Wheelies 2017 – Moto3 Top 10 – Part 2

Yesterday we presented you the first part of the Moto3 Top 10 in the vision of our team. Now it is time to bring on the second part, where we will reveal the 1-5 positions.

5. Marcos Ramirez (#42)

Spanish rider Marcos Ramirez was definitely one of the most impressive riders throughout the 2017 Moto3 season as he managed to get involved in the podium fights more than often with a team that had been struggling outside the top 15 in the previous seasons.

Having collected 10 points in the first three races, Ramirez did a great qualifying session on home turf in Jerez, establishing the 5th fastest time. The 19-years old Spaniard mantained the same high pace on race day and stayed in the front group throughout the whole race, also grabbing the lead at some point. He crossed the line in 4th, missing out on the podium for only 0.203, but establishing a new career best. Ramirez kept up the good job two weeks later in France, where he once again finished 4th, this time only 0.104 off the podium.

After another spectacular three GPs for Ramirez in Italy (9th), Catalunya (6th) and Assen (6th), the much awaited day of the maiden podium came in Germany. The Platinum Bay Real Estate rider managed to stay close to title rivals Joan Mir and Romano Fenati and the trio pulled away from the other competitors. Ramirez settled quietly in 3rd, leaving Mir and Fenati to fight it out for the win, securing his first ever podium finish. Perfect way to end the first half of the season.

The second part was much tougher for Ramirez, as his best result since Brno before the season finale was a 7th place finish in Aragon. Two wet races in Misano and Motegi and a crash in Australia affected his good run of results. However, Ramirez knew how to strike back on home turf in Valencia and scored his second podium finish, holding off Romano Fenati to cross the line in 3rd. He finished the season 8th overall, with 123 points.

 

4. Aron Canet (#44)

Having caught some attention in his debut season, when he gathered one podium finish, one pole position and some top 10 finishes, Aron Canet evolved in 2017 to the state of championship contender.

The qualifying session of the Americas GP was Canet`s first outburst, as the young Spaniard took pole position for more than one second ahead of the 2nd place on the grid. He kept up the good rhytm on race day, establishing the fastest lap, but ended with a “heartbreak” as he crashed out while battling Romano Fenati for the win.

Canet did not let this result affect his morale and came back even stronger on home turf. He won the race in Jerez after some extraordinary last lap maneuvers against Romano Fenati and Joan Mir. The Spaniard carried on the podium form in Le Mans, where he finished 2nd, behind Mir. Two strong performances followed in Mugello and Catalunya, where Canet crossed the finish line in 5th place on both occasions. Another magnificent last lap strategy brought Canet his second win of the season in Assen, where he defeated Romano Fenati for only 0.035.

Canet could have entered the summer break as Mir`s main rival, but another crash in Germany, similar to the one in Austin (as he again started from pole) gave Fenati the opportunity to take the 2nd place in the championship from him. In the second half of the championship, Canet continued battling at the front. He kicked it off with a 3rd place finish in Brno, followed by a 5th place in Austria and a third stunning win in Silverstone. He did not climb the podium ever since that race, but two additional 5th place finishes in Misano and Aragon and a 9th place in Valencia secured him the bronze medal at the end of the year.

Next year, Canet will remain alongside Estrella Galicia 0,0 in the lightweight class and, with Mir and Fenati promoted to Moto2, we can expect the Spaniard to be a serious title contender.

 

3. Jorge Martin (#88)

Another impressive Spaniard in 2017 was Del Conca Gresini`s Jorge Martin. The Madrid-born 19-years old rider kicked-off the season with a pole position in Qatar converted in a 3rd place finish in the race. Same race result was repeated in Argentina. The Austin round held at the Circuit of the Americas brought a new season best for Martin, who crossed the line in 2nd after an intense duel with his teammate, Fabio Digiannantonio. This result lifted him to the 2nd place in the championship, only 6 points behind leader Joan Mir.

A sensational run of 5 straight pole positions followed for Martin, but, unfortunately, he was not able to take advantage of them. Inappropriate strategies in the dying moments of the races threw him to 9th in Jerez and 15th in Mugello. Between this 2 GPs, he crashed out of the French GP at Le Mans, gathering no points. Two strong performances followed in Catalunya and Assen, where Martin finished 3rd and 4th, respectively.

