Masbou Grabs First Win In Remarkable Finish


Alexis Masbou navigated his way through a chaotic final lap, even by Moto3 standards, to claim his first Grand Prix victory at Brno. The Frenchman started the last 5.4km in seventh position but while his rivals tripped each other up, and one celebrated victory a lap too early, the 27 year old snatched the win at the very last corner.

An astonishing sixteen riders formed the leading group but unfortunately, John McPhee wouldn’t be among them after tangling with his recent nemesis Jorge Navarro. The pair came together in Indianapolis a week ago and at the start of the second lap, they clashed again with Navarro sweeping around the outside of McPhee’s Honda and wiping out the Briton, prompting some scathing comments from the Saxoprint-RTG rider afterwards.

Five different riders would lead across the line, with many more in between, but on the long drag race to the final chicane on lap eighteen, Alex Rins muscled his way to the front at the expense of Jack Miller. After nailing his exit from the last bend, Rins crossed the line 0.016s ahead of the Australian and immediately sat up, punching the air in an apparent celebration of victory. Much to the Spaniard’s horror, the fifteen riders trailing him were still riding flat out and blasted past, confirming his and every rider’s worst nightmare that he had misread the number of laps remaining and celebrated one from home.

Miller couldn’t believe his luck and powered back into the lead but for the second lap in a row, he would be swallowed up by a Honda on the run to turn thirteen as Masbou dived up the inside. The Ongetta rider ran slightly wide but held Miller’s KTM back rounding the last corner and took the chequered flag for his first win in 134 attempts. Miller’s loss of momentum was such that Enea Bastianini and Danny Kent edged past for the remaining podium positions while Alex Marquez pipped him to even fourth spot.

Brad Binder and Miguel Oliveira brought their Mahindras home in sixth and seventh while Efren Vazquez and Romano Fenati lost ground in the title chase with eighth and eleventh respectively, despite both finishing within a second of the winner. Few would’ve felt worse than Rins though with his extraordinary error of judgement relegating him to ninth.