Sergio Garcia claims maiden Grand Prix win at Valencia

by Robert Jones

Estrella Galacia’s Sergio Garcia took a sensational first victory of his career at the final round of the 2019 season after a last corner overtake on Andrea Migno

The race started with Marcos Ramirez taking the lead from the pole man Migno, with Jaume Masia following him through. 

Masia remained in second for only three more corners however as the Mugen Racing rider high-sided at the Nico Terol turn four. 

That was the first of a series of falls for various riders as a crash on lap three involving Niccolo Antonelli, Makar Yurchenko, Jeremy Alcoba, Carlos Tatay and Dennis Foggia brought out a red flag. 

When the race resumed, the field took up their initial starting places with Migno once again starting from the front. 

But just as in the first race start, it was Ramirez who took the lead once again in the shortened fifteen lap race. 

The LeOpard rider led every lap until there was eight remaining, but it was in fact his team-mate and Moto3 rookie Xavier Artigas who was making the biggest impression. 

Image Credit: MotoGP.com

The young Spaniard was in the second group on the road until a four rider crash left him alone and chasing the front group down. 

The crash saw World Champion Lorenzo Dalla Porta highside after overtaking Tony Arbolino thus creating a pile up that Alonso Lopez and John McPhee could simply not avoid.

With eight laps remaining, we had the first lead change as eventual race winner Garcia took the lead while Artigas had joined the leading group. 

The change at the front resulted in Ramirez surprisingly shuffling down the order as he was subsequently past by Migno, Artigas and Tatsuki Suzuki

With six to go, Artigas was in the lead and setting fastest laps on a consistent basis. It was an unbelievable ride from the 16 year-old, who was showing no signs of nerves in his first time leading a Grand Prix race. 

As the front seven became a group of four on the penultimate lap, Garcia and Migno both passed Artigas who momentarily lost the front at turn one and ran wide in the process. 

The top two could not be separated throughout the race and indeed it continued on the last lap with multiple position changes. 

As the pair headed into turn fourteen and last overtaking spot on the circuit, Garcia produced a brilliant late braking move to out fox his Italian competitor. 

Third was Artigas on his debut, with Suzuki fourth and ahead of Redox PruestelGP rider Filip Salac

Sixth was Aron Canet ahead of Ramirez who he managed to overcome on the final lap, which made no difference to Ramirez as he secured third in the championship due to Arbolino’s crash. 

Rounding out the top ten were the trio of Celestino Vietti, Yurchenko who managed to recover from being involved in the red flag incident and Ai Ogura in tenth. 

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