Jorge Martin has incredibly held off his race rivals by blocking their slipstream efforts to cross the finish line just in front and take victory by just 0.019s at round six of the Moto3 world championship at Mugello.

The Del Conca Gresini rider gave his team a home win by showing amazing skill and race craft after being passed at the end of the final lap every time in the lead group, so rode a wider line through the final sector on the last lap, which was just enough to prevent the slipstream efforts of both Marco Bezzecchi and Fabio Di Giannantonio.

It was an eventful grand prix for Martin who rode most of the distance with a cracked screen on his bike after a stone flipped up and hit it, the Spaniard also avoided a hare which crossed the track in front of him during the race.

Martin – who topped every session in the run up to the race – completed his dominant weekend by giving Honda their first pole-to-win since Maverick Vinales achieved the same feat back in 2012, he is also only the second rider to win from pole in Moto3 in Mugello, the other man to do so also being Vinales.

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The front three broke away after the Italian duo spotted Martin’s attempted escape at the front over the opening laps. It was Bezzecchi who got the better slipstream to pull ahead and claim second and his fourth podium appearance of 2018 with the Redox PruestelGP KTM team.

That second means the Italian still leads the championship standings after his home race with a total of 83 points, Martin moves up to second, three points behind.

Di Giannantonio took the final podium spot, a welcome return to the rostrum after his post-race penalty in France, on the second Gresini entry.

RBA’s Gabriel Rodrigo led the chasing pack over the line, with the battle four fourth just as frantic - before shrinking to a group of four in contention in the closing stages all the riders down to 20th were in with a chance of fourth.

Last years’ winner Andrea Migno squeezed his way forward to fifth for the Angel Nieto team, passing Enea Bastianini leaving him sixth for Leopard, with Tony Arbolino at the back of that group in seventh for the Marinelli Snipers team.

Lorenzo Dalla Porta (Leopard Racing) found himself at the front of the next bunch for eighth with Nico Antonelli ninth for SIC58 Squadra Corse Team. Experienced wild-card Manuel Pagliani claimed a top ten finish for the Leopard Junior team.

Aron Canet saw his title hopes dented as he got swamped in the chasing group and never really recovered, leaving the Estrella Galicia man down in eleventh, crossing the line just ahead of the battling John McPhee(CIP - Green Power), who after qualifying down in 19th set about making gains immediately and had the pace to do so, but was too held back by his qualifying performance and the quality and amount of riders in the hunt for points.

The remaining points on offer went to Red Bull KTM Ajo rider Darryn Binder in 13th, Le Mans winner Albert Arenas (Angel Nieto Team) in 14th and Marcos Ramirez (Bester Capital Dubai) in 15th.

Japanese riders Ayumu Sasaki and Tatsuki Suzuki both started on the front row but faded to 16th and 17th respectively, with Sasaki needing painkilling injections in his foot before the race following his Saturday crash.

Estrella Galicia’s Alonso Lopez was the best rookie finisher in 18th.

Adam Norrodin was the first to exit, sending his bike cartwheeling at turn five early in the race following a highside. He walked away dazed but okay, his bike however was completely destroyed.

Wild-card Stefano Nepa also crashed out, with Dennis Foggia also failing to finish. Jaume Masia clipped Rodrigo and slid out with just four laps remaining while Makar Yurchenko pulled into the pits in the closing stages.

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