Portimao Moto3: Rookie Acosta wins last-lap duel to take commanding points lead

Moto3 rookie Pedro Acosta has taken a commanding championship lead after winning a thrilling last-lap Portuguese Grand Prix duel by 0.051 seconds from Dennis Foggia.

Portimao Moto3: Rookie Acosta wins last-lap duel to take commanding points lead

There was drama before the race, as second-row starters Deniz Oncu (Tech3) and Darryn Binder (Petronas Sprinta) were handed pitlane starts for irresponsible riding in qualifying, with the pair joining Gresini’s Jeremy Alcoba and Binder’s team-mate John McPhee.

Poleman Andrea Migno grabbed the holeshot from Leopard Honda duo Xavi Artigas and Foggia, with rookie Artigas moving into the lead at the start of the next lap.

Foggia found his way to the front of the pack into Turn 1 on the fourth lap and resisted a brief attack from Doha race winner Acosta on the Ajo KTM on the fifth tour.

Artigas’ race came to an end at Turn 3 on lap four when Gresini’s Gabriel Rodrigo made contact with the Leopard Honda’s rear wheel, the Argentine hit with a long lap penalty for the incident.

Foggia absorbed pressure from the group behind led by Acosta up until lap 18, when the Ajo rider launched a raid on the outside on the run into Turn 1.

Acosta ran in too hot, however, allowing Migno to hit the front again ahead of Foggia.

Foggia did not allow Snipers Honda’s Migno to spend much time heading the pack, the Leopard rider scything through on the inside of the Portimao right-hander at Turn 11, with Acosta getting back into second two corners later.

Start action, Andrea Migno, Rivacold Snipers Team leads

Start action, Andrea Migno, Rivacold Snipers Team leads

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

Acosta tried to pass Foggia again into Turn 1, this time on the inside, but the Leopard rider managed to fend him off under braking.

Foggia led the field across the line to start the final lap, with Acosta attempting a pass at Turn 3 but unable to break through.

Behind, Aspar’s Sergio Garcia’s podium hopes were dashed by a massive moment, while Acosta’s Ajo team-mate Jaume Masia crashed at Turn 5.

Acosta found a way through on Foggia at Turn 13 and somehow stayed aboard his KTM despite a big wobble through the plunging final corner to beat Foggia by 0.051s.

Back-to-back victories for Acosta have put the 16-year-old rookie 31 points clear in the championship standings.

Migno held onto the final podium spot by 0.031s to claim his first rostrum since Valencia 2019, while Tech3’s Ayumu Sasaki and Rodrigo completed the top five.

Niccolo Antonelli got his Avintia KTM home in sixth ahead of Max Racing’s Romano Fenati, Garcia, Masia – who was able to rejoin after his crash – and Ryusei Yamanaka (Prustel GP).

Alcoba was able to recover to 14th from the pitlane, while both Binder and McPhee took the chequered flag without points in 20th and 23rd.

Portugal Moto3 results - 21 laps

Cla Rider Bike Time Gap
1 Spain Pedro Acosta KTM 38'01.773  
2 Italy Dennis Foggia Honda 38'01.824 0.051
3 Italy Andrea Migno Honda 38'02.357 0.584
4 Japan Ayumu Sasaki KTM 38'02.388 0.615
5 Argentina Gabriel Rodrigo Honda 38'02.448 0.675
6 Italy Niccolo Antonelli KTM 38'02.502 0.729
7 Italy Romano Fenati Husqvarna 38'02.546 0.773
8 Spain Sergio García GASGAS 38'03.018 1.245
9 Spain Jaume Masia KTM 38'14.260 12.487
10 Japan Ryusei Yamanaka KTM 38'14.281 12.508
11 Italy Stefano Nepa KTM 38'14.314 12.541
12 Switzerland Jason Dupasquier KTM 38'14.366 12.593
13 Czech Republic Filip Salač Honda 38'14.606 12.833
14 Spain Jeremy Alcoba Honda 38'15.516 13.743
15 Turkey Deniz Öncü KTM 38'15.561 13.788
16 Japan Yuki Kunii Honda 38'17.007 15.234
17 Spain Carlos Tatay KTM 38'19.805 18.032
18 Indonesia Andi Gilang Honda 38'22.057 20.284
19 Italy Riccardo Rossi KTM 38'22.116 20.343
20 South Africa Darryn Binder Honda 38'35.147 33.374
21 Austria Maximilian Kofler KTM 38'35.183 33.410
22 France Lorenzo Fellon Honda 38'38.275 36.502
23 United Kingdom John McPhee Honda 38'39.313 37.540
24 Spain Izan Guevara GASGAS 39'10.325 1'08.552
  Japan Kaito Toba KTM 38'41.954 6 Laps
  Mexico Adrian Fernandez Husqvarna 30'13.094 5 Laps
  Japan Tatsuki Suzuki Honda 27'11.128 6 Laps
  Spain Xavier Artigas Honda 10'01.400 17 Laps
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About this article

Series Moto3
Event Algarve
Teams Ajo Motorsport
Author Lewis Duncan