Arenas snatches victory in a spectacular Moto3 season opener

by Josie Smith

Albert Arenas stormed to victory ahead of John McPhee as Jaume Masia and Darryn Binder suffered late heartbreak at the Losail circuit.

Poleman Tatsuki Suzuki (SIC58 Squadra Corse) had an ideal getaway to take the lead into turn one but, in true Moto3 style, it wasn’t long before he was being challenged for the top spot by Red Bull KTM Ajo‘s Raul Fernandez as the Spaniard swept through during lap two to lead the race.

Fernandez’s lead didn’t last for long as he ran wide at turn six, allowing Tony Arbolino (Rivacold Snipers Team) through to become one of ten riders to lead the pack during the course of the race.

As the laps counted down, Arenas’ impressive pace kept him firmly within the front runners which boasted an incredible 19 riders at one point. A coming together between Kömmerlinger Gresini Moto3 team’s rookie Jeremy Alcoba and Sky Racing Team VR46‘s Celestino Vietti caused the unlucky Italian to crash but thankfully remount, no further action was taken between the pair as it was deemed a racing incident.

As the pack entered the last lap, contact between CIP Green Power‘s Binder and Arbolino at turn one sent the South African tumbling into the gravel and out of the race. The late drama did not take anything away from the battle at the very front as Arenas was being hotly pursued by McPhee, Ai Ogura and Masia. Coming into the final sector, it was down to Arenas and McPhee as Masia dropped back, giving some breathing room to the duelling duo.

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Despite sticking to him like glue, McPhee was unable to catch Arenas who crossed the finish line to claim the first victory of 2020. McPhee claimed second-place ahead of Masia in third. Unfortunately, Masia was one of several to be landed with a one-place grid penalty for exceeding track limits which demoted him to fourth and promoted Honda Team Asia rider Ogura onto the podium in third.

Suzuki ended the evening in fifth-position ahead of the Gresini duo of Gabriel Rodrigo and Alcoba in sixth and seventh respectively. Filip Salac finished in eighth ahead of Dennis Foggia in ninth with Fernandez rounding out the top-10 in tenth.

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