Leopard's Jaume Masia won a thrilling Teruel Grand Prix to claim back-to-back Moto3 Aragon wins as Albert Arenas extends his championship lead despite missing the podium.
Masia's first win since Argentina 2019 last weekend made him Honda's 100th winner in grand prix racing, with his second Aragon triumph - coming after a penultimate corner pass - giving HRC its 800th victory across all grand prix classes.
Tony Arbolino on his return from a COVID-19-related absence last weekend grabbed the holeshot from second on the grid, though poleman Raul Fernandez immediately retaliated at the first corner.
Arbolino got shoved back by the VR46 KTM of Celestino Vietti and championship leader Arenas through the next few turns, before the latter hit the front for the first time at the penultimate corner.
The lead group in the early laps was over 20 bikes, with the battle at the front frantic as the likes of Vietti, Fernandez and his Ajo KTM team-mate Kaito Toba took turns leading the field.
Arenas scythed past Toba at Turn 1 on lap 10 to retake the lead, and resisted several attempts by Masia over the new few tours.
The speed of Arenas' Aspar-run KTM proved tough for Masia to overhaul on his Leopard Honda on the straight, while the former's strength in braking made him almost impossible to overtake.
But Masia finally made a move stick into Turn 1 having nailed his run from the final corner on lap 17, though Arenas would be back ahead six turns later.
Masia got ahead of Arenas into Turn 1 at the start of the final lap, but once again Arenas struck back at Turn 7 and looked like he'd hold onto his lead as he got a brilliant exit onto the back straight.
But the Leopard rider blasted through into the penultimate corner, opening the door for Tech3's Ayumu Sasaki and Toba to come through on Arenas too.
Masia held on by 0.051 seconds on the run to the line to get himself back into championship contention, with Sasaki claiming his and Tech3's maiden Moto3 podium.
Toba hasn't had a top six since last year's French GP, with his best result a ninth place in 2020.
But the KTM rider made it two Japanese riders on the podium in third, with Arenas fourth after being mugged through the final bends.
Vietti completed the top five ahead of Petronas Sprinta's John McPhee, who came from 17th on the grid, with this sister Tech3 KTM of Deniz Oncu, CIPs Darryn Binder, Honda Team Asia's Ai Ogura and the Snipers Honda of Arbolino completing the top 10.
Despite missing the podium, Ogura's ninth means Arenas' championship lead has opened up to 19 over the Japanese rider with just three races to go.
Vietti is a further point adrift in third, while Masia is now 24 points behind in fourth.
Despite the raging dogfight throughout the race, only two riders failed to finish when Tatsuki Suzuki crashed exiting Turn 9 on the last lap in front of EG 0,0 Honda's Sergio Garcia and left him with no choice but to hit the stricken SIC58 bike.
Teruel Moto3 result - 19 laps
|1||Jaume Masia||Leopard Racing||Honda||37m44.602s|
|2||Ayumu Sasaki||Red Bull KTM Tech 3||KTM||0.051s|
|3||Kaito Toba||Red Bull KTM Ajo||KTM||0.152s|
|4||Albert Arenas||Solunion Aspar Team Moto3||KTM||0.296s|
|5||Celestino Vietti||SKY Racing Team VR46||KTM||0.331s|
|6||John McPhee||Petronas Sprinta Racing||Honda||0.372s|
|7||Deniz Oncu||Red Bull KTM Tech 3||KTM||0.583s|
|8||Darryn Binder||CIP - Green Power||KTM||0.772s|
|9||Ai Ogura||Honda Team Asia||Honda||0.955s|
|10||Tony Arbolino||Rivacold Snipers Team||Honda||2.259s|
|11||Alonso Lopez||Sterilgarda Max Racing Team||Husqvarna||2.489s|
|12||Raul Fernandez||Red Bull KTM Ajo||KTM||2.493s|
|13||Filip Salac||Rivacold Snipers Team||Honda||2.520s|
|14||Gabriel Rodrigo||Kommerling Gresini Moto3||Honda||2.686s|
|15||Jeremy Alcoba||Kommerling Gresini Moto3||Honda||2.745s|
|16||Dennis Foggia||Leopard Racing||Honda||2.895s|
|17||Carlos Tatay||Reale Avintia Moto3||KTM||3.019s|
|18||Andrea Migno||SKY Racing Team VR46||KTM||3.622s|
|19||Romano Fenati||Sterilgarda Max Racing Team||Husqvarna||5.448s|
|20||Stefano Nepa||Solunion Aspar Team Moto3||KTM||5.620s|
|21||Barry Baltus||CarXpert PruestelGP||KTM||5.680s|
|22||Niccolo Antonelli||SIC58 Squadra Corse||Honda||6.103s|
|23||Ryusei Yamanaka||Estrella Galicia 0,0||Honda||16.543s|
|24||Jason Dupasquier||CarXpert PruestelGP||KTM||21.606s|
|25||Yuki Kunii||Honda Team Asia||Honda||21.716s|
|26||Davide Pizzoli||BOE Skull Rider Facile Energy||KTM||21.812s|
|27||Khairul Idham Pawi||Petronas Sprinta Racing||Honda||32.799s|
|28||Maximilian Kofler||CIP - Green Power||KTM||33.600s|
|-||Tatsuki Suzuki||SIC58 Squadra Corse||Honda||Retirement|
|-||Sergio Garcia||Estrella Galicia 0,0||Honda||Retirement|
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