Sergio Garcia wins by less than a tenth of a second from Deniz Oncu in Austria. The GASGAS rider rode a brilliant race, keeping himself out of trouble to take victory on the finish line.
Before the race this morning, there were a couple of updates from yesterday. Gabriel Rodrigo was handed a pitlane-start penalty after his actions with Ryusei Yamanaka in FP3. The Japanese rider suffered a broken arm, so he is out for the foreseeable future. Rodrigo got himself into more incidents in qualifying with Carlos Tatay and Tatsuki Suzuki and so he was also given a long-lap penalty. Rodrigo’s crew chief, Massimo Capanna, has also had his say, mentioning he “needs to calm down”. With his dangerous riding this weekend, he seems to have gotten off lightly with the penalties he’s received.
Romano Fenati lined up on pole in front of Tatsuki Suzuki. Pedro Acosta lined up in 7th with his main rival, Sergio Garcia in 13th.
As the lights went out Fenati got a great start, as Deniz Oncu moved into 2nd. As it all concertinaed up in Turn 3, Ayumu Sasaki moved into 3rd. Deniz Oncu moved into the lead into Turn 4, while Andrea Migno’s weekend was over before the end of first lap; His team-mate David Salvador hooked his handlebar as he moved up the inside.
Romano Fenati moved back into the lead into Turn 10 on the second lap, but the KTMs powered past him into Turn 1. Pedro Acosta took the lead this time, but Fenati was very quick into the final two turns, and so retook the lead at the end of Lap 3. It never lasted though, as the KTMs passed into Turn 1 or through Turn 2.
Sergio Garcia had a superb first few laps, and was up with the leaders in 4th by Lap 4, with Dennis Foggia and Jaume Masia behind him. Potential MotoGP rider for next year Darryn Binder was up to 8th in front of his team-mate John McPhee, as his lacklustre season continued. McPhee started to use Binder though to try and make his way to the leading six riders.
Darryn Binder barged his way past Ayumu Sasaki into the final corner on Lap 7, and completely wiped out the Red Bull Tech3 KTM rider as his handlebar was taken from him. The incident was immediately under investigation, but was declared a racing incident.
Romano Fenati dropped back a little bit on lap 9, but looked comfortable watching the scrap unfolding in front of him. Deniz Oncu looked comfortable battling with the likes of Acosta and Garcia, and wasn’t scared of lifting the Championship leaders out of the way. Fenati made an incredible pass on two riders around the outside into the penultimate corner.
Jeremy Alcoba, who started 3rd, and Carlos Tatay were both given long-lap penalties for exceeding track limits on lap 11.
Pedro Acosta and Sergio Garcia swapped a bit of paint on the exit of Turn 3, on Lap 12. Garcia leaned on Acosta and they continued to battle down the straight. Firm but fair racing.
McPhee and Binder had made their way across the gap to the lead group with 10 laps to go, to turn the lead group into an eight-rider battle. They worked together really well to bridge the gap. Pedro Acosta was given a track limits warning with 9 laps to go, and so had no room for error from here onward.
Deniz Oncu led for the most amount of time, as all of the riders behind him squabbled for positions. He looked very strong going into the closing stages of the race.
Acosta and Fenati exchanged positions with 8 laps to go, but Acosta came out on top and moved to 2nd. He thrives on this type of battle, but seemed to have some riders around him that weren’t prepared to let him have it his own way. He, Fenati and Masia went three abreast down into Turn 4, with Masia getting to 2nd, but still it was Deniz Oncu who led.
John McPhee and Darryn Binder dropped off the back of the group again with 5 laps to go, so it was back to a lead group of 6 very enthusiastic riders. Izan Guevara caught the two Petronas Sprintariders, and immediately passed them both. They may have used a lot of tyre to get onto the group earlier on.
With 3 laps to go, Sergio Garcia levered Pedro Acosta and Deniz Oncu aside, both into Turn 3 in the same move. This was the first time in a very long time that Oncu was not in the lead. Going into the penultimate lap, Oncu squeezed Acosta to the pit wall, as Masia had a moment on the brakes. This held everybody up so Acosta and Oncu were able to gap the rest of them.
Into the last lap, Oncu defended well into Turn 1 but couldn’t block Acosta’s line into Turn 3. Acosta went deep and Oncu put the bike just where Acosta didn’t need it, and retook the lead on the exit. Down into Turn 4, Acosta got the bike on the move, went wide again and Sergio Garcia moved to 2nd from nowhere. Garcia set about the young Turkish rider in front of him; getting really close going into Turn 6, but there was no way through. Garcia got the drive out of Turn 8 and made a move into Turn 9. He defended brilliantly into the final turn so Oncu couldn’t get the cutback. It was a race to the line as Oncu pulled out of the slipstream but it wasn’t quite enough as he had the victory snatched from him, two corners from the end.
Behind the lead two, Dennis Foggia got 3rd after taking it from Acosta on the line. Fenati was in the slipstream of Acosta, but couldn’t quite get into 4th before the line. Jaume Masia was 6th with John McPhee in 7th, getting the better of the rookie Izan Guevara in 8th. Darryn Binder and Kaito Toba rounded out the Top 10.
A brilliant ride from all of the leaders this week, with some great racing. Sergio Garcia came out on top after staring in 13th. He kept his cool, kept his powder dry and was victorious. Deniz Oncu got his first ever podium and rode a fantastic race, but just fell at the final hurdle. Dennis Foggia seemingly came out of nowhere to claim 3rd with another great ride.
WHAT A RACE!
We next see the Moto3 boys in the UK for the British Grand Prix on August 26th-29th. See you there!
Feature Image: MotoGP.com