Jaume Masia was a constant at the front of a highly competitive race and made his final moves count as he lead the final lap to win the season opening Moto3 Qatar Grand Prix.

With the wind a factor, lap after lap the lead changed hands over the line as slipstream proved key. The Red Bull KTM Ajo rider weaved his way out of being passed on the final lap to take his fourth career win.

He was joined on the podium by his sixteen year old rookie team-mate Pedro Acosta. Joining the paddock as the Red Bull Rookies champion and second only to Masia in testing at the same track, he was also assured in the group and was unlucky not to gain a tow to the front, finishing just 0,042s behind - achieving his first podium finish in his first world championship race appearance.

On any other lap Darryn Binder’s tactic to sit just off first would have worked, as his several rehearsals at the move indicated, but on the run to the line the gap was just a little too much to reel in following the fall of Sasaki on the third Red Bull. The Petronas Sprinta rider was clear for third on his first outing as a Honda rider.

Sergio Garcia was less than half a second adrift when the gaps finally appeared - for much of the race the lead group were inseperable and covered all the points places. The Aspar man gave GasGas a great start to the world championship in fourth.

Gabriel Rodrigo was a regular leader and well in contention for the win until being forced wide in the closing stages - he recovered from running into the back of Masia to finish fifth for Gresini on an emotion filled weekend for the team after the paddock paid respects to Fausto Gresini before the race.

Niccolo Antonelli found himself at the front of the race at exactly the wrong moment on the penultimate lap and was shuffled back by slipstreaming rivals to sixth for Avintia Esponsorama at the chequered flag.

An impressive day for the rookies saw Izan Guevara secure seventh, just behind the Italian on the second GasGas entry.

Kaito Toba (CIP Green Power) was another short term leader on his way to eighth. Tatsuki Suzuki rallied hard after missing testing due to a positive Covid test and remaining off the pace all the way through practice and qualifying - leaving him last on the grid.

Digging deep the Sic58 Squadra Corse rider raced hard to claim ninth. Jason Dupasquier (CarXpert PruestelGP) had a slightly different line to most and  found enough pace for tenth - his best result to date.

A double long lap penalty didn’t dent Romano Fenati’s points chase -the Sterilgarda MAx Racing Team rider recovered for eleventh.

Carlos Tatay also received a penalty - his lunge on the first lap caused Dennis Foggia to crash out. With his long lap penalty for irresponsible riding served the Avintia rider came back for twelfth.

The remaining points went to Filip Salac (Rivacold Snipers) in 13th, Ryusei Yamanaka (CarXpert PruestelGP) in 14th and Max Kofler (CIP Green Power) in 15th.

Adrian Fernandez was handed a long lap penalty for exceeding track limits. That saw him drop to 18th.

Deniz Oncu crashed on the first lap and didn’t quite complete his charge back to the points - he took 20th.

There was no attempt at a comeback possible for John McPhee, Andra Migno or Jeremy Alcoba. The trio were collected by an over ambitious move from Xavier Artigas with sixteen laps remaining. The incident is due to be reviewed after the race.

Riccardo Rossi also failed to go the distance, exiting a lap previous.

 

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