MotoGP Aragon: Guevara unchallenged in Moto3

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Picture: GeeBee Images

Autosolar GasGas Aspar’s Izan Guevara continued his stellar run on Spanish soil with a fourth Moto3 victory of 2022 at Motorland Aragon.

Strengthening his championship challenge to 30 points over teammate Sergio Garcia, Guevara claimed the win a second ahead of nearest rival Ayumu Sasaki with Red Bull KTM Ajo’s Daniel Holgado completing the podium celebrations for his first time in the world championship at home.

Guevara commanded the Moto3 grid ahead of the 19-lap Aragon Grand Prix with Sasaki and Holgado alongside on the front row. John McPhee lined up fifth with the Leopard duo of Tatsuki Suzuki and Dennis Foggia either side. The Sterilgarda Husqvarna team aiming for a strong Sunday to detract from the controversy surrounding its mechanics from Saturday’s qualifying antics in pitlane which saw two members of staff fined 2000 Euros and hit with a two-race ban.

Lights out and Guevara maintained his control as McPhee advanced to fourth. Foggia dropping to eighth as MTA’s Ivan Ortola and KTM’s Jaume Masia capitalised. VisionTrack’s Josh Whatley unfortunate to crash out at the opening corner alongside Nicola Carrera and Lorenzo Fellon. MT Helmets’ Ryusei Yamanaka succumbing to turn 13 as the opening lap played out.

The Aspar rider held a half second advantage before they hit the back straight for the first time, McPhee dipping back to sixth as Tech3’s Deniz Öncü and GasGas’ Sergio Garcia battled behind. Foggia continuing to fad as he found himself out of the top ten as lap three began.

The top three had a second in hand next time around as Suzuki headed the chasing pack from fourth. McPhee retuning to the position at turn four of lap four with Ortola maintaining this hold on fifth. Öncü pushed as the next to challenge the Leopard rider as Garcia was swallowed up by the trio behind. BOE’s David Muñoz, Tech3’s Adrian Fernandez and Masia demoting the title challenger out of the top ten as Öncü turned his attention to the Husqvarna ahead.

McPhee was going backwards as lap six played out, Öncü, Suzuki and Ortola bettering before the Scot hit back at the Angeluss rider. Four seconds now separating the podium sitters from the pursuing pack as McPhee dropped back again, this time to ninth.

The problems for the Sterilgarda continued as McPhee found himself in 13th one lap later, his pace falling off a cliff compared to his earlier challenge as the group around him took quick advantage. Foggia two places behind as he clung on to the final championship point, for now.

The second group clash continued as Garcia lost out and fell back to 11th. Öncü and Muñoz leading the way, albeit five seconds adrift of the podium places, with Fernandez bettering Suzuki, Ortola, MT Helmets’ Diogo Moreira and Masia in the mix.

McPhee began to fight back as he picked off the former series leader. CFMoto’s Xavi Artigas following the Husqvarna through on Garcia as teammate Carlos Tatay sat menacingly behind.

A seven-rider battle for fourth continued as Öncü maintained his advantage at the head of the group. Fernandez looking to challenge before Muñoz pushed him wide and dropped the KTM to the back of the points.

Five to go and the leading trio were nine seconds clear. Muñoz attempting another move, this time on Ortola as the MTA rider held fast at the rookie’s expense. The BOE rider dropped to ninth in the battle but facing a long lap penalty after his earlier altercation.

A regrouped McPhee was back in the fight and running fifth with four to go as he set his sights on Öncü. Guevara continuing to push the pace out front as he held off Sasaki with Holgado happy to settle for a lonely but more than comfortable third.

Moreira was issued a late long lap after exceeding track limits as the race counted down. The drama continuing in the mid pack as Muñoz swept through the group at the expense of McPhee with the Scot pushed wide and back outside the top ten. Garcia briefly back in 10th before he too dipped down to 13th after a mistake at turn one on the penultimate lap.

Muñoz finally accepted his penalty as he hit the loop down the corkscrew with two to go. The rookie returning to the fight in 12th ahead of Garcia and Foggia with Moreira in the final points position.

Guevara began the final lap with half a second in hand. The top five all with breathing space in hand as Fernandez headed the tightly packed battle for sixth. The penultimate corner saw the bickering intensify before the Tech3 rider held strong to claim the position.

A lights to flag victory for Guevara saw the Spaniard cross the line with a second’s advantage from Sasaki and Holgado. Öncü taking best of the rest for the sixth time this season from Fernandez, Ortola, Muñoz, Masia and Tatay. McPhee came home in tenth ahead of Artigas, Suzuki, Garcia and Foggia with Moreira collecting the final point on offer. A difficult race weekend for VisionTrack found Scott Ogden meet the flag in 22nd.

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