Disaster struck for Jorge Martin in the Free Practice session of the German GP, as he suffered a heavy highside which caused him a broken ankle and tibia. He tried to come back after the summer break in Brno, but, after Friday, he announced his retirement from the reminder of the GP as his pain was too intense.

One week later in Austria Martin returned and offered us a moment we will never forget. In spite of using crutches to walk, on the bike he was simply magnificent and won the battle for the 3rd place. A 3rd place that for sure felt like a victory, as Martin could be seen crying in the parc ferme and at the podium ceremony.

The Spaniard impressed again two weeks later at Silverstone, where he fought for the win throughout the whole race. He was the leader when the red flag appeared and, unfortunately for him, he was only 3rd at the end of the last completed lap. So, once again, his effort was not enough for a maiden career win. Martin came back to the pole position ways in Aragon and Australia, converting them into a 4th and another 3rd place, respectively.

Martin once again equaled his career best in Malaysia, where he was the best of the rest behind a dominant Joan Mir. The season finale at Valencia started good for Martin as he clinched on Saturday his 9th pole of the season, an absolute record in the Moto3 class. This time, there was nothing that could stop Martin on race day. No rain, no red flag, no Joan Mir. He led from start to finish, securing his 9th podium finish of the season and the first ever win. He finished the season 4th overall, only 3 points behind Aron Canet.

Next year Martin will stay alongside Gresini Racing in the lightweight class and we can expect him to be Canet`s main rival in the title fight.

 

2. Romano Fenati (#5)

After 5 years in the category during which factors like his inconsistency and impulsivity did not allow him to be a serious contender for the World Championship, Romano Fenati finally found an antidote for these problems in 2017 alongside Marinelli Rivacold Snipers team.

Having last won a GP at COTA in 2016, Fenati struck again at the venue and won for more than 4 seconds ahead of Jorge Martin. He carried on the good form in Jerez, where he crossed the line in 2nd.

Fenati`s first and only DNF of the season came in Le Mans, where he crashed out of the race while in the lead, throwing away 25 vital points in the championship.

After a disappointing home race in Mugello, where he finished only 13th, Fenati knew how to come back in style and scored 4 consecutive podium finishes in Catalunya, Assen, Sachsenring and Brno. On each occasion, he crossed the line in 2nd place.

From that point, Fenati managed to show his class only in wet conditions. He dominated on a soaked Misano Circuit, taking the win for more than 28 seconds ahead of Joan Mir. Same scenario happened in Japan, where Fenati once again mastered the wet conditions and scored his 3rd win of the season. Solid prestations followed in Australia, Malaysia and Valencia, where he finished 6th, 7th and 4th, respectively. He finished the season as a runner-up, 93 points behind one-man-show Joan Mir.

Taking into consideration the fact that Fenati had not raced for a period of 6 months before the season opener in Qatar due to his dismissal from Valentino Rossi`s team in mid 2016, we can affirm that the Italian veteran had a great 2017 season. Next year we will finally see him stepping up to the intermmediate class.

 

1. Joan Mir (#36)

For sure there is no suprise that the first position of our top 10 goes to Joan Mir, who can be easily described in one word at the end of this season – UNSTOPPABLE.

Having clinched the “Rookie of the Year” title in 2016, Joan Mir started the season in the best way possible, winning in both Qatar and Argentina. This allowed him to slow down a little bit in Austin, where he finished 8th.

Mir came back to podium ways on home turf in Jerez, where he finished 3rd after a magnificent battle with Aron Canet, Romano Fenati and Marcos Ramirez. Two weeks later in France, he took advantage of Fenati`s crash and scored another win, increasing his lead in the championship considerably.

Total madness in the last laps of the Italian and Dutch GPs saw Mir falling down into 7th and 9th, respectively, but there was no reason to dispair as the Spaniard born in Mallorca had won the Catalan GP, which took place between the other 2 races.

Mir struck again before the summer break when he pipped Fenati on the very last lap in Sachsenring, increasing his lead to 37 points. He started the second half of the year in the same manner as the first, with two resounding and dominant wins in Brno and Austria.

