Aspar Mahindra Team Moto3 rider Francesco Bagnaia has made history after he claimed his first Moto3 win at Motul TT Assen after a fantastic race at the Cathedral of Speed. His win aboard his Mahindra was the first ever for the manufacturer.
Cool & tricky conditions in the morning warm-up
A cool start to the morning meant it was difficult for several riders during the warm-up prior to the race. Platinum Bay Real Estate Mahindra rider Darryn Binder crashed on Turn 17, Peugeot MC Saxoprint rider John McPhee came off at Turn 5, and Lorenzo Dalla Porta (Estrella Galicia 0,0) who is stepping in for Jorge Navarro who broke his leg in a training incident, crashed at Turn 1; this meant the riders and their teams were left with a lot of work to do to be ready in time for the race.
Some riders received grid penalties ahead of the race, Alexis Masbou (Peugeot MC Saxoprint) lost one place on the grid while Khairul Pawi (Honda Team Asia), and Joan Mir (Leopard Racing) both lost three grid positions ahead of the race.
Migno led into the first corner, but not for long
Andrea Migno (Sky Racing VR46) led into the first corner, but he soon was caught by pole position man Enea Bastianini (Gresini Racing Moto3) who also led momentarily until Romano Fenati (Sky Racing VR46) pushed his way through to take the lead. Fenati was closely followed by Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Ajo); as they approached the chicane Bagnaia took a completely different line gaining several places, he soon led.
First crash of the Moto3 race at Motul TT Assen
Albert Arenas crashed at Turn 16 of the first lap when he was thrown over the bike and into the gravel. Bagnaia led as they began the second lap of 22. Soon after Gabriel Rodrigo (RBA Racing Team) when in third lost the back of his bike when it came round on him at Turn 7 and he was thrown over the front of it.
As a result Fabio Quartararo (Leopard Racing) was taken out of contention as Rodrigo fell straight right in front of him and brought him off. Quartararo’s bike slid across the track in front of the remaining oncoming riders who had to act to narrowly avoid coming into contact. Pawi crashed at turn one of the second lap; it was the end to a bad weekend for the Malaysian.
Front runners battled throughout the race
Back to the front and Fenati had reclaimed the lead but was under huge amounts of pressure from Bagnaia and Bastianini. When they crossed the line at the end of the third lap Bagnaia led again and Binder was looking to progress up the ranks. He got past Bastianini who was then seen pushing and shoving with Di Giannantonio.
Fenati's lead did not last long when he lost two places to Bagnaia and Di Giannantonio in one corner; the Italian soon got past to take the lead as they crossed the line with 16 laps to go but ended up in eighth by the time they reached the first corner, as Brad Binder went wide and forced him onto the run-off area.
Unfortunate end to weekend for rookie Canet
Aron Canet (Estrella Galicia 0,0) who has been strong all weekend came into contact with Niccolo Antonelli (Ongetta-Rivacold) at Turn 16, but it was the Spanish rookie who came out worst as he was thrown off the bike at the chicane; his Honda began catapulting and hit Juanfran Guevara (RBA Racing Team) who had no way of avoiding it as it happened so quickly. Both landed in the gravel trap but luckily both appeared unhurt but it was race over.
Fifteen laps remained and Binder, the championship leader had claimed the lead for the first time. But in true Moto3 fashion it was not long as it was three, four, sometimes five-a-breast as they fought for positions round the corners. Bagnaia was proving to be strongest in the final sector of the circuit.
The VR46 Academy riders dominated
Two laps after it was Migno who led while behind him the rest battled to chase him; Di Giannantonio was forced to run over the new run-off area as they hit the modified chicane at the end of the lap. Soon the Sky Racing VR46 team held the top three positions and when they crossed the rain with eleven laps remaining, Migno led ahead of Romano and rookie Bulega in third, almost as if they were riding in formation.
Binder did not like that though and made an attempt to claim second in the final sector of the lap. Bagnaia was stalking the Italian team and after Bulega made a brave attempt to overtake his teammate Fenati as they entered turn one on the 12th lap, he went wide and Bagnaia was able to take advantage. Di Giannantonio soon fought his way back into the mix. Masbou and Suzuki crashed out at turn one, Suzuki appeared to have injured his right hand.
Di Giannantonio soon pushed his way to the front but made a mistake due to his over enthusiasm and ran off the track before the chicane. This meant that Fenati was able to take the lead; he was followed by Migno and Bagnaia and the three appeared to have broken away ever so slightly, but Binder was on the case of closing down the gap. On lap fourteen, Migno overtook the two to take the lead but Bagnaia pushed his way back through to the front as they crossed the line with seven laps now remaining. Brad Binder had also managed to bridge the gap, bringing the rest of the pack with him and was on their tail when Fenati and Migno both got back past Bagnaia who was left in third.
