MotoGP Silverstone: Foggia wins as Moto3 title challengers fall

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Picture: GeeBee Images

Leopard’s Dennis Foggia secured his second victory of 2022 after a dramatic and hard-fought British GP at Silverstone.

Red Bull KTM Ajo’s Jaume Masia and Tech3’s Deniz Öncü completed the podium after a dramatic and crash-filled close to the race with 14 riders covered by just two seconds at the flag.

The British Grand Prix action kicked off with three home talents lining up on the lightweight class grid ahead of the 17-lap race. Sterilgarda Husqvarna’s John McPhee headed row four, from tenth, after a strong showing across the weekend so far while VisionTrack’s rookies Scott Ogden and Josh Whatley sat 24th and 26th respectively for their Silverstone Moto3 debut.

Another rookie, Brazilian Diogo Moreira was in command after the MT Helmets rider claimed his maiden pole position on his first visit to the UK track with Aspar’s Izan Guevara splitting the two MSI teammates as Ryusei Yamanaka completed the front row. BOE’s David Muñoz and Red Bull KTM Ajo’s Adrian Fernandez facing long lap penalties following their part in Assen TT crashes.

Lights out and Moreira was demoted by the GasGas into turn two after the rookie had originally held the holeshot. The two teammates bickering for position as the lap played out with Yamanaka securing the lead. Tech3’s Öncü was the next to strike as the Turkish rider swept round the outside at the loop before Guevara hit back.

Ayumu Sasaki arrived as lap two played out, the Max racing rider moving from fourth to second with countryman Tatsuki Suzuki launching to fourth from ninth with his Leopard teammate Foggia two places behind.

McPhee was running seventh by lap three as Foggia dropped back. Yamanaka falling down the pack as he circulated in 14th with Ogden up to 19th. The Scot was making moves as he powered through the pack to find fourth as the lap concluded, Muñoz quickly dispatching his penalty as Suzuki looked to challenge out front.

McPhee and Masia swapped control of the fastest lap with the KTM setting a new lap record with a 2’11 dead. The Ajo rider rising from a poor grid position to eighth, and on the wheels of championship leader Sergio Garcia in the leading fight.

Suzuki continued to challenge the leaders as Guevara and Öncü held fast, McPhee bettering the Leopard through Copse as he dispatched him into the path of his teammate before setting his sights on second.

A lap five shuffle found Foggia in charge before Guevara struck back. McPhee, Öncü and Suzuki following before the Japanese rider took them both for third and Masia rose to sixth.

Two laps later and McPhee was down in seventh as Foggia ran wide to fourth. Suzuki taking over at the top from Öncü and Sasaki with the contact continuing between the determined pack as McPhee slipstreamed his way back in to contention.

Öncü led over the line for lap eighth before Foggia squeezed him out and McPhee bettered his teammate for third. Guevara saving a moment in fifth before Masia arrived to split the Sterilgarda pair in fourth. The leading group still 20-rider strong after eight laps of the vast 5.9km layout.

A Honda/KTM battle unfolded out from as Foggia and Suzuki manoeuvred their advantage over Öncü and Masia with Sasaki shortly behind. Garcia, Muñoz and Daniel Holgado shuffling McPhee down the pack before the Scot found himself in 11th.

Foggia pulled a six-tenth gap form his teammate with eight laps to go as Öncü headed the pursuers behind. Rookie Muñoz recovering from his long lap excursion to briefly sit third until the Turk struck back with Sasaki remaining in check.

Further back Ogden was making progress as he captured 17th with seven to go. Rivacold Snipers’ Andrea Migno the next in his sights with CIP Green Power’s Kaito Toba behind.

MTA’s Ivan Ortola swept through to join the podium fight after starting on row six. Öncü homing in on the Italian out front as he cut the gap down to less than a tenth before taking charge with six to go.

It was a Leopard one-two as the race counted down, but the lead group wasn’t getting any smaller. Öncü capturing two riders in one as he returned to third while McPhee looked for an opportunity from ninth.

Öncü returned to the lead from Ortola and Masia with four laps remaining. The newly-turned 18-year-old taking his turn at the front on the MTA machine before Masia dispatched him. The KTM instantly dropping from firth to ninth as the slipstream swallowed him up running wide through Stowe.

Drama saw Sasaki collect Garcia with three to go as the series leader was skittled out at turn 13 and the Japanese rider stretched out the track. Öncü back in charge from Ortola, and the Leopards with McPhee flickering between fifth and eighth.

The final lap saw Foggia and Öncü continuing to fight as Masia joined the battle. Guevara and Ortola crashing out at Stowe as the second Aspar was also collected in the closing stages. Further turmoil finding both Suzuki and Muñoz down as Foggia secured the victory with both title challengers out of the action.

Masia and Öncü completed the podium from a hard-charging Toba with Stefano Nepa and Moreira heading McPhee in the top seven. Yamanaka, Migno and Carlos Tatay rounded out the top ten as Xavi Artigas, Ogden, Lorenzo Fellon, Ricardo Rossi, and Fernandez collected the final points.

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