At 11 o’clock (local time), the lights of the Twin Ring Motegi went out and the Moto3 race was underway. The opening corners claimed Navarro, Rodrigo and McPhee who all fell. Great starts for Quartararo and Joan Mir saw the pair in eighth and ninth place, while teammate Andrea Locatelli remained stuck in traffic in the rear.
A bitter birthday for Locatelli, the Selvino native falling early in the race and unable to remount. Meanwhile, the top six broke away, Quartararo battling with Italians Giannantonio and Dalla Porta just behind his teammate Mir as they clung to the top ten.
The Mallorca rookie soon targeted the Belgian, and future Leopard Racing rider, Livio Loi, but a small mistake compromised the performance of Mir, dropping him back to 12th position. Bastianini’s last lap challenge saw him duel with 2016 Champion Brad Binder and take his first victory of the season; a few meters behind, Migno touched with Ono and slid away.
Fabio Quartararo and Joan Mir crossed the finish line in ninth and tenth place respectively, but they both gained 1 place because Ono’s sanction after the race. In the standings, the Spaniard drops to fifth place in the fight for the Rookie-of-the-Year title, contested with Italians Bulega and Di Giannantonio.
#36 Joan MIR – 9th
“I suffered a lot today because I had no feeling with the bike. We have to analyze the telemetry and understand what happened today and work hard to ensure that history does not repeat itself in the next races.”
Source: Leopard Racing
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