16-year-old Sergio Garcia won his first Moto3 race in front of his home crowd in Valencia in an action packed Moto3 race which included a delayed start and red flag after a horrific crash.
The drama started before the race had even got underway when Aron Canet’s KTM started bellowing smoke on the sighting lap, forcing himself and Ayumu Sasaki to both crash. Circuit officials started a clean-up process which allowed both riders to get their bikes back to the pits and make the restart.
Once the race got underway, it was drama from the off, when just four corners into the race Jaume Masia fired himself out of his seat, with concern over his collarbone. On the second lap, a horrific looking crash involving Carlos Tatay, Jeremy Alcoba, Makar Yurchenko, Nico Antonelli and Dennis Foggia which saw the Sky VR46 bike laying on fire in the middle of the track. Tatay had lost the front of his KTM, before being hit by two bikes, his bike then slid across the middle of the track leaving Foggia helpless before hitting it with real force, looking as if he knocked himself upon impact with the floor.
The race was red flagged whilst the Italian received treatment in the middle of the track. He was reported as conscious and taken to the medical centre for a check-up.
The race then got underway at two thirds race distance and it was pole sitter Andrea Migno who got off the line well. Another multiple rider crash involving World Champion Lorenzo Dalla Porta, Tony Arbolino, Alonso Lopez and John McPhee saw a lead group breakaway early.
A lead group consisted of Migno, Marcos Ramirez, Tatsuki Suzuki and Sergio Garcia amongst a few others. Behind the lead group, rookie wildcard sensation Xavier Artigas was closing the lead group in at a rapid rate.
The 16-year-old soon found himself into the lead and held the lead until the penultimate lap when a mistake in the first corner opened the door for Garcia. Garcia and Migno then battled for the lead over the final two laps, with the Italian leading going into the final corner.
Lopez kept a tighter line in the final corner, moving under Migno. The drag to the line followed and it was the Spaniard who held on for his first World Championship victory at his local circuit. Behind the front two, Artigas pulled the same move on Suzuki to leave two 16-year-old Spaniards on the podium with Artigas coming home in third, ahead of Suzuki and Salac.
Aron Canet wrapped up second in the World Championship with sixth place, whilst seven for Marcos Ramirez saw him beat out Tony Arbolino for third in the World Championship. Celestino Vietti was eighth with Makar Yurchenko and Ai Ogura rounding out the top ten.