With a difference of already 64 points after Austria, Mir did not slow down and won again in Aragon, after a 2nd place in Misano and a 5th place in Silverstone. The only race without points occured in Japan, where Mir could not handle the wet conditions and crossed the line in 17th.

However, that motivated Mir even more as he went on to win the following race at Phillip Island and mathematically clinch the title. One week later he won again, this time in Malaysia, reaching a milestone of 10 wins in a single season.

In the season finale at Valencia, Mir ran wide in the opening laps and fall outside the points zone. Nonetheless, Mir once again showed his class and climbed all the way up to P2, finishing the season with 10 wins, 13 podium finishes, 1 pole position and 341 points (a new points record for the lightweight class).

Last rider to score 10 wins in a single season in the lightweight class was a certain Marc Marquez. Next year we will see Joan Mir racing in the Moto2 class alongside powerhouse team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS, so we can expect even greater things from the young Spaniard.

 

photo credit – motogp.com

Mir wins three-way battle in Sepang and clinches 10th win of the season

Joan Mir entertained the Malaysian fans with another masterclass win on the Sepang International Circuit, the 10th of the current season. Jorge Martin and Enea Bastianini completed the podium.

Jorge Martin started like a rocket from P2 on the grid and took the lead after Turn 1. At the end of the first lap, he had already put a gap of more than 1 second between him and the rest of the pack.

Enea Bastianini, Gabriel Rodrigo, Joan Mir, John McPhee and Livio Loi tried to catch up with him, but, eventually, only Mir and Bastianini managed to do that. Livio Loi ran all alone in P4 in the second part of the race, as the 5th place was disputed by a group of 10 riders.

Joan Mir was the first one to make a move on Martin. There was nothing the Del Conca Gresini rider could do, but he managed to stay close to the World Champion, not letting him go away. Once he got near the two Spaniards, Bastianini managed to overtake both and take the lead, but, just like Mir, he was not able to pull a gap.

With 4 laps remaining, Joan Mir took the lead from Jorge Martin, who was also overtaken by Bastianini. Some turns later, Martin fought back against Bastianini, nearly touching the Italian and pushing him outside the track limits. This duel slowed down both men, allowing Mir to pull a gap of more than half a second.

Martin was not able to melt the difference to Mir, and, in the last lap, he was again caught by Bastianini and overtaken by the Italian. However, in the last turn, Martin made a decisive move and secured 2nd place.

Joan Mir crossed the line in P1, clinching his 10 win of 2017. Now, he is 1 win away from Valentino Rossi s record for the most wins in the lightweight class (11 – established in 1999 in the former 125cc class). Jorge Martin once again missed a good chance to score his first ever career win, but this 2nd place brings him important points in the battle for 4th in the championship. Enea Bastianini had to be satisfied with 3rd, while Livio Loi came in P4 after a solid and solitary race.

Andrea Migno won the hard fought battle for P5, with John McPhee and Romano Fenati closely following in 6th and 7th, respectively.

Aron Canet came behind Fenati in 8th, with Fabio DiGiannantonio and Bo Bendsneyder completing the top 10.

In the championship standings, Joan Mir, already World Champion, extends his lead to 86 points ahead of Romano Fenati (321-235). The Italian veteran secured the runner-up spot as he is now 43 points ahead of Aron Canet, with only 25 still up for grabs. Jorge Martin consolidates 4th, as he is now 18 points ahead of teammate Fabio DiGiannantonio (171-153). Martin goes into the final round with a slight chance of finishing 3rd, as he sits 19 points behind Canet.

photo credit – Leopard Natural

The rise of Joan Mir – from Replacement rider in 2015 to World Champion in 2017

Last Sunday in Australia, Leopard Racing rider Joan Mir scored a magnificent 9th win of the current Moto3 season at the Phillip Island circuit, thus becoming the new Moto3 World Champion. We will now make a short review of his season and of his performances prior to 2017. 

Before making his debut in the Moto3 World Championship, Joan Mir competed in the Red Bull Rookies Cup in the 2013 and 2014 seasons. He was a constant point scorer in 2013, also notching a maiden podium finish at Silverstone (2nd place). He finished the season 9th overall. Already with one year of experience behind him, Mir was a contender for the championship in 2014. In spite of having scored 3 victories and 3 other podium finishes, Mir finished the season as a runner-up to Jorge Martin.

