fernandez with Fenati and McPhee rounding out the top five. Alcoba was sixth with championship leader only managing seventh place ahead of early front-runner Suzuki.
Vietti and Dennis Foggia rounded out the top ten with Kaito Toba, Carlos Tatay, Ayumu Sasaki, championship contender Ai Ogura in 14th and Deniz Öncü taking the final points position.
Arenas’ advantage in the standings now lies at 13 points with Celestino Vietti a further five points behind in third.
Moto3 returns to action next weekend with the Teruel round, also held at Aragon, commencing from Friday at 09:00.
Featured image: MotoGP.com