Fenati finds form while McPhee takes third

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Italy’s Romano Fenati looked in control during today’s Moto3 race in Austria, leading most of the way to take his first victory since the Japanese GP in 2017. It was a happy ending to a difficult 12 months for Fenati, during which he has come back from losing his ride midway through the season in 2018 and a string of retirements earlier this year.

Fenati’s VNE Snipers team-mate Tony Arbolino led at the start, on a track still damp due to earlier rain. Scotsman John McPhee (Petronas Sprinta Racing) then slotted into second ahead of Fenati and the three riders broke away at the front.

A battle for fourth emerged between Leopard Racing team-mates Marcos Ramirez and Lorenzo Dalla Porta and Kazakh rider Makar Yurchenko (BOE Skull Rider Mugen Race).

Fenati moved into the lead, where he stayed for the rest of the race, with McPhee losing second place to Arbolino. Celestino Vietti (SKY Racing Team VR46) and Jaume Masia (Bester Capital Dubai) then closed in on the top three.

Masia was unfortunate to crash out with just two laps remaining, leaving Arbolino, McPhee and Vietti in a three-way tussle for second place. Arbolino hung on to second to make it a VNE Snipers one-two finish, while McPhee took the final podium spot by 15 thousandths of a second.

Lorenzo Dalla Porta’s sixth place was enough to hand him the championship lead as previous leader Aron Canet (Sterilgarda Max Racing Team) could only manage 10th place. Dalla Porta now sits on 155 points, one point ahead of Canet, with Arbolino in third with 113 points.

Race results:

 1.   Romano Fenati (ITA), VNE Snipers – 37:50.135

 2.   Tony Arbolino (ITA), VNE Snipers, +1.097

 3.   John McPhee (GBR), Petronas Sprinta Racing, +1.105

 4.   Celestino Vietti (ITA), SKY Racing Team VR46, +1.120

5.   Marcos Ramirez (ESP), Leopard Racing, +6.789

6.   Lorenzo Dalla Porta (ITA), Leopard Racing, +7.559

7.   Makar Yurchenko (KAZ), BOE Skull Rider Mugen Race, +17.880

8.   Jakub Kornfeil (CZE), Redox PrustelGP, +17.902

9.   Niccolo Antonelli (ITA), SIC58 Squadra Corse, +17.936

10. Aron Canet (ESP), Sterilgarda Max Racing Team, +18.030

Fenati fastest as McPhee grabs fourth

First published August 10, 5pm

Romano Fenati took pole position in Moto3 qualifying this afternoon by just 0.05 seconds over Petronas Sprinta Racing’s Ayumu Sasaki.

In dry conditions the 23-year-old Italian set a time of 1:36.460, giving him his first pole position since the British GP last year. Fenati and Sasaki were followed by Bester Capital Dubai’s Jaume Masia in third.

Sasaki’s team-mate John McPhee took fourth position, the Scotsman carrying on a strong weekend after second place in FP3 this morning. He set a time just two-hundreths of a second off polesitter Fenati.

A trio of Japanese riders followed McPhee, with Honda Team Asia’s Ai Ogura taking fifth ahead of his teammate Kaito Toba and SIC58 Squadra Corse’s Tatsuki Suzuki.

FP3 leader Tony Arbolino (VNE Snipers) took 8thplace, with Lorenzo Dalla Porta (Leopard Racing) and Raul Fernandez (Sama Qatar Ángel Nieto Team) completing the top 10.

Championship leader Aron Canet’s difficult weekend continued, the Spaniard eventually taking 14th place aboard his Sterilgarda Max Racing Team KTM.


Qualifying results:
1.   Romano Fenati (ITA), VNE Snipers – 1:36.460
2.   Ayumu Sasaki (JPN), Petronas Sprinta Racing – 1:36.511
3.   Jaume Masia (ESP), Bester Capital Dubai – 1:36.689
4.   John McPhee (GBR), Petronas Sprinta Racing – 1:36.690
5.   Ai Ogura (JPN), Honda Team Asia – 1:36.705
6.   Kaito Toba (JPN), Honda Team Asia – 1:36.762
7.   Tatsuki Suzuki (JPN), SIC58 Squadra Corse – 1:36.788
8.   Tony Arbolino (ITA), VNE Snipers – 1:36.791
9.   Lorenzo Dalla Porta (ITA), Leopard Racing – 1:36.890
10. Raul Fernandez (ESP), Sama Qatar Ángel Nieto Team – 1:36.973

Moto3: Celestino Vietti tops the field at the end of day one

First published August 9, 1.45pm

SKY Racing Team VR46 rider Celestino Vietti set the fastest time in Moto3 FP2 this afternoon, beating Jakub Kornfeil’s FP1 time by almost four tenths of a second. The Italian set a time of 1:36.585.

SIC58 Squadra Corse’s Tatsuki Suzuki topped much of the session but ended up in third place, with Scotsman John McPhee (Petronas Sprinta Racing) taking second, just 0.03 seconds behind Vietti.

McPhee’s teammate Ayumu Sasaki ended up in fourth after a run-in with Alonso Lopez, which sent the Japanese rider off track at the first turn.

FP1 leader Kornfeil was demoted to fifth in the combined practice results, going slower in the afternoon than he had done in the morning, followed by Tony Arbolino, Jaume Masia and Niccolò Antonelli respectively.

Championship leader Aron Canet, riding for the Sterilgarda Max Racing Team, failed to better his FP1 time, leaving him in 15th, outside the Q2 spots for tomorrow.

Combined practice results:

  1. Celestino Vietti (ITA), SKY Racing Team VR46 – 1:36.585
  2. John McPhee (GBR), Petronas Sprinta Racing – 1:36.616
  3. Tatsuki Suzuki (JPN), SIC58 Squadra Corse – 1:36.638
  4. Ayumu Sasaki (JPN), Petronas Sprinta Racing – 1:36.937
  5. Jakub Kornfeil (CZE), Redox PrustelGP – 1:36.967
  6. Tony Arbolino (ITA), VNE Snipers – 1:37.011
  7. Jaume Masia (ESP), Bester Capital Dubai – 1:37.063
  8. Niccolò Antonelli (ITA), SIC58 Squadra Corse – 1:37.088
  9. Ai Ogura (JPN), Honda Team Asia – 1:37.104
  10. Dennis Foggia (ITA), SKY Racing Team VR46 – 1:37.106

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James Butterworth

By James Butterworth