For 2015, Mir moved to the FIM CEV Moto3 Junior World Championship alongside Machado Leopard Junior Team. He managed to win 4 of the first 6 races of the season, but his lack of consistency (Mir failed to score points in no less than 4 races) put him in only 4th place in the final standings of the season.

Also, in 2015 Mir was given the first chance to shine on the World Stage. He took part in the Australian GP as a replacement for Leopard Racing rider Hiroki Ono. Unfortunately for the Spaniard, he had to retire after an incident with John McPhee while battling inside the top 10.

However, his talent did not go unnoticed inside the Leopard Racing garage and he was offered a full ride with the team in 2016. He was a constant top 10 finisher in the first half of the season, with a best result of 6th on home turf in Jerez. Right after the summer break, Mir exploded on the then newly introduced in the calendar RedBull Ring, and took the win from eventual World Champion Brad Binder after starting from pole position. A second podium finish was scored in Misano, where he crossed the line in 3rd. After two consecutive retirements in Phillip Island and Sepang, Mir arrived at the season finale in Valencia with mathematical chances to clinch the Rookie of the Year title. The Valencian GP was Part Two of the Binder-Mir battle, with the Southafrican walking away victorious. However, with Bulega outside of the point zone, Mir finished 5th overall in the championship and clinched the Rookie of the Year title for five points.

Joan Mir remained in the lightweight class in 2017 and, with Brad Binder, Jorge Navarro and Francesco Bagnaia moving up to Moto2, he was considered a championship contender before the start of the season.

He rosed to the expectations and kicked-off the year with a stunning win under the lights of the Losail Circuit in Qatar, defeating John McPhee, Jorge Martin and Aron Canet after a hard-fought battle. He doubled up in Argentina, with the same 2 rivals alongside him on the podium, but in a more impressive manner, as he made his way up from P16 on the starting grid.

The American race held at COTA in Austin, Texas was a tough one for the championship leader, who crossed the line in 8th after qualifying 2nd on Saturday. However, the Spaniard did not let this result affect his morale and came back to podium ways in the next GP. In front of the home crowd at Jerez, Mir crossed the line in 3rd, losing out to winner Canet for only 0.155.

Only 9 points ahead of Romano Fenati before the French GP, the first place in the championship seemed in jeopardy as the Italian veteran took a flying start and got away at the front. However, Fenati crashed, throwing away crucial points in the championship. Mir took advantage and won the race for more than 4 seconds ahead of Aron Canet.

Leading the championship comfortably after Le Mans, Mir finished 7th in an insane Italian GP, before taking a magnificent 4th win of the season on home turf on Circuit de Catalunya.

A wrong strategy in the last lap of the Dutch GP caused an only 9th place finish for Mir on the TT Assen, but this motivated the Majorcan even more, as he went on to win the following 3 GPs (Germany, Brno and Austria). The pure domination of the Leopard Racing rider on the RedBull Ring, corroborated with Fenati s 13th place finish, increased the lead of Mir to 64 points with 7 races to go.

A red-flagged shortened British GP brought a 5th place for Mir, who still managed to finish ahead of key rival Fenati, who was 7th. In a rain soaked race at Misano Mir ran in safe mode, securing the 2nd place after the crash of Jorge Martin. In Aragon Joan Mir came back to the beast mode and clinched a record 8th win of the season, thus giving himself a first match point in Motegi.

Unfortunately, the Japanese GP was wet from start to finish and Mir was not able to repeat the performance from Misano. He crossed the line in 17th, which was his first race finished outside the point zone in 2017.

There was no reason to dispare for Mir as he came in Australia still with an impressing lead in the championship. In need of an at least 2nd place to wrap up the championship, Joan Mir took another resounding win in another race stopped by the red flag. Thus, he officially became the 2017 Moto3 World Champion, on the track on which he made his debut in the championship 2 years before.

Altough not so strong in qualifying sessions (Mir still lacks a pole position in 2017), most of the race days belonged entirely to Joan Mir, who now holds an absolute record in the Moto3 class – 9 wins in a single season. With 2 races to go, the Leopard Racing rider has the chance to equal the record for the most wins in a season in the lightweight class, which was established by Valentino Rossi in 1999 in the 125cc (11 wins).

