Moto3: Mir wins, McPhee second as normal service resumes

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Joan Mir has taken a stunning victory in the inaugural Moto3 race of 2017 ahead of Brit John McPhee, resuming normal service in the lightweight class by presiding over a frenetic race at Qatar’s Losail circuit.

As usual for the smallest GP class, it was anyone’s victory from flag to flag, with Mir, McPhee, Jorge Martin, Aron Canet, Romano Fenati, Philipp Oettl, Juanfran Guevara and Niccolo Antonelli all part of the scrap for the lead, until a lunge from Oettl took him and Guevara out of the scrap.

From there on in it was slipstream city until the line, with McPhee leading onto the opening lap but Mir able to make a last lap overtake and hold off the Scotsman until the chequered flag for his second win. However, taking his first Grand Prix podium in the dry, McPhee came away delighted with his result.

“I can’t thank the team enough for giving me this opportunity. I’ve bene trying to make the most of it and that’s the perfect way to start off the year. We ticked off all the boxes in preseason testing, the bike’s been good all weekend, and we made the most of it in the race.”

Canet, the returning Romano Fenati and Team Sky VR46 rider Andrea Migno rounded out the top six, but it was a disappointing season opener for the second VR46 rider Nicolo Bulega and 2016 title contender Enea Bastianini in 14th and 16th.

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Simon Patterson

By Simon Patterson

MotoGP and road racing reporter, photographer, videographer