In a drama filled Moto3 race at the GP Octo di San Marino e della Riviera di Rimini, Lorenzo Dalla Porta (Leopard Racing) secured a phenomenal debut Grand Prix victory, beating the two Del Conca Gresini Moto3 machines of second place Jorge Martin and third place Fabio Di Giannantonio on the run to the line – as Marco Bezzecchi (Redox PrustelGP) surrenders his Championship lead after a Turn 15 crash on the penultimate lap.
The lightweight class race started in dramatic fashion as a huge crash unfolded on the exit of Turn 16 on lap 2. After being passed by Martin, Jaume Masia (Bester Capital Dubai) highsided his KTM, leaving Aron Canet (Estrella Galicia 0,0), Enea Bastainini (Leopard Racing), Ayumu Sasaki (Petronas Sprinta Racing) and Nicolo Bulega (SKY Racing Team VR46) with nowhere to go as the five riders all went down in a scary looking incident – thankfully all riders walked away, with Canet and Sasaki going to the medical center for a checkup.
This left a group of five at the front, led by Bezzecchi, with Dalla Porta, Martin, Gabriel Rodrigo (RBA BOE Skull Rider) and Di Giannantonio in hot pursuit. The paint swapping then commenced, with Dalla Porta showing his strength was down the back straight and into the fast sweep of left handers, getting the better of his compatriot Bezzecchi there on numerous occasions. ‘Diggia’ made his way to the front from fifth, but none of the top five could make the break or hold the lead for much more than a single lap – with Bezzecchi getting two separate warnings for exceeding track limits.
The quintet was feisty and ferocious and with little over two laps to go, Di Giannantonio misjudged the braking zone heading into the tight T14 – narrowly avoiding Bezzecchi and Dalla Porta as he ran in too hot up the inside. However, in what could be a Championship defining moment, race leader Bezzecchi was too eager on the gas coming out of Turn 15. The Italian was flicked off his KTM as he crashed out of contention with a just over a lap to go, as title rival Martin somehow avoided being collected by Bezzecchi’s bike.
This left Dalla Porta in charge on the final lap and despite the best efforts of Di Giannantonio on the final corner, lunging up the inside of his compatriot, Dalla Porta won the drag to the finish line to take his maiden Grand Prix win, made ever sweeter on home soil. Martin managed to out-run teammate ‘Diggia’ to the line to take a vital second, the latter settling for third at his home GP, with Rodrigo finishing 0.822 off the win in fourth.
Fifth was Jakub Kornfeil (Redox PrustelGP), the Czech rider doing an incredible job to avoid the pile up on lap two to lead sixth place Albert Arenas (Angel Nieto Team Moto3) over the line. SKY Racing Team VR46’s Dennis Foggia crossed the line seventh on home soil, his best result of the season, with Darryn Binder (Red Bull KTM Ajo) getting his second top ten of the season in eighth. Andrea Migno (Angel Nieto Team Moto3) grabbed his best finish since Mugello in ninth, with Niccolo Antonelli (SIC58 Squadra Corse) rounding out the top ten in front of his home fans.
Fellow Italian Tony Arbolino (Marinelli Snipers Team) was P11, with Adam Norrodin (Petronas Sprinta Racing), Kaito Toba (Honda Team Asia), Vincente Perez (Reale Avintia Academy 77) – his maiden Grand Prix points - and Kazuki Masaki (RBA BOE Skull Rider) completing the point scoring positions at the San Marino GP.
Tatsuki Suzuki (SIC58 Squadra Corse), John McPhee (CIP – Green Power) and Alonso Lopez (Estrella Galicia 0,0) all crashed – riders okay.
After a dramatic Moto3 race, it’s advantage Martin by eight points in the title hunt as we head MotorLand Aragon for Round 14. Will the tides turn again on the Spaniard’s home turf?