Next year we will see the World Champion racing in the Moto2 class alongside powerhouse team EG 0,0 Marc VDS. Will he follow the steps of Maverick Vinales and Alex Rins and move to MotoGP with some wins in the class to his name? Or will he add his name to the list of lightweight class World Champions who turn from hero to zero after progressing to the intermmediate category? Time will give us the answer to this question, but, until then, we must leave in the present. And, in the present, Joan Mir is the new Moto3 World Champion.

#MiracleM1R

photo credit – motogp.com

 

#MiracleM1R – the Spaniard wins in Australia and becomes Moto3 World Champion

Joan Mir got his 9th win of the season in Phillip Island, thus securing the Moto3 World Championship. Livio Loi finished 2nd, making it a Leopard Racing double, while poleman Jorge Martin completed the podium.

The RBA Racing riders had a great start and took control of the race from Martin after Turn 1, with Gabriel Rodrigo ahead of Juanfran Guevara. Championship rivals Joan Mir and Romano Fenati were close to each other, in 4th and 5th, respectively.

The leading group consisted of more than 10 riders and the leader position was successively swapped between some of them. Every single one of Rodrigo, Guevara, Martin, Mir, Fenati, DiGiannantonio, Ramirez and Loi was in charge of the race at some point.

As the laps were passing, the first incidents occured in the leading group. After dropping to the outside of the top 5, Fabio DiGiannantonio highsided out of the race in Turn 2. Jules Danilo and Juanfran Guevara joined the list, a list later completed by Marcos Ramirez, who lost the front after a contact with Jorge Martin.

The White flag with the red diagonals was brought out by the marshalls, announcing the start of the rain, and it brought with it an exceptional Joan Mir. The championship leader came from the outside of the top 5 and quickly took the lead. Having started from 21st, Livio Loi went up in 2nd and tried to getaway with his teammate.

The Leopard Racing duo was swallowed by some riders which took advantage of the slipstream on the straight, but, as soon as the pack crossed the line and entered the 17th lap, the red flag was waved as the conditions worsened. As more than 2/3 of the race was completed, the race was not restarted and the final results were given by the standings at the end of lap 15.

That meant that Joan Mir and Livio Loi scored a superb double for Leopard Racing, with the Spaniard also securing the World Champonship. Jorge Martin finished 3rd, for the sixth time this season, with Gabriel Rodrigo narrowly missing out on the podium in P4. Enea Bastianini completed the top 5.

Romano Fenati was capable of fighting for the lead throughout the race, but the red flag ended his chances, as he was outside of the podium at the moment of the occurance of the red flag. He was only 6th at the end of Lap 15, and, this result, corroborated with the victory of Joan Mir, brings an end to his title challenge. Ayumu Sasaki scored a career best with P7, with teammate Adam Norrodin in P8. Tatsuki Suzuki and Lorenzo Dalla Porta completed the top 10.

Apart from the crashers already mentioned, other riders to crash out of the Australian GP were John McPhee, Niccolo Antonelli and Aron Canet.

In the championship standings, Joan Mir now has a 70 point advantage over Romano Fenati, with only 50 up for grabs (296-216), so we have ourselves a new World Champion. Aron Canet remains 3rd with 184 points, while Jorge Martin recovers 4th from his teammate; now 5 points ahead of DiGiannantonio (151-146).

photo credit – motorcyclenews.com

Moto3 Motegi Preview – Will Mir convert his first match point?

Leopard Racing rider Joan Mir arrives in Japan with an 80 point advantage over his nearest challanger after making history in Aragon, where he became the first ever rider to win at least 8 races in a Moto3 season. This way, he created himself a nice opportunity to clinch the crown of the lightweight class in the Japanese GP. To do so, he will have to hold an advantage of at least 75 points over his nearest rival.

Bringing the best out of him to prevent that from happening it will be Marinelli Rivacold rider Romano Fenati. The Italian currently sits 2nd in the standings, 80 points behind Mir. Motegi has not really been one of Fenati s favourite tracks, as his best result at the venue is a 5th place scored in 2013. However, the veteran was in pole here in 2015 at his last appearance in Japan. Also, Fenati climbed the podium through out this season on a lot of tracks on which he failed in the previous years, like Catalunya, Assen, Sachsenring or Brno. Motegi may turn out to be no different story.

