Pawi Storms to Sensational Victory in Argentina

Khairul Idham Pawi produced one of the great Moto3 performances to take his first Grand Prix victory in treacherous conditions at Termas de Rio Hondo. The 17 year old rookie became the first ever Malaysian winner in any class with a stunning breakaway ride, pulling clear on a damp track to win by 26 seconds ahead of Jorge Navarro.

Heavy morning rain left a sodden race track for the pre-race warm-up and Pawi was dominant, topping the timesheets by 1.5 seconds, but that still didn’t prepare anyone for what followed in the race itself. Much of the circuit remained damp but a dry line was emerging by the time the race got underway with all-but one rider starting on slicks but Pawi appeared to be riding on a different track to the rest, opening up a sizeable lead over Livio Loi, the one rider to gamble on wets.

As conditions moved towards the dry tyres, Loi gradually fell back with Pawi pulling out a 15 second lead within six laps. The Belgian rider held onto P2 until the eighth lap when the slick-shod Navarro breezed past but Pawi was now completely out of reach, 20 seconds to the good.

Navarro actually his hands full with another Malaysian rookie as Adam Norrodin shadowed the Spaniard in the battle for second. On the approach to turn five on the last lap, the Drive M7 SIC rider slipstreamed past but Navarro refused to give up, regaining the place at the penultimate corner as Norrodin high-sided his Honda. The heartbroken rookie pushed his machine across the finish line to salvage some points in eleventh but a maiden podium had slipped away.

A first win was in little doubt for Pawi who crossed the line 26 seconds clear of the dramatic fight for second, won by Navarro. Brad Binder inherited third to take the championship lead while Andrea Locatelli edged out Leopard teammate Joan Mir for fourth, despite starting 20th on the grid. Hiroki Ono was sixth ahead of John McPhee who took full advantage of the slippery conditions while Jorge Martin took eighth for Aspar.

Jakub Kornfeil finished ninth after winning a close battle with Qatar winner Niccolo Antonelli while Loi’s tyre gamble backfired as he slipped out of the points altogether.

Moto3 Gran Premio Motul de la Republica Argentina (Race Result)

189. Khairul Idham PawiHondaHonda Team Asia41:35.45225
29. Jorge NavarroHondaEstrella Galicia 0,0+26.17020
341. Brad BinderKTMRed Bull KTM Ajo+30.06016
455. Andrea LocatelliKTMLeopard Racing+30.33913
536. Joan MirKTMLeopard Racing+30.50611
676. Hiroki OnoHondaHonda Team Asia+30.73610
717. John McPheePeugeotPeugeot MC Saxoprint+32.4939
888. Jorge MartinMahindraASPAR MAHINDRA Team Moto3+40.5968
984. Jakub KornfeilHondaDrive M7 SIC Racing Team+45.6677
1023. Niccolo AntonelliHondaOngetta-Rivacold+45.8936
117. Adam NorrodinHondaDrive M7 SIC Racing Team+46.1735
1258. Juanfran GuevaraKTMRBA Racing Team+51.4344
1320. Fabio QuartararoKTMLeopard Racing+57.8933
146. Maria HerreraKTMTeam Laglisse+1:05.9832
1565. Philipp OettlKTMSchedl GP Racing+1:08.4261
1611. Livio LoiHondaRW Racing GP BV+1:10.165
1733. Enea BastianiniHondaGresini Racing Moto3+1:11.664
188. Nicolo BulegaKTMSky Racing Team VR46+1:11.791
1919. Gabriel RodrigoKTMRBA Racing Team+1:12.151
205. Romano FenatiKTMSky Racing Team VR46+1:12.270
2110. Alexis MasbouPeugeotPeugeot MC Saxoprint+1:12.382
2264. Bo BendsneyderKTMRed Bull KTM Ajo+1:12.522
2321. Francesco BagnaiaMahindraASPAR MAHINDRA Team Moto3+1:18.884
2498. Karel HanikaMahindraPlatinum Bay Real Estate+1:25.115
254. Fabio di GiannantonioHondaGresini Racing Moto3+1:31.975
2695. Jules DaniloHondaOngetta-Rivacold+1:38.400
2724. Tatsuki SuzukiMahindraCIP-Unicom Starker+1:38.784
2843. Stefano ValtuliniMahindra3570 Team Italia+1:39.051
2916. Andrea MignoKTMSky Racing Team VR46+1:44.035
3040. Darryn BinderMahindraPlatinum Bay Real Estate+1 Lap
3177. Lorenzo PetrarcaMahindra3570 Team Italia+1 Lap
323. Fabio SpiranelliMahindraCIP-Unicom Starker+1 Lap
NC44. Aron CanetHondaEstrella Galicia 0,0+3 Laps