McPhee charges to victory as points leader Arenas crashes


McPhee’s participation in this weekend’s San Marino GP was in doubt after an inconclusive COVID-19 test pre-weekend – though a third test carried out on Thursday confirmed he did not have the virus.

Polesitter Ai Ogura grabbed the holeshot on his Team Asia Honda, though 2019 Misano winner Tatsuki Suzuki scythed up the inside of his at Turn 2.

A collision triggered by EG 0,0’s Sergio Garcia – for which he was handed a long-lap penalty – at Turn 4 took out Celestino Vietti (Sky VR46) and Ajo KTM’s Raul Fernandez, while Gabriel Rodrigo worked his way into the lead just up the road at Turn 8.

The lead would change hands a number of times in typical Moto3 fashion over the next 16 laps, with Rodrigo, CIP’s Darryn Binder, Suzuki on the SIC58 Honda and Leopard’s Jaume Masia all taking stints at the head of the pack.

Binder’s aggressive charge ended on lap 15 when he ran wide on the exit of Turn 6 and highsided on the edge of the kerb – the following Dennis Foggia on the Leopard bike narrowly avoiding the errant CIP machine.

By lap 19, Petronas Sprinta’s McPhee hit the front for the first time having started 17th, with the Scotsman getting ahead of Masia at Turn 5.

Masia retaliated towards the end of the tour and was back in the lead again – though McPhee would be back in front at the end of the following lap after launching a daring raid up the inside of Masia and Rodrigo at the last corner.

McPhee was lucky to stay mounted when a bump at Turn 1 unsettled the front end of his Honda, with Masia coming back through into the lead.

At Turn 3, the championship was blown wide open again when Aspar’s Arenas crashed when he lost the rear of his KTM.

The battle for victory turned wild on the last lap, with McPhee launching his bike into the lead on the run into the Quercia left-hander at Turn 8.

McPhee held onto the lead through the run into Turn 14, with a big slide for the chasing Ogura ensuring McPhee got the chequered flag 0.037 seconds clear for his first win since Le Mans 2019.

Ogura and Suzuki completed the podium, with Jeremy Alcoba besting Gresini team-mate Rodrigo for fourth.

Tony Arbolino was sixth on the Snipers Honda, with Masia dropping to seventh when he and team-mate Foggia ran wide at Tramonto on the last lap.

Romano Fenati (Max Racing Team), Foggia and VR46’s Andrea Migno rounded out the top 10.

Arenas’ crash wiped out his championship lead, with Ogura now just five points adrift, while McPhee’s 39-point deficit stands at just 14.

Moto3 San Marino results – 23 laps

1John McPheePetronas Sprinta Racing39m48.952s
2Ai OguraHonda Team Asia0.037s
3Tatsuki SuzukiSIC58 Squadra Corse0.232s
4Jeremy AlcobaKommerling Gresini Moto30.393s
5Gabriel RodrigoKommerling Gresini Moto30.490s
6Tony ArbolinoRivacold Snipers Team0.543s
7Jaume MasiaLeopard Racing0.833s
8Romano FenatiSterilgarda Max Racing Team0.928s
9Dennis FoggiaLeopard Racing0.976s
10Andrea MignoSKY Racing Team VR461.121s
11Niccolo AntonelliSIC58 Squadra Corse1.554s
12Ryusei YamanakaEstrella Galicia 0,01.691s
13Riccardo RossiBOE Skull Rider Facile Energy1.921s
14Stefano NepaPull&Bear Aspar Team Moto31.961s
15Carlos TatayReale Avintia Moto32.239s
16Deniz OncuRed Bull KTM Tech 33.927s
17Kaito TobaRed Bull KTM Ajo8.517s
18Davide PizzoliBOE Skull Rider Facile Energy11.399s
19Jason DupasquierCarXpert PruestelGP11.679s
20Filip SalacRivacold Snipers Team11.835s
21Khairul Idham PawiPetronas Sprinta Racing18.331s
22Maximilian KoflerCIP – Green Power18.598s
23Yuki KuniiHonda Team Asia18.891s
24Barry BaltusCarXpert PruestelGP41.938s
25Sergio GarciaEstrella Galicia 0,01m01.077s
Albert ArenasPull&Bear Aspar Team Moto3Retirement
Darryn BinderCIP – Green PowerRetirement
Ayumu SasakiRed Bull KTM Tech 3Retirement
Alonso LopezSterilgarda Max Racing TeamRetirement
Celestino ViettiSKY Racing Team VR46Retirement
Raul FernandezRed Bull KTM AjoRetirement

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