Aron Canet is, matematically, still in the title fight, as the Estrella Galicia 0,0 rider is 98 points behind Mir, with 100 up for grabs. His chances to become World Champion are very limited and he knows that, so his goal for the last 4 races of the year will be to win as many races as possible and to prepare for 2018.

The Del Conca Gresini riders are ready to put on a great fight for the 4th place in the standings. Fabio DiGiannantonio is currently in that position, only 3 points ahead of Jorge Martin (137-134). Both of them are going through a good run of form as they stepped on the podium in 2 of the last 4 races. Undoubtedly, this terrific duo will be present in the podium fight and will once again fly the flag high for Gresini Racing.

Another tense battle will be engaged for the 6th place in the standings, but with 4 riders instead of 2. John McPhee sits 6th with 106 points, only one more than Marcos Ramirez and only three more than Italian duo Andrea Migno – Enea Bastianini. From this quartet, Bastianini looks favourite to leave Japan with the 6th place in his pocket as he is the en-titre Winner at the venue. ”The Beast” won here last year for only 0.017 ahead of World Champion Brad Binder. Also, the Italian will be extramotivated to pursue for a win as he missed out on the victory in Aragon for only 0.051. Two podiums and one pole position did Bastianini achieve in the last 3 GPs. Can he continue his form in the Land of the Rising Sun?

As for Bastianini s rivals, none of them are going through good times. Since crossing the line 3rd in Assen, John McPhee has failed to score another top 5 finish. The Brit gathered only 23 points in the last 6 races and he will be looking for a bounce back at the venue where he finished 4th in 2014 (at that time it was a new career best for him). Marcos Ramirez finds himself in a pretty similar situation. After having scored his first ever podium finish in Sachsenring (3rd place), the Platinum Bay Real Estate rider finshed the last 5 races outside the top 5. Andrea Migno is in a more critical situation, as the Valentino Rossi protegee has finished inside the top 10 only three times after taking an astonishing win on home turf in Mugello. What is more, since debuting in the World Championship, Migno has never scored points at Motegi.

The home heroes will also be interesting to watch. Tatsuki Suzuki leads the charge among the Japanese riders, followed by rookies Ayumu Sasaki and Kaito Toba. All of them have nothing to lose, so we can be sure that they will give it everything.

In the end of our preview we leave you with all the scenarios that would make Mir the 2017 Moto3 World Champion at the end of the Japanese GP:

— If Mir wins, he is crowned World Champion no matter what Fenati s result in the race is

— If Fenati wins, Mir needs to finish 2nd

— If Fenati finishes 2nd, Mir needs to finish at least 3rd

— If Fenati finishes 3rd, Mir needs to finish at least 5th

— If Fenati finishes 4th, Mir needs to finish at least 8th

— If Fenati finishes 5th, Mir needs to finish at least 10th

— If Fenati finishes 6th, Mir needs to finish at least 11th

— If Fenati finishes 7th, Mir needs to finish at least 12th

— If Fenati finishes 8th, Mir needs to finish at least 13th. 

— If Fenati finishes 9th, Mir needs to finish at least 14th. 

— If Fenati finishes 10th and Canet does not win, Mir needs to finish at least 15th. 

— If Fenati finshes 11th or worse and Aron Canet does not win the race, Mir is crowned World Champion no matter what his result in the race is. 

photo credit – The Checkered Flag

 

 

 

 

Miracle Mir – Home hero cruises to the 8th win of the season

Joan Mir won the Aragon GP in the Moto3 class after an amazing battle with Fabio DiGiannantonio and Enea Bastianini.

It was a lovely morning in Alcaniz, but the Motorland was covered in fog. The WUPs sessions were delayed and that also caused a delay of the Moto3 race. The lightweight class began 40 minutes later than initially scheduled and it was shortened to only 13 laps.

Poleman Jorge Martin had a great start and kept his lead after Turn 1, but was then overtook by Enea Bastianini.

The duo tried to pull a gap between themselves and the rest of the pack, but Aron Canet made sure that this would not happen.

The leading group consisted of more than 10 riders, with Jorge Martin, Bastianini, Canet, Mir, wildcard Denis Foggia, Oettl, Rodrigo, DiGiannantonio, Bulega, Tatsuki Suzuki, Romano Fenati and John McPhee among them.

