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Moto3: Fantastic Fenati romps to first win

29 April 2012

By Lisa Lewis

Grand prix rookie Romano Fenati has taken his first Moto3 victory at only his second attempt with a stunning ride in Sunday's Spanish Grand Prix at Jerez.

The 16 year old rookie took the win by an astonishing 36 seconds as competitors struggled in the difficult conditions at the drying Jerez circuit with the damp patches catching out even the more experienced riders.

After battling through the final laps Luis Salom rode his Kalex KTM home to second while Red Bull KTM rider Sandro Cortese showed his experience to follow the leaders and then battle home for third.

Some time leader and pole sitter Alex Rins lost out on the podium to finish fourth on the Repsol sponsored Estrella Galicia Suter Honda, despite having a trip into the gravel while in second place.

Alexis Masbou capitalised on his best ever qualifying to finish the race fifth for Caretta Technology Honda.

After an early wobble it was all about gaining as many points as possible for title favourite Maverick Vinales who cut back through the field to place the Blusens FTR Honda in sixth.

The Bankia Aspar team saw improvement with Alberto Moncayo bringing the Kalex KTM home in seventh and Hector Faubel using all his experience to fight for ninth.

Sandwiched between them San Carlo Gresini also saw improvement after changing chassis to FTR with Italian Niccolo Antonelli finishing eighth, despite having a quiet race Malaysian racer Zulfahmi Khairuddin stayed consistent and rounded out the top ten for his AirAsia-Sic-Ajo KTM team.

New Italian hope Fenati lapped everyone up to his team-mate Tonucci in eleventh in taking his win. He had already become the first rider since 1998 to take a podium when he finished second last time out in Qatar and now becomes the first rider since Noburu Ueda in 1991 to have made the rostrum on his grand prix debut and follow it up with another podium finish at the next race.

Fenati also becomes the first Italian since Andrea Iannone in Catalunya 2009 to win a race in the minor grand prix class.

The first lap crashes of Danny Kent, Jack Miller and Arthur Sissis in the same corner at turn nine was a sign of things to come as the difficult conditions kept the bikes tumbling as the laps counted down.

Kent and Miller both needed attention in the medical centre as KTM rider Kent hit Miller's Caretta Technology head on in the gravel. Early leaders Jakub Kornfeil on the FTR Honda and Miguel Oliveira's Suter Honda also crashed out from the front, with Portugal's Oliveira frantic plea to the marshals to be given back his Suter Honda and rejoin the race falling on deaf ears.

Britain's Danny Webb retired late in the race after a strong mid-pack battle, clearly frustrated after experiencing mechanical problems mid lap.

Wild-card rider Alex Marquez, younger brother to Moto2 favourite Marc Marquez, took an impressive twelfth on his grand prix debut despite a crash and being lapped.

Jerez's crash fest saw only 17 finishers, Moto3 racing continues next weekend when the racing continues in Estoril, Portugal, where 16 year old Fenati will go leading the championship standings.

Race Results:

1. Romano Fenati ITA (FTR Honda) 43m 50.885s
2. Luis Salom SPA (Kalex KTM) 44m 27.024s
3. Sandro Cortese GER (KTM) 44m 27.780s
4. Alex Rins SPA (Suter Honda) 44m 27.946s
5. Alexis Masbou FRA (Honda) 44m 39.921s
6. Maverick ViƱales SPA (FTR Honda) 44m 46.742s
7. Alberto Moncayo SPA (Kalex KTM) 44m 48.390s
8. Niccolo Antonelli ITA (FTR Honda) 44m 54.568s
9. Hector Faubel SPA (Kalex KTM) 45m 6.236s
10. Zulfahmi Khairuddin MAL (KTM) 45m 26.535s
11. Alessandro Tonucci ITA (FTR Honda) +1 lap
12. Alex Marquez SPA (Suter Honda) +1 lap
13. Ivan Moreno SPA (FTR Honda) +1 lap
14. Alan Techer FRA (TSR Honda) +1 lap
15. Giulian Pedone SWI (Oral) +1 lap


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