Joan Mir’s march towards the Moto3 world championship gathered pace at the Red Bull Ring with another classy victory in the Austrian Grand Prix. The Spaniard, who claimed his maiden victory here 12 months ago, dominated despite starting tenth on the grid, extending his championship lead to 64 points as a result.
Mir had qualified second but a post-session penalty for exceeding track limits saw his fastest lap time deleted, promoting the RBA team-mates into first and second on the grid. Neither Gabriel Rodrigo or Juanfran Guevara were able to mount a serious victory challenge though with Mir coolly picking off his adversaries on his way through the field.
By lap six, the Leopard rider had overhauled early leaders Bo Bendsneyder and Jorge Martin to take the lead and a succession of incidents and battles in the chasing pack allowed him to escape. Bendsneyder was responsible for one of those incidents, tailgating John McPhee at the start of lap sixteen, while Andrea Migno was another rider to hit the deck, moments after claiming second.
The race was also lit up by the sensational Jaume Masia with the 16-year-old producing one of the most impressive debuts in recent memory, rising as high as second on the Platinum Bay Real Estate KTM and smashing the lap record. Ultimately though, his inexperience showed with an error at turn three in the closing laps, ruining his podium prospects.
Through all the mayhem, Philipp Oettl took a career-best second ahead of Martin who secured a brave podium despite still suffering from the injuries sustained in Germany last month. Livio Loi capped off a superb day for Leopard in fourth ahead of Aron Canet and Fabio Di Giannantonio while the polesitter Rodrigo came home seventh, edging out Adam Norrodin and the impressive Masia.
Moto3 NeroGiardini Motorrad Grand Prix von Osterreich: Result
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