Red Bull KTM’s Jaume Masia finally ignited his Moto3 season with victory at the Circuit of the Americas on Sunday.
Two DNF’s were quickly forgotten as the Spaniard battled Leopard’s Dennis Foggia and Rivacold Snipers’ Andrea Migno for podium domination in a frantic final race in the United States.
The concluding action of the AmericasGP schedule came from the lightweight class as Migno commanded the grid ahead of the 17-lap clash. Foggia and PruestelGP’s Xavi Artigas completing the front row ahead of a KTM onslaught with VisionTrack’s Scott Ogden enjoying a career best start in 12th.
A lightning start found MT Helmet’s Diogo Moreira up to second from sixth before Deniz Öncü took charge overall on the Tech3 KTM, Migno dropping to the final podium position with Green Power’s Kaito Toba behind as Artigas and Foggia trailed in the slipstream.
With two laps done, the Brazilian rookie swept into the lead. Artigas rising to fourth from Foggia and Toba with the Red Bull KTM duo of Masia and Daniel Holgado neatly behind.
The back straight proved dramatic as the pack swarmed five abreast with the standings shuffling accordingly. Izan Guevara struck with double long lap penalty after a jump start on the Gaviota GasGas as Foggia found himself in tenth.
Sterilgarda Husqvarna’s Ayumu Sasaki was the next to better Migno as the Snipers rider dropped to sixth, Guevara and Sergio Garcia doing likewise shortly after before Foggia added to the pain.
Out front Artigas took charge from the rookie with Öncü and Sasaki soon in touch. Holgado losing three places in one as the KTM dipped to seventh with Guevara still yet to complete his penalty runs.
Moreira was back in the lead at third race distance as Josh Whatley retired on the second VisionTrack Honda. Teammate Ogden running just adrift of the points in 17th.
Sasaki set the fastest lap of the race as the pack shuffled again, Öncü striking for the lead through turn ten before Garcia crashed out three corners later. Holgado suffering a similar fate at the final turn.
The podium battle found Öncü, Sasaki and Masia squabbling with ten laps to go. Moreira dropped to fourth ahead of Artigas, Foggia, Migno and Tatsuki Suzuki. Stefan Nepa and Ivan Ortola completing the top ten with Ogden in the points four places back.
Masia was in charge at the halfway stage before Sasaki bettered. Foggia coming through for fifth further back as he edged on the rookie, and a battle ensued. His teammate Suzuki stuck in an MTA sandwich on the edge of the top ten.
Foggia found podium momentum as lap 11 began, Sasaki and Masia ahead as Öncü dropped into the path of Moreira and Migno before the Leopard hit the front with elbows out on the KTM.
An excursion across the kerbs denied the Italian his momentum, providing Masia the opportunity to strike. The Ajo man needing no invitation as he retook the lead but the Honda’s top speed down the home straight denied him once again.
Five to go and Migno was back on the podium as Sasaki found himself in fourth, another shuffle moving him further up as he replaced Foggia with Sasaki doing likewise. The latter two swapping positions repeatedly as the next lap played out.
Migno returned to the lead as Elia Bartolini crashed out. The Avintia rider’s difficult day ending in the gravel after a back of the grid start and long lap penalty. Masia coming back through next time around as the penultimate lap began.
Foggia and Öncü battled hard half a laps round as Sasaki swept through on the pair for the final podium position. Migno and Masia bickering for command as the race neared its end.
A highside through the final corner ended Moreira’s race once lap early as Migno led the group out front. Masia striking back with slipstream assistance down the back straight and holding on to take the flag. Migno denied by Foggia at the penultimate corner with Sasaki just 0.096s back for fourth.
Final drama saw Toba and Holgado down the last corner as Öncü, Artigas, Guevara met the flag in fifth to seventh. Carlos Tatay, Riccardo Rossi and Suzuki completed the top ten from Ivan Ortola with Ogden finishing as he had started, with a career best 12th. Stefano Nepa, Adrian Fernandez and Lorenzo Fellon collecting the final points.