Pedro Acosta beats Dennis Foggia to the line in an absolutely brilliant race in the Algarve.
As the lights went out in sunny Portugal, Rivacold Snipers Team rider Andrea Migno got the hole shot into Turn 1, closely followed by 2nd place on the grid, Dennis Foggia.
Darryn Binder was awarded a pitlane start, along with Red Bull KTM Tech3 man Deniz Oncu, for irresponsible riding in yesterday’s Q2. Binder set off from pitlane first, followed by Oncu and Alcoba 5 seconds later. By the time John McPhee got going, he was 20 seconds off the back of the field, after his 10 second penalty pitlane start. All of the riders with penalties were around a second faster than the rest of the field in the early stages.
Leopard Racing’s rookie, Xavier Artigas moved into second at Turn 5. On Lap 3, Gabriel Rodrigo was in yet another incident and tagged the rear end of Xavi Artigas after a bold move up the inside, sending him into the gravel at Turn 3. He managed to get his bike to pitlane and, understandably, looked very unhappy as he rolled down pitlane. He has again proved he can be in the mix at the front. Gabriel Rodrigo was given a long lap penalty and took it very quickly.
The biggest winner on the first lap was qualifying crasher Kaito Toba. He went up 5 places to 12th. However, he and Izan Guevara collided at the beginning of Lap 6 as they both went down in Turn 3. Guevara was very unlucky and was caught up in Toba’s stray KTM after he rode up the back wheel of an off-line Niccolò Antonelli.
Impressive rookie Pedro Acosta briefly took the lead at the end of Lap 3, with a solid move. He looked very comfortable battling at the front and has taken to the championship very well.
By the time the race settled down, there was a breakaway group of 10 bikes, tailed by Antonelli. Swiss rider Jason Dupasquier led the chasing group. Jeremy Alcoba and Deniz Oncu had already caught up to Darryn Binder and passed him by lap 8.
Argentinian Gabriel Rodrigo managed to carve back through the chasing pack after his long lap penalty, and was on the back of the lead group with 8 laps to go. He was steadily picking the group off one-by-one to get himself in a good position for the closing laps.
With 6 laps to go, Tatsuki Suzuki and Adrien Fernandez collided into Turn 3, and crashed out of the lead group in an almost carbon copy of Artigas’ incident. Fernandez tried a move on the inside that wasn’t really on, taking both him and Suzuki into the very well-used gravel trap.
With 4 laps to go, the overtakes got a bit more forceful in the lead group of 9 riders. Foggia and Acosta barged Andrea Migno out of the way in consecutive corners with some very hard but fair moves, as well as Sergio Garcia a couple of corners later. Masia, Fenati, Rodrigo and Sasaki all looked very calm as the front 4 bashed fairings.
As they moved into the final lap, the ever-fast bike of Dennis Foggia led the way down the front straight, with Pedro Acosta in hot pursuit. Garcia made contact with Migno into Turn 3. Jaume Masia was pushing very hard to get onto the rear of his Red Bull KTM Ajo teammate, and lost the front at Turn 5. Pedro Acosta took the lead 3 corners before the end with a fabulous move on Dennis Foggia, braking miles later than the Leopard Racing rider. As the pair entered the final corner, Acosta was on the absolute limit with a huge wobble and Foggia in his wheel tracks. Amazingly, he managed to hang on to the line to win by 0.051 seconds at the flag.
Andrea Migno won the battle for 3rd and finished just in front of Ayumu Sasaki, Gabri Rodrigo and Niccolò Antonelli, in that order, as they all crossed the line together in an incredible sprint for the line. Jeremy Alcoba had a brilliant ride, getting points in 14th following his pitlane start followed by Deniz Oncu.
Another absolutely fantastic race and action-packed as always. Pedro Acosta really looks like the real deal with fabulous race craft, clean moves and a very good-looking riding style. He still leads the championship and looks to be the man to beat in these early stages of the season.
The next Moto3 Race Weekend will begin on Friday 30th April at the Gran Premio Red Bull de España.
See you there!
Feature Image: Red Bull KTM Ajo