Big mistake by Brad Binder
Unfortunately for the championship leader he made a mistake and was almost thrown from the bike; he opened the throttle too soon and was forced to sit up and take to the grass which was slippery as it had rained overnight. He lost 11 places and ended up in 13th when he re-joined; luckily he did not fall off.
Five laps remained and six Italians led the Motul TT Assen Moto3 race; Bagnaia soon lost his lead to Fenati again as the two continued to fight back. As the lead group of twelve continued to battle, Bastianini crashed out at turn ten as a result of trying to overtake rookie Bulega. On the inside of turn ten he tagged the back of the Italian and came off forcing Bulega wide at the same time. On the next lap Locatelli crashed and ended things early at turn five. With two laps remaining Darryn Binder had his second crash of the day when he fell off at turn five bring his weekend to a close early than planned.
Bagnaia made history with his first win on a Mahindra
Bagnaia led the group of six that had broken away as they crossed the line to start the last lap of the Moto3 race at Assen.He lost the lead to Antonelli after turn one, and Fenati also made his way through and eventually to the front to take the lead.
It was not over, several riders were hungry for the win and while all eyes were on Bagnaia who looked dangerous, Migno made an incredible move snaking his way through to gain five positions and take the lead. But as the riders crossed the line it was Bagnaia who collected his first win, and Mahindra's, just 0.039 seconds ahead of Migno in second and Di Giannantonio in third; it was three different manufacturers on the podium. Migno was demoted a place due to running off the track in the final stages in the race. He remained on the podium claiming third position behind Di Giannantonio.
Brad Binder still remains the championship leader with 151 points ahead of Navarro in second, Fenati in third and Bagnaia’s win leaves him fourth currently in the championship ahead of rookie Nicolo Bulega in fifth.
Moto3 Assen TT standings
|1||Francesco Bagnaia||Italy||Aspar Mahindra Team Moto3||Mahindra||25|
|2||Fabio Di Giannantonio||Italy||Gresini Racing Moto3||Honda||20|
|3||Andrea Migno||Italy||Sky Racing Team VR46||KTM||16|
|4||Romano Fenati||Italy||Sky Racing Team VR46||KTM||13|
|7||Nicolo Bulega||Italy||Sky Racing Team VR46||KTM||9|
|8||Joan Mir||Spain||Leopard Racing||KTM||8|
|9||Bo BEndsneyder||Netherlands||Red Bull KTM Ajo||KTM||7|
|10||Lorenzo Dalla Porta||Italy||Estrella Galicia 0,0||Honda||6|
|11||Philipp Oettl||Germany||Schedly GO Racing||KTM||5|
|12||Brad Binder||South Africa||Red Bull KTM Ajo||KTM||4|
|13||Jakub Kornfeil||Czech Republic||Drive M7 SIX Racing Team||Honda||3|
|14||Maria Herrera||Spain||MH6 Team||KTM||2|
|15||Livio Loi||Belgium||RW Racing GP BV||Honda||1|
|16||John McPhee||GBR||Peugeot MC Saxoprint||Peugeot|
|17||Darryn Binder||South Africa||Platinum Realy Bay Estate||Mahindra|
|18||Stefano Valtulini||France||3570 Team Italia||Mahindra|
|19||Adam Norrodin||Malaysia||Drive M7 SIC Racing TEam||Honda|
|20||Lorenzo Petrarca||Italy||3570 Team Italia||Mahindra|
|21||Fabio Spiranelli||Italy||CIP-Unicorn Starker||Mahindra|
|22||Danny Webb||GBR||Platinum Bay Real Estate||Mahindra|
|Enea Bastianini||Italy||Gresini Racing Moto3||Honda|
|Andrea Locatelli||Italy||Leopard Racing||KTM|
|Alexis Masbou||France||Peugeot MC Saxoprint||Peugeot|
|Tatsuki Suzuki||Japan||CIP-Unicorn Starker||Mahindra|
|Juanfran Guevara||Spain||RBA Racing Team||KTM|
|Aron Canet||Spain||ella Galicia 0,0Estr||Honda|
|Gabriel Rodrigo||Argentina||RBA Racing Team||KTM|
|Fabio Quartararo||France||Leopard Racing||KTM|
|Khairul Idham Pawi||Malaysia||Honda Team Asia||Honda|
|Albert Arenas||Spain||Aspar Mahindra Team||Mahindra|