However, only 4 of these riders (Martin, Bastianini, Canet and Mir) swapped P1 between them throughout the race, until Fabio DiGiannantonio overtook them all with 3 laps to go. The Italian tried to getaway, but he failed.

Mir took the lead going into the last lap, with Bastianini and Diggia closely following. Canet and Martin lost important time battling for 4th and could not remount the difference in order to engage again in the podium fight.

A very determined DiGiannantonio went easily past Bastianini and tried to pass Mir on the long straight ahead of the last corner. The championship leader defended perfectly with some S moves (which where eventually contested by both Italians) and remained in P1.

None of the Italians were able to take advantage of the slipstream on the last straight and Joan Mir took the win. DiGiannantonio came in P2, securing his 2nd straight podium finish, while Bastianini finished 3rd for the second time in a row here in Aragon.

Martin defeated Canet for 4th, while John McPhee made his way up to 6th place after staying outside of the top 10 for a big part of the race. Marcos Ramirez was 7th, just ahead of impressive wildcard Denis Foggia.

Phillip Oettl crossed the line in 9th, with title challenger Romano Fenati completing the top 10 after one of his most difficult weekends of the season.

This win is one for the history books. Joan Mir got his 8th win of the season, breaking the record for the most wins in a Moto3 season, which was previously shared by Luis Salom and Brad Binder, both with seven wins.

In the championship standings, Mir now has 271 points, 80 more than Romano Fenati and 98 more than Aron Canet, with only 100 up for the grabs. Fabio DiGiannantonio goes up in 4th, with 137 points, 3 more than teammate Jorge Martin.

If Joan Mir finishes first or second in the next race in Motegi, he will officially be crowned the 2017 Moto3 World Champion, no matter what Fenati s or Canet s results will be.

photo credit – Leopard Natural

Canet and Mir lead the Moto3 pack after Day 1 at the Aragon GP

Aron Canet topped the combined timesheets of Day 1 in the lightweight class at the Aragon GP as his time from FP1 remained the quickest after some rain hit the track in FP2. 

FP2 was wet only at the start and then dried out, but the vast majority of the riders was not able to improve on their previous times. Aron Canet freezed the clock at 1:59.114 in FP1, only 0.009 ahead of championship leader Joan Mir. The duo was also on top in FP2, but with Mir ahead this time. However, as we mentioned above, the times did not improve in the afternoon session, so Canet remained the fastest rider on Day 1.

Third overall was Niccolo Antonelli, who is looking to save what can still be saved out of this disastrous season. Compatriot Enea Bastianini was right behind in P4.

Another one looking to impress on home turf is Del Conca Gresini s Jorge Martin, who comes in Aragon after crashing out of the previous GP while in P2. The Spaniard finished the day in 5th, ahead of Nicolo Bulega.

Tatsuki Suzuki and Bo Bendsneyder were 7th and 8th, respectively, while title contender Romano Fenati came 9th. Marcos Ramirez locked out the top 10.

photo credit – motogp.com

 

Cruising to home glory – Fenati masters Misano rain

Romano Fenati took his second win of the current season on home turf in Misano, after a magnificent performance in the wet conditions. Joan Mir managed to excellently limit the damages by finishing 2nd, while Fabio DiGiannantonio completed the podium.

Jorge Martin had a great start and remained in the lead after turn 1. Fabio DiGiannantonio, Joan Mir and Romano Fenati were closely following.

Diggia went wide and fell in 7th, while Fenati overtook Mir. The two championship rivals, with Martin in front of them, pulled a gap from the other competitors.

Fenati also went past Martin, going into the lead for the first time. The Marinelli Rivacold rider was unstoppable from then on, getting away from the two Spaniards.

Mir did not risk any move on Martin as the conditions were too risky, but the Gresini rider lost the front and crashed out.

The hotspot of the race remained the battle for the 3rd place. DiGiannantonio, Aron Canet and Phillip Oettl were engaged in the fight, with the first two eventually getting away and leaving Oettl alone in 5th.

With 3 laps to go, Canet also crashed, throwing away his last chances in the title battle.

