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Moto3: Martin rides away from rivals to extend title lead

Published: 23 September 2018

Updated: 23 September 2018

Moto3 championship leader Jorge Martin has extended his championship lead further still by taking a stunning victory in the Aragon Grand Prix, riding away from the pack on the opening lap and never looking back. However, rival Marco Bezzecchi limited the damage by coming home in second despite a 12-place penalty from qualifying demoting him to 18th on the grid.

Martin took the holeshot from pole as Aron Canet dropped back a little from his front row start and Fabio Di Giannantonio charged forward, with the championship leader putting the hammer down immediately as he began to gap the chasing pack. Di Giannantonio headed up the train behind, battling Marcos Ramirez at the front of a long group. Championship contender Bezzecchi, meanwhile, immediately moved up through that group and into the top ten after his grid penalty, with Bastianini following suit not long after.

The fight throughout the front half of the field was a Moto3 classic, but Martin was more than free of the fracas and taking advantage of the clear track. With Bezzecchi blasting into the head of the train behind, however, the pace heated up for those on the chase – and the Italian had already made up 16 places.

It had seemed as though Bezzecchi and fellow charger Bastianini could have the pace to get into clearer air but it remained a group fighting for second, with Gabriel Rodrigo, Ramirez, Albert Arenas, Di Giannantonio and Tatsuki Suzuki for close company. Rodrigo then crashed out after an incident with Arenas, leaving five riders fighting to complete the podium behind Martin.

Martin crossed the line ahead for a serene show of dominance, and after a tousle around the final lap it was Bezzecchi who kept just ahead to take second – some incredible damage limitation after his grid penalty. Bastianini clawed back some ground on a few in the title fight to complete the rostrum after his own awesome ride through the pack, and he moves up to fourth in the standings after a DNF for Canet.

Di Giannantonio was just behind compatriot Bastianini and took fourth, with Ramirez completing the top five. Tatsuki Suzuki was only a tenth further back with an impressive race to take sixth, with Arenas the final member of that front group over the line and still close.
Adam Norrodin took eighth and achieved his target of a top ten after a solid race to beat off Jaume Masia by less than half a tenth, with John McPhee completing the top ten in the tight second group as he crossed the line just ahead of Jakub Kornfeil.

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