Fenati was banned from grand prix racing and lost his Snipers Moto2 rider and MV Agusta ride for 2019 in Moto3 when he grabbed Stefano Manzi’s brake lever at Misano two years ago.
Thrown a lifeline by Snipers to return to Moto3 last year, Fenati joined Max Biaggi’s squad for this season – though has largely struggled for form on the Husqvarna-badged KTM.
Tony Arbolino grabbed the holeshot from second the grid on his Snipers Honda, before poleman Raul Fernandez demoted him through Turn 5.
Albert Arenas carved around the outside of Arbolino at the fast Curvone right-hander for second, before grabbing the lead from Ajo KTM’s Fernandez at the same corner three tours later.
The Aspar rider’s stint in the lead would last until lap seven, when Celestino Vietti muscled his VR46 KTM ahead at Curvone.
Vietti defended his lead through to lap 17, when Jaume Masia on the Leopard Honda came through at the Quercia left-hander at Turn 8 – with the VR46 rider lucky to stay mounted when Gresini’s Gabriel Rodrigo clattered into the rear of his KTM.
He quickly regrouped from this, however, with both Vietti and Arena scything past Masia at Curvone.
Masia moved back into the lead at Turn 2 on the penultimate lap, but a dive from Arenas into Turn 4 broke up the leading pack and allowed Vietti to sneak back through into first.
Arenas made a move for the lead stick at the Tramonto right-hander at Turn 10, but was carved up through Curvone as Masia launched a daring raid to jump from third to first – with Fenati seizing the opportunity to jump into third.
Vietti immediately tried to retaliate at the Carro hairpin at Turn 14, but got crossed up on the way in and forced Masia wide, with Fenati grabbing the lead as a result.
Fenati kept it clean through the final corner to fend off Vietti by 0.036 seconds to score his first win since last year’s Austrian round and the 12th victory of his career, making him the most successful Moto3 rider in terms of victories.
Vietti held second from Honda Team Asia’s Ai Ogura, who came from 12th on the grid, with Arena shoved back to fourth amid the chaos of the final lap – his championship lead cut to just two over the Japanese rider.
Masia completed the top five ahead of Fernandez and Tech3’s Deniz Oncu, with VR46’s Andrea Migno, the sister Honda Team Asia bike of Kaito Toba and Petronas Sprinta’s John McPhee rounding out the top 10.
McPhee was involved in the podium battle having started 20th, but was punted wide by Gresini’s Jeremy Alcoba at Turn 4 on the penultimate lap and lost touch.
He holds third in the standings, but is now 21 points behind Arenas.
Darryn Binder once again crashed out of the podium battle, when he was flicked from his CIP machine at the first corner on lap 19.
Moto3 Emilia Romagna results – 23 laps
|1||Romano Fenati||Sterilgarda Max Racing Team||39m30.124s|
|2||Celestino Vietti||SKY Racing Team VR46||0.036s|
|3||Ai Ogura||Honda Team Asia||0.121s|
|4||Albert Arenas||Gaviota Aspar Team Moto3||0.199s|
|5||Jaume Masia||Leopard Racing||0.280s|
|6||Raul Fernandez||Red Bull KTM Ajo||0.439s|
|7||Deniz Oncu||Red Bull KTM Tech 3||0.678s|
|8||Andrea Migno||SKY Racing Team VR46||0.791s|
|9||Kaito Toba||Red Bull KTM Ajo||0.939s|
|10||John McPhee||Petronas Sprinta Racing||1.125s|
|11||Tony Arbolino||Rivacold Snipers Team||1.452s|
|12||Gabriel Rodrigo||Kommerling Gresini Moto3||1.687s|
|13||Jeremy Alcoba||Kommerling Gresini Moto3||4.331s|
|14||Ayumu Sasaki||Red Bull KTM Tech 3||5.925s|
|15||Stefano Nepa||Gaviota Aspar Team Moto3||6.165s|
|16||Filip Salac||Rivacold Snipers Team||6.249s|
|17||Sergio Garcia||Estrella Galicia 0,0||7.167s|
|18||Niccolo Antonelli||SIC58 Squadra Corse||12.714s|
|19||Carlos Tatay||Reale Avintia Moto3||18.045s|
|20||Ryusei Yamanaka||Estrella Galicia 0,0||20.184s|
|21||Riccardo Rossi||BOE Skull Rider Facile Energy||20.498s|
|22||Barry Baltus||CarXpert PruestelGP||20.291s|
|23||Jason Dupasquier||CarXpert PruestelGP||20.555s|
|24||Khairul Idham Pawi||Petronas Sprinta Racing||24.967s|
|25||Yuki Kunii||Honda Team Asia||25.264s|
|26||Davide Pizzoli||BOE Skull Rider Facile Energy||27.159s|
|27||Maximilian Kofler||CIP – Green Power||27.848s|
|–||Darryn Binder||CIP – Green Power||Retirement|
|–||Dennis Foggia||Leopard Racing||Retirement|
|–||Alonso Lopez||Sterilgarda Max Racing Team||Retirement|
|–||Tatsuki Suzuki||SIC58 Squadra Corse||Withdrawn|