Romano Fenati won the race for more than 28 seconds ahead of Mir. DiGiananntonio held his nerves and finished 3rd, with Oettl 4th. Nicolo Bulega completed the top 5, while Bo Bendsneyder crossed the line in 6th. Jakub Kornfeil got a season best by finishing 7th. Both Bendsneyder and Kornfeil crashed at certain moments in the race but they came back on the track, and, taking advantage of the numerous incidents, made their way back in the top 10. Another one who impressed in the tricky conditions was Albert Arenas, the Mahindra rider having finished 8th. Andrea Migno and Jaume Masia locked out the top 10. Manuel Pagliani finished 11th, with Marcos Ramirez closely following. Wildcard Alex Fabbri takes back home 3 points as he finished 13th. Poleman Enea Bastianini finished 14th in spite of having crashed two times, while the last ride who finished the race was Lorenzo Dalla Porta.

The race was marked by a lot of incidents. The list of retirements is a very long one, consisting of Gabriel Rodrigo, Nakarin Atiratphuvapat, Tatsuki Suzuki, Adam Norrodin, Juanfran Guevara, Jorge Martin, Ayumu Sasaki, Marco Bezzecchi, Tony Arbolino, Niccolo Antonelli, Kaito Toba, Kevin Zannoni, Aron Canet and Patrik Pulkkinen. All riders were ok.

In the championship standings, Fenati recovers 2nd place from Canet. The Italian now sits 61 points behind Mir, while Canet is 84 points behind. The battle for 4th place heats up between the Gresini riders, with Jorge Martin 125 points behind Mir and DiGiannantonio 129.

photo credit – oasports.it

Aron Canet sets fastest lap in FP1 at Misano

The first day of free practice started in mixed conditions. The first ones who had FP1 were the Moto3 guys. Aron Canet dominated the first training session at Misano and subsequently managed to get the fastest lap.

The young spanish rider had an outstanding 1:46.518. In second place came Romano Fenati, who was only tenth slower than Canet’s best lap time. He was followed by Joan Mir, who finished third.

The championship leader was the last rider to managed to get a lap under 1:47. Marcos Ramirez and Philipp Ottl completed the top five in FP1, while Fabio Di Giannantonio, Juanfran Guevara, John McPhee, Livio Loi and Enea Bastianini were the other riders to finish inside the top ten.

FP2 will be held later today at 13:10. Heavy rain is announced for the afternoon.

 

photo – Ultimate Motorcycling

San Marino GP Moto3 – Can Mir conserve his lead on enemy territory?

Leopard Racing rider Joan Mir comes in the sun of the Adriatic coast with a 64-point advantage over Aron Canet, who climbed up to 2nd in the standings after the brilliant win from last time out at Silverstone. Romano Fenati was pushed into 3rd, now 66 points behind Mir, and now the veteran will be looking to fight back on home turf and regain the 2nd spot.

However, there is not only Fenati who is looking for some home glory. The Italian with the best record at the track is Enea Bastianini, who clinched his maiden career win here in 2015 and finished 2nd in 2016. ”The Beast” took his first podium finish of the current season last time out at Silverstone and he comes in Misano looking for more of this. His compatriot, Andrea Migno, scored the only KTM win from 2017 at the other Italian round, at Mugello. He will be again aiming to climb the rostrum and so will be his teammate Nicolo Bulega, who is yet to score a podium finish in 2017.

Other riders to keep an eye on are the Del Conca Gresini riders, Jorge Martin and Fabio DiGiannantonio. Martin arrives in Italy with 2 podium finishes in the last 2 races, results which we may call heroic taking in consideration that he is far from being 100% back fit from that injury sustained in Sachsenring. The Spaniard narrowly missed out on the win in Silverstone and he will now be hungrier than ever to clinch that maiden win. DiGiannantonio showed some very solid form in Silverstone, but a mistake made him run wide and lose any chance at a rostrum finish. He will try to let that mistake behind and come back to podium ways on home turf.

Last year, all 4 of Mir, Bulega, Canet and DiGiannantonio were rookies and managed to finish inside the top 10 at Misano. Will they commence an historic Fatal 4-way this year, or will Fenati regain some points, a place in the standings and some home glory? We will find out on Sunday, at 11:00 local time.

photo credit – Rimini Today