Izan Guevara secured a Gaviota GasGas Aspar one-two in front of his home fans with a last corner move in the Moto3 Spanish GP.
Sergio Garcia completed the celebrations for the local team with a similarly stunning move for second as Red Bull KTM’s Jaume Masia made it three Spaniards on the podium in third.
A revised lightweight grid lined up after penalties for Sterilgarda’s Ayumu Sasaki, PrüstelGP’s Carlos Tatay and BOE SKX’s Gerard Riu saw the trio relegated to the back of the grid, and facing a long lap each after riding slow and causing a disturbance during Saturday’s free practice and qualifying sessions. Riccardo Rossi receiving his own long lap sanction for his part in the dramatic warm-up incident which saw Ivan Ortola crash out with his MTA Machine freewheeling into the unsuspecting Joel Kelso at turn six. The pair thankfully able to take to the grid ahead of the 22-lap race.
Guevara held pole but lost the holeshot to his Aspar teammate as the lights went out. Garcia storming to the lead with Dennis Foggia capturing third in the opening corner before Masia demoted the Leopard as the lap unfolded. Diogo Moreira was the next to strike on the Italian, as Foggia dipped to fifth, Rossi, Xavi Artigas, Deniz Öncü, Andrea Migno and Ortola completing the top ten.
Guevara was back in control at turn five next time around, Foggia running wide and down to eighth as Scott Ogden advanced to twelfth on the VisionTrack Honda. The top four pulling a half-second gap on the pack behind as lap three got going.
Tech3’s Öncü controlled the head of the second group - after Rossi dispatched his penalty - as he pushed the pace from fifth. The MT Helmets Brazilian running over a second and a half clear in fourth as the KTM battled with the Aspar pair out front. Masia briefly making his way into second before Garcia hit back. Kelso retiring into the pits after a painful five laps of the Angel Nieto Circuit.
Masia took charge at the opening corner as lap six began, Moreira back in the mix with Öncü refining to just a second adrift in fifth. Garcia mirroring the move to find a way back through as the next lap unfolded as Öncü arrived on the back of the quartet. Tatsuki Suzuki’s challenging weekend ending with a crash at turn 11 as lap seven wound down.
Rossi began to regroup from his earlier penalty as he made his way to seventh, Masia striking for the lead once more as lap nine fired up with Foggia dropping to the back of the points scoring positions alongside Ogden.
The top four was now firmly a six as the leading battle intensified, Rossi dragging the second group into contention as the gap reduced to just four-tenths with Sasaki running ninth, from the back of the pack and with his penalty dispatched.
Lap 11 saw a new leader as Xavi Artigas swept through from sixth, Guevara quickly hitting back before the CF Moto ran wide and dropped down to fifth. Sasaki up to seventh and just two-tenths off the victory fight at the halfway stage.
Öncü was running in the final podium position before he moved to second moments later. Half second covering the top six as Sasaki joined the fight on the Husqvarna before rookie Moreira defended his position. Ogden recovering to 12th once again and at the head of group three.
Track limits warnings flickered the screen as the action continued, Moreira hit with a long lap penalty as Garcia made a move stick on Masia for third. The KTM was not down for long, however, as the number five hit back and advanced to second in quick succession.
Rossi’s race ended prematurely as the SIC58 rider crashed out at turn two, Masia striking for victory out front as Moreira dropped to tenth with his penalty complete.
Sasaki was in podium contention with seven laps to go. Garcia demoting the Japanese rider almost immediately with his Aspar teammate doing likewise as Öncü and Masia enjoyed a KTM battle for dominance at the front.
Foggia was seen shaking his head as the final quarter began from a disappointing 16th position and over 11 seconds adrift of the podium fight. Rivacold Snipers’ Migno suffering a similar fate just three places ahead.
Öncü was dumped out of the lead and to the back of the podium with five to go before his struck back at Garcia for second, Masia in control as the GasGas battle resumed for third.
Artigas returned to the fight with a brief look at third before circulating in the middle of the Aspar teammates, Sasaki narrowly adrift at the back of the top six.
Four to go and Öncü was again in command, Kaito Toba at the head of the second group from seventh with Ryusei Yamanaka heading the rookies of Daniel Holgado, Moreira and Ogden.
The penultimate lap fired up with the top six almost inseparable, Öncü still in charge from Masia and Garcia with Guevara, Sasaki and Artigas remaining in check. The turk pushing hard for his debut victory before Masia looked to steal the position. Öncü recovered into turn eight before a final corner move returned the Aspar pair to dominance and dumped the Tech3 rider off the podium entirely. Guevara claimed the victory from Garcia with Masia completing the celebrations at the expense of the number 53.
Artigas crossed the line in fifth with Sasaki securing a sensational sixth after an impressive fightback, Toba, Yamanaka, Holgado and Moreira completed the top ten from Matteo Bertelle, Ogden, Ortola, Migno and Stefan Nepa. Foggia finished outside of the points in 18th.