Moto3 Spain: Arenas prevails in thrilling Jerez encounter

Albert Arenas claimed his second consecutive victory of the 2020 Moto3 season after prevailing in a thrilling fight with John McPhee and Tony Arbolino in the Spanish Grand Prix

Moto3 and Moto2 were the only classes to have their season-openers in Qatar back in March before the coronavirus-enforced hiatus MotoGP had to take, with Sunday's Jerez Moto3 race marking the first grand prix in four months.

SIC58 Squadra Corse's Tatsuki Suzuki started the second round of the season from pole position and held the lead in the opening laps, but was unable to pull away from the chasing pack.

That allowed Celestino Vietti to outbrake the Japanese rider heading into the hairpin on Lap four of 22, having slowly crept up the pack after starting from fifth on the grid on the VR46 KTM.

Vietti's stint at the front lasted for eight laps, before first Tony Arbolino and then Arenas snatched the lead from the VR46 rider.

Arenas wasn't able to make a break either, but was doing enough to hold off the remainder of the field led by Arbolino.

However, with five laps to go, Arbolino was able to take advantage of the slipstream to hit the front for the first time, with Arenas running slightly wide to allow Darryn Binder to also get through too.

At that point, McPhee - who had slipped to 10th earlier after making a sluggish start from the outside of the front row - took advantage of the situation to dispatch Arenas, Binder and Arbolino in quick succession to seize the lead.

However, the race was still far from settled, as Arbolino then engaged in a thrilling scrap with McPhee for the top spot on the podium.

McPhee started the final lap in the lead, having re-passed Arbolino at the final corner on the previous tour, but the Snipers rider was able to overtake his Petronas Sprinta rival at the hairpin to shake up the order once again.

McPhee made a lunge going into the final corner as a last-ditch effort to score his first win since Le Mans last year, but ran wide at the exit and crashing out of the race after contact with Arbolino.

Arenas emerged from the chaos to claim the top spot, adding to his victory from the Qatar round in March and taking a 14-point lead in the standings.

Honda Team Asia's Ai Ogura was the big gainer, demoting Arbolino to third at the chequered flag.

VR46's Andrea Migno, who at one point looked like a serious threat for a victory, finished fourth, ahead of his team-mate Vietti and the Ajo KTM of Raul Fernandez.

Gresini rider Gabriel Rodrigo was classified seventh ahead of Suzuki, with Niccolo Antonelli (SIC58 Squadra Corse) and Jaume Masia (Leopard) completing the top 10.

CIP's Binder crashed out with just two laps to go while in contention for a podium finish.

Picture courtesy of Dorna Sports

Moto3 Spanish Grand Prix Results - 22 laps

Pos Rider Team Bike Gap
1 Albert Arenas Gaviota Aspar Team Moto3 KTM 39m26.256s
2 Ai Ogura Honda Team Asia Honda 0.340s
3 Tony Arbolino Rivacold Snipers Team Honda 0.369s
4 Andrea Migno SKY Racing Team VR46 KTM 0.546s
5 Celestino Vietti SKY Racing Team VR46 KTM 0.634s
6 Raul Fernandez Red Bull KTM Ajo KTM 0.682s
7 Gabriel Rodrigo Kommerling Gresini Moto3 Honda 0.753s
8 Tatsuki Suzuki SIC58 Squadra Corse Honda 0.881s
9 Niccolo Antonelli SIC58 Squadra Corse Honda 0.986s
10 Jaume Masia Leopard Racing Honda 3.646s
11 Ayumu Sasaki Red Bull KTM Tech 3 KTM 3.751s
12 Stefano Nepa Gaviota Aspar Team Moto3 KTM 3.936s
13 Romano Fenati Sterilgarda Max Racing Team Husqvarna 4.157s
14 Alonso Lopez Sterilgarda Max Racing Team Husqvarna 6.086s
15 Jeremy Alcoba Kommerling Gresini Moto3 Honda 5.608s
16 Ryusei Yamanaka Estrella Galicia 0,0 Honda 6.098s
17 Sergio Garcia Estrella Galicia 0,0 Honda 6.256s
18 Darryn Binder CIP - Green Power KTM 17.642s
19 Kaito Toba Red Bull KTM Ajo KTM 28.324s
20 Maximilian Kofler CIP - Green Power KTM 28.406s
21 Jason Dupasquier CarXpert PruestelGP KTM 28.640s
22 Khairul Idham Pawi Petronas Sprinta Racing Honda 28.844s
23 Davide Pizzoli BOE Skull Rider Facile Energy KTM 29.026s
24 Barry Baltus CarXpert PruestelGP KTM 33.352s
25 Deniz Oncu Red Bull KTM Tech 3 KTM 1m03.589s
- John McPhee Petronas Sprinta Racing Honda Retirement
- Yuki Kunii Honda Team Asia Honda Retirement
- Filip Salac Rivacold Snipers Team Honda Retirement
- Riccardo Rossi BOE Skull Rider Facile Energy KTM Retirement
- Dennis Foggia Leopard Racing Honda Retirement
- Carlos Tatay Reale Avintia Racing KTM Retirement

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