Following two seasons in the Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup, Joan Mir joined Moto3 for the 2016 season with Leopard Racing KTM. He claimed his debut win at the Red Bull Ring in Austria, and was awarded the 2016 Moto3 Rookie of the Year.The 19-year-old Spaniard, now riding for Leopard Racing Honda, entered 2017 Moto3 with one clear mission: be a title contender.
He struggled during free practice of the season opener at Losail International Circuit in Qatar, a night race. He was forced to start 11th after qualifying was canceled due to standing water and glare from the floodlights; qualifying results were based on Friday’s free practice results.But the determined Mir was chasing in the lead pack on the opening lap, and got into the lead by lap 2. Though he was challenged, and four other riders also led laps, Mir led 13 of 20 laps, including the most important one—the last.After some serious last-lap battling, Mir finished 0.135 of a second ahead of British Talent Team Honda’s John McGphee, and -0.218 of a second ahead of Del Conca Gresini Moto3 Honda’s Jorge Martin, making for a 1-2-3 Honda finish.“Amazing! The best way to begin the Championship,” Joan Mir says. “I want to thank my team and Honda because the bike today was really good and I was really comfortable. We were so fast on the straight.“The race (Sunday0 was really tough and long, I tried to be in the front all the time to control my rivals. Yesterday and today was perfect. It was the best race in my career because I had everything under control. I hope I can continue like this in Argentina – I think we have a really good bike but it’s different at every track.”Following is the official recap of 2017 Qatar Moto3:A clean start for everyone saw Martin keep his lead from pole – just ahead of P2 starter Philipp Oettl (Südmetall Schedl GP Racing). Niccolo Antonelli (Red Bull KTM Ajo) and Mir moved up behind the lead duo, with Fenati down in P8 as a lead group of more than ten riders tucked in behind the battle for the lead.With 12 laps to go, McPhee made it to the fight with Mir, Andrea Migno (Sky Racing Team VR46), Martin and Oettl at the front. After some more scuffling for the field, the last laps came down to a battle between Mir, McPhee, Martin, Aron Canet (EG 0,0) – and veteran last lap overtaker Fenati.After hitting the front and pushing hard to keep a small gap, Mir crossed the line clear to take a stunning second win – with McPhee defending an impressive P2 on the debut of the British Talent Team. Polesitter Jorge Martin completed the podium after a calm slice back through the front group over the final laps.Canet, Fenati, Migno, Antonelli, Fabio DiGiannantonio (Del Conca Gresini Moto3), Marcos Ramirez (Platinum Bay Real Estate) and Adam Norrodin (SIC Racing Team) kept it clean after impressive pace throughout to stay in the freight train, completing the top 10 following the battle for the podium.The fastest rookie first time out was 2016 Red Bull Rookies Cup winner and former Asia Talent Cup victor Ayumu Sasaki (SIC Racing Team), taking an impressive P11 on his full-time debut – despite being forced to evade another incident only a handful of laps before the end.Some surprises further down the field saw EG 0,0’s Enea Bastianini and Sky Racing Team VR46 rider Nicolo Bulega fighting over P16, with Bastianini then forced wide on the penultimate lap. Bulega came home in P14, with Bastianini just outside the points in P16. A crash for Bo Bendsneyder brought the Dutch Red Bull KTM Ajo rider’s race to an early end after an altercation with Livio Loi (Leopard Racing), and Juanfran Guevara (RBA BOE Racing Team) and Oettl also crashed out with six laps to go.The Moto3 grid now breaks for two weeks ahead of round two of 18 at Termas de Rio Hondo in Argentina.
Hello everyone and welcome once again to Ultimate Motorcycling’s weekly Podcast—Motos and Friends.
My name is Arthur Coldwells.
This week’s Podcast is brought to you by Yamaha motorcycles. Discover how the YZF-R7 provides the perfect balance of rider comfort and true supersport performance by checking it out at YamahaMotorsports.com, or see it for yourself at your local dealer.
This week’s episode features Senior Editor Nic de Sena’s impressions of the beautiful new Harley-Davidson Low Rider ST that is loosely based around the original FXRT Sport Glide from the 1980s. Hailing from The Golden State, these cult-status performance machines became known as West Coast style, with sportier suspension, increased horsepower, and niceties including creature comforts such as a tidy fairing and sporty luggage.
In past episodes you might have heard us mention my best friend, Daniel Schoenewald, and in the second segment I chat with him about some of the really special machines in his 170 or so—and growing—motorcycle collection. He’s always said to me that he doesn’t consider himself the owner, merely the curator of the motorcycles for the next generation.
Yet Daniel is not just a collector, but I can attest a really skilled rider. His bikes are not trailer queens, they’re ridden, and they’re ridden pretty hard. Actually, we have had many, many memorable rides on pretty much all of the machines in the collection at one time or another.
From all of us here at Ultimate Motorcycling, we hope you enjoy this episode!