Del Conca Gresini Moto3 rider puts in a stunning display of pace under pressure as Mir is forced off track and fights back for a podium
Jorge Martin (Del Conca Gresini Moto3) took a stunning maiden win at the Valencia GP, launching into the lead from his ninth pole position of the year and then able to escape at the front. Over three seconds further back over the line, newly-crowned Champion Joan Mir put in the ride of his life for second – recovering from the tail end of the top twenty to complete the podium in a stunning final Moto3™ appearance. Marcos Ramirez (Platinum Bay Real Estate) completed the podium, just unable to overtake the Majorcan in the final sector but close at the flag.
It was Martin who got the holeshot from pole with Gabriel Rodrigo (RBA BOE Racing Team) slotting into second, but the Argentinean rider then slid out early and left the polesitter out front – and Joan Mir off track as the new Champion was forced to avoid the fallen rider ahead of him. Martin’s gap was then over two seconds to the chasing group behind, with the battle for second seeing a squabble break out and the Del Conca Gresini Moto3 rider able to take further advantage to pull clear.
There was sudden drama in that battle soon after as Fabio Di Giannantonio (Del Conca Gresini Moto3) clipped Marcos Ramirez on the start finish straight, with the Italian rider managing to stay clear of the traffic as he fell, rider ok. Mir was on the fight back behind, already having moved up from P19 to P11 within a handful of laps – but then with more than two seconds to make up to reach the top ten. Head down and focused forward, the Majorcan was in the podium battle with nine to go as he sliced through the field.
By five to go, Mir was in second and starting to cut the gap to leader Martin – but with such a margin, it would prove an impossible task. The Majorcan reeled him in but Martin was solid at the front as the laps ticked down to his first win, pulling a wheelie over the line to convert pole into victory on the ninth time of asking.
Behind Ramirez it was an Italian battle for fourth as Romano Fenati (Marinelli Rivacold Snipers) just beat Enea Bastianini (Estrella Galicia 0,0) in the former’s last Moto3™ appearance, with Juanfran Guevara (RBA BOE Racing) locking out the top six. It was a magnificent seventh position for reigning FIM CEV Repsol Moto3 Junior World Champion Dennis Foggia (Sky Junior Team VR46 Academy) as he put in a wildcard appearance at the track he dominated at junior level, ahead of another stunning slice through the field from John McPhee (British Talent Team) on his final outing with the BTT squad.
Reigning Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup Champion and wildcard Kazuki Masaki (Asia Talent Team) completed the top ten behind local hero Aron Canet (Estrella Galicia 0,0), with P12 taken by Tatsuki Suzuki (SIC58 Squadra Corse), who fell back slightly at the start but took good points.
Bo Bendsneyder (Red Bull KTM Ajo) took thirteenth ahead of a good race for Ayumu Sasaki (SIC Racing Team) – who confirmed himself as Rookie of the Year – with Niccolo Antonelli (Red Bull KTM Ajo) and Philipp Oettl (Südmetall Schedl GP Racing) locking out the points scorers in the season finale.
Now, there are those who regroup for another assault in 2018 and those who move up for a new challenge in Moto2. And the new season is just around the corner…
Moto3 Race Results
1 – Jorge Martin (SPA – Honda) 40’02.193
2 – Joan Mir (SPA – Honda) + 3.760
3 – Marcos Ramirez (SPA – KTM) + 3.877