Nico Antonelli and Tatsuki Suzuki secured a historic 1-2 for the SIC58 Squadra Corse in the Moto3 race at Jerez.
The Italian, starting from the second row, took his time and remained patient in the lead group which at the half way point consisted of 16 riders. Working his way forwards and eventually taking the lead into the first corner of the final lap, Antonelli held off a lightning fast Vietti on the final lap, to secure his first win since Qatar 2016.
It wasn’t without drama for Antonelli, with five laps to go, Marcos Ramirez tagged the rear end of Antonelli’s Honda. Fortunately for Antonelli, Ramirez and the rest of the leading group who were all left unsighted, both Ramirez and his Leopard bike were untouched, even if it did ruin Romano Fenati’s race, with the Italian forced to the gravel to avoid the bike.
Behind Antonelli, his team-mate Tatsuki Suzuki moved under Vietti coming into the stadium section, not only giving his team-mate a bike length breathing space, but also securing a famous 1-2 for the Simoncelli team.
Vietti did hold on for his second podium in third place behind the SIC58 team.
Aron Canet was fourth and with series leader Jaume Masia crashing out early in the race, the Spaniard took over the lead of the World Championship through the opening four rounds. The returning Albert Arenas was fifth, with Kaito Toba, Jakub Kornfiel and pole sitter Lorenzo Dalla Porta in sixth, seventh and eighth respectively.
Ai Ogura and Andrea Migno rounded out the top ten; with Migno just 1.4 seconds off the race win. Darryn Binder rescued eleventh after a disastrous qualifying, with John McPhee twelfth. The Scot had gambled on a soft rear tyre, but unfortunately the gamble didn’t pay off. Kazuki Masaki was thirteenth with Alonso Lopez and Ayumu Sasaki rounding out the point scorers.