Romano Fenati became the third different winner in three races at the start of the 2016 Moto3 season after a commanding performance at the Circuit of the Americas. The Italian proved too strong for early leader Jorge Navarro and claimed his seventh career victory, moving him to within fourteen points of the championship lead.
After his surprise pole position on Saturday, all eyes were on Philipp Oettl at the start but the German was outdragged on the approach to turn one while Fenati leapt from fifth to third. Navarro’s early pace threatened to drop the chasing group but crucially, Fenati grabbed second on lap two to ensure the Spaniard would be kept in sight.
Five laps in, the gap still stood at over a second but Fenati soon upped the pace to bring him onto Navarro’s tail and on lap eight, the pressure told as the Estrella Galicia rider overshot turn one, handing Romano the lead. A second mistake at the same corner three laps later would hand an even greater advantage to the Sky VR46 rider, an advantage that he wouldn’t give up.
At one stage, Fabio Quartararo looked set for a second podium in two visits to the Circuit of the Americas but a gearbox problem in the closing stages saw him plummet down the order to thirteenth. Brad Binder was the man to take full advantage, passing Oettl on the final lap to snatch the final podium position and retain the championship lead.
Andrea Locatelli salvaged fifth spot for Leopard after Quartararo’s misfortune while Enea Bastianini finished sixth for Gresini. Spanish rookie Aron Canet rode a superb race to take seventh from 22nd on the grid while Livio Loi and Jules Danilo finished eighth and ninth, just ahead of another rookie, Nicolo Bulega.
Moto3 Red Bull Grand Prix of the Americas (Race Result)
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