Livio Loi claimed an unforgettable first Grand Prix victory of his career amid scenes of chaos and confusion in Indianapolis. The Belgian teenager made an inspired decision to start on slick tyres despite pre-race rain and the call ultimately propelled him to one of Grand Prix racing’s most surprising wins.
Rain had started to fall following the MotoGP warm-up session and the field decided almost unanimously to start on wet weather tyres although John McPhee made a last-ditch call to switch. Although he had changed to the correct tyres, the lateness of the decision forced the Scotsman to start from the pitlane.
Danny Kent was quickly outdragged off the start line as the championship leader took an understandably cautious approach, falling to fourth behind an unlikely top three of Alexis Masbou, Efren Vazquez and debutant Lorenzo Dalla Porta. The order would transform completely in the early laps though with the vast majority of the field realising their wet tyres wouldn’t last the distance, forcing them to make a painfully long pit-stop.
Kent’s was longer than most as he fell to 25th but every rider that needed a tyre change lost a full lap while their mechanics got to work. The only rider to get off lightly was Philipp Oettl who switched on the very first lap, getting back up to speed quicker than anyone else, and the German was up to third behind McPhee and the runaway leader Loi who had started on slicks in the first place.
Thanks to their strategic masterstroke, Loi, McPhee and Oettl had an enormous advantage with the RW Racing rider 20 seconds clear of McPhee who himself had ten seconds in hand over Oettl. The only danger to their maiden rostrum finishes was a collision with riders unlapping themselves but Loi steered clear of potential problems to take a scarcely believable win while McPhee and Oettl completed the podium.
Romano Fenati had his Sky VR46 mechanics to thank after their quick tyre change secured the Italian fourth place with Isaac Vinales a fine fifth on his first appearance for RBA. With Kent out of the points, Enea Bastianini scored ten valuable points to close the gap to the Briton having edged out Niccolo Antonelli, Brad Binder and Jorge Navarro in an entertaining tussle.
MOTO3 RED BULL INDIANAPOLIS GRAND PRIX: RACE RESULT (23 LAPS)
|1||11. Livio Loi||Honda||RW Racing GP||40:50.747|
|2||17. John McPhee||Honda||Saxoprint-RTG||+38.860|
|3||65. Philipp Oettl||KTM||Schedl GP Racing||+57.781|
|4||5. Romano Fenati||KTM||Sky Racing Team VR46||+1:15.296|
|5||32. Isaac Vinales||KTM||RBA Racing Team||+1:19.814|
|6||33. Enea Bastianini||Honda||Junior Team Gresini Moto3||+1:23.801|
|7||23. Niccolo Antonelli||Honda||Ongetta-Rivacold||+1:24.586|
|8||41. Brad Binder||KTM||Red Bull KTM Ajo||+1:24.659|
|9||9. Jorge Navarro||Honda||Estrella Galicia 0,0||+1:25.292|
|10||88. Jorge Martin||Mahindra||Mapfre Mahindra Team||+1:35.105|
|11||20. Fabio Quartararo||Honda||Estrella Galicia 0,0||+1:35.784|
|12||98. Karel Hanika||KTM||Red Bull KTM Ajo||+1:35.801|
|13||55. Andrea Locatelli||Honda||Junior Team Gresini Moto3||+1:35.913|
|14||95. Jules Danilo||Honda||Ongetta-Rivacold||+1:36.059|
|15||44. Miguel Oliveira||KTM||Red Bull KTM Ajo||+1:43.209|
|16||19. Alessandro Tonucci||Mahindra||Outox Reset Drink Team||+1:49.006|
|17||2. Remy Gardner||Mahindra||CIP||+1 Lap|
|18||58. Juanfran Guevara||Mahindra||Mapfre Mahindra Team||+1 Lap|
|19||29. Stefano Manzi||Mahindra||San Carlo Team Italia||+1 Lap|
|20||16. Andrea Migno||KTM||Sky Racing Team VR46||+1 Lap|
|21||52. Danny Kent||Honda||Leopard Racing||+1 Lap|
|22||84. Jakub Kornfeil||KTM||Drive M7 SIC Racing Team||+1 Lap|
|23||24. Tatsuki Suzuki||Mahindra||CIP||+1 Lap|
|24||6. Maria Herrera||Husqvarna||Husqvarna Factory Laglisse||+1 Lap|
|25||63. Zulfahmi Khairuddin||KTM||Drive M7 SIC Racing Team||+1 Lap|
|26||76. Hiroki Ono||Honda||Leopard Racing||+1 Lap|
|27||40. Darryn Binder||Mahindra||Outox Reset Drink Team||+1 Lap|
|28||48. Lorenzo Dalla Porta||Husqvarna||Husqvarna Factory Laglisse||+1 Lap|
|29||12. Matteo Ferrari||Mahindra||San Carlo Team Italia||+1 Lap|
|30||31. Niklas Ajo||KTM||RBA Racing Team||+1 Lap|
|31||91. Gabriel Rodrigo||KTM||RBA Racing Team||+1 Lap|
|32||10. Alexis Masbou||Honda||Saxoprint-RTG||+1 Lap|
|NC||7. Efren Vazquez||Honda||Leopard Racing||+8 Laps|
|NC||21. Francesco Bagnaia||Mahindra||Mapfre Mahindra Team||+12 Laps|