Moto3: Martin takes debut win with Mir in stunning fightback

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Jorge Martin finally broke his Grand Prix duck with a dominant victory in the final Moto3 race of the season in Valencia.

After a stunning start, the Spaniard led the way from Gabriel Rodrigo and champion Joan Mir, with the leading three beginning to stretch away from the chasing pack in the early stages of the race.

Disaster would strike on lap three as Rodrigo highsided from second place at turn eight, forcing Mir off the track.

While this gave Martin the breathing space he needed at the front to control the race for his debut Grand Prix win, Mir re-joined the pack in 19th place.

A ten-way battle for second allowed Martin to stretch his lead out to as much as six seconds, while Mir entrancingly carved through the pack, using his sublime braking ability to work his way up to the podium fight in no time, before picking the top ten off one by one to take a convincing second place ahead of Marcos Ramirez.

Series runner-up Romano Fenati crossed the line fourth ahead of Enea Bastianini and Juanfran Guevera, who was promoted to sixth after wildcard and CEV Junior World Champion Dennis Foggia was penalised for avoiding tracklimits. The VR46 Junior rider crossed the line in an impressive seventh place after fighting for the rostrum, turning heads ahead of his full-time Grand Prix debut in 2018.

A dismal qualifying saw Britain’s John McPhee start the race 22nd on the grid, but the tenacious Scot latched on to the back of Joan Mir when the world champion re-joined the field to fight through to a strong eighth place ahead of Aron Canet.

Red Bull Rookies Champion Kazuki Masaki continued to impress with the Asia Talent team to complete the top ten.

While 2017 champion Mir was unable to break Valentino Rossi’s record for the amount of wins in a single season, he did shatter the all-time points record by amassing 341 points, 93 ahead of second placed Romano Fenati, over this year’s 18 races. 

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Oli Rushby

By Oli Rushby

Former sports reporter covering British Superbikes, World Superbikes and road racing