David Alonso held his nerve to claim a spectacular maiden Moto3 World Championship victory in the British Moto3 after holding off a pack of ten riders chasing him within a second across the line at Silverstone.
The Colombian started at the back of the grid but made swift progress up the order to get embroiled in the fight for the lead before making his break at the front on the final lap when he drafted Daniel Holgado on the run into Stowe.
The 17-year old has the distinction of becoming the first person from Colombia to win a race in Grand Prix competition.
There was disappointment for home fans, however, when Scott Ogden failed to get away from his second place grid slot on the warm-up lap, forcing him to start from the back. He'd cross the line in 17th.
For Alonso though, his was a spectacular performance that mirrored that of Ivan Ortola's victory at COTA earlier this season - when a first turn error left him at the back of the field before clambering back into contention and going all the way to victory - Alonso quickly worked his way through the pack, a task made easier by the swarm of 16 bikes that stayed within a couple of seconds of an ever-changing lead battle.
Indeed, with the pacemakers tripping over one another as the lead changed hands repeatedly, it took Alonso only eight laps to get out front for the first time, though even then the ebb and flow of the race would see him yo-yo in out of the top three.
As such, the race descended into a typical Moto3 battle for honours that would come down to the final lap and a question of which rider could make the crucial break in the sprint for the finish line.
Even so, while the lead pack was certainly large, victory only ever looked likely to come from Alonso, championship leader Daniel Holgado, Sasaki and Ortola, the four having spent much of the race jostling for the lead.
This quartet was originally a sextet that also included Deniz Öncü and pole sitter Jaume Masia, but the former ruled himself out of contention by misjudging his braking and running wide at the penultimate Stowe corner on the final lap, while the latter saw his title hopes take a blow when he low-sided at Aintree on lap three.
Against his more experienced rivals, however, it was Alonso that would emerge out front, the GasGas Aspar rider shrugging off being passed by Sasaki and Holgado into Becketts on the final lap, to get them back on the run down the Hangar Straight.
Going on to resist them through Vale and Club, Alonso took the flag to clinch his maiden victory, in so doing returning GasGas Aspar - champions with Izan Guevara last season - to the top of the podium. Moreover, it gave Colombia its first-ever Grand Prix race winner, while Alonso becomes the first South American victor in the entry-level class since Venezuela's Ivan Palazzes in the 1982 125cc Grand Prix.
Still yet to win a race this season, Sasaki was again forced to contend with a close runners-up spot just +0.152secs adrift of the spoils. His fifth podium in succession, the result does however move him up to second in the Moto3 standings at the expense of Masia, who trailed home 18th after remounting.
The Japanese rider therefore takes up the chase to Holgado, who put his Assen maladies behind him by picking up the final podium position in third. The Spaniard therefore builds on his solid championship lead, 22 points clear of Sasaki, while Masia - who'd set the pace during Friday's dry practice sessions - slips to third, 32 points down on Holgado.
Ortola came across the line in fourth, himself just +0.337secs shy of victory, the Angeluss MTA Team rider finding himself in the middle of a 10-strong group of riders within a second of the top spot.
David Munoz rounded out the top five, ahead of David Salvador, who enjoyed his strongest race of his rookie season on the CIP Green Power KTM in sixth, while MT Helmets - MT's' Diogo Moreira ended up seventh having been among those battling for the lead in the early stages.
Jose Antonio Rueda maintained his solid run of top ten results on the second of the Red Bull KTM Ajo bikes in eighth, ahead of Husqvarna IntactGP's Colin Veijer, who made a bold charge up to second in the closing stages, only to lose momentum running wide at Becketts and dropping to ninth.
Romano Fenati rounded out the top ten as the best-placed Honda rider, ahead of the baulked Oncu in 11th, Stefano Nepa in 12th and Riccardo Rossi in 13th, with Japanese pair Kaito Toba and Ryusei Yamanaka picking up the final points in 14th and 15th
Meanwhile, Ogden's hopes of emulating Danny Kent's famous home Moto3 win in 2015 were spoiled by a failure to get going on the warm-up lap.
He was left at the back of the grid but couldn't join Alonso in picking his way through the field, the VisionTrack Racing rider ending up 17th at the flag, while Joshua Whatley was 25th.
|2023 British Moto3 | Silverstone, UK | Race Results | Round 9 of 20|
|1||David Alonso||🇨🇴||GASGAS Aspar M3||GasGas||33m 35.396|
|2||Ayumu Sasaki||🇯🇵||Husqvarna IntactGP||Husqvarna||+0.152|
|3||Daniel Holgado||🇪🇦||Red Bull KTM Tech3||KTM||+0.203|
|4||Ivan Ortola||🇪🇦||Angeluss MTA Team||KTM||+0.337|
|5||David Munoz||🇪🇦||BOE Motorsports||KTM||+0.471|
|6||David Salvador||🇪🇦||CIP Green Power||KTM||+0.839|
|7||Diogo Moreira||🇧🇷||MT Helmets - MSI||KTM||+0.767 *|
|8||Jose Antonio Rueda||🇪🇦||Red Bull KTM Ajo||KTM||+0.892|
|9||Colin Veijer||🇳🇱||Husqvarna IntactGP||Husqvarna||+0.941|
|10||Romano Fenati||🇮🇹||Rivacold Snipers Team||Honda||+0.977|
|11||Deniz Oncu||🇹🇷||Red Bull KTM Ajo||KTM||+1.140|
|12||Stefano Nepa||🇮🇹||Angeluss MTA Team||KTM||+1.227|
|13||Riccardo Rossi||🇮🇹||SIC58 Squadra Corse||Honda||+1.331|
|14||Kaito Toba||🇯🇵||SIC58 Squadra Corse||Honda||+1.386|
|15||Ryusei Yamanaka||🇯🇵||GASGAS Aspar M3||GasGas||+1.572|
|16||Joel Kelso||🇦🇺||CFMoto PruestelGP||CFMoto||+2.270|
|17||Scott Ogden||🇬🇧||VisionTrack Racing||Honda||+1.902 *|
|18||Jaume Masia||🇪🇦||Leopard Racing||Honda||+11.314|
|19||Filippo Farioli||🇮🇹||Red Bull KTM Tech3||KTM||+14.167|
|20||Taiyo Furusato||🇯🇵||Honda Team Asia||Honda||+14.274|
|21||Xavier Artigas||🇪🇦||CFMoto PruestelGP||CFMoto||+17.646|
|22||Mario Suryo Aji||🇮🇩||Honda Team Asia||Honda||+17.825|
|23||Ana Carrasco||🇪🇦||BOE Motorsports||KTM||+17.986|
|24||Lorenzo Fellon||🇨🇵||CIP Green Power||KTM||+20.763|
|25||Joshua Whatley||🇬🇧||VisionTrack Racing||Honda||+28.774|
|DNF||Syarifuddin Azman||🇲🇾||MT Helmets - MSI||KTM|
|DNF||Tetsuki Suzuki||🇪🇦||Leopard Racing||Honda|
|DNF||Matteo Bertelle||🇮🇹||Rivacold Snipers Team||Honda|