2017 Qatar Moto3 Results: Joan Mir over John McPhee by 0.135

2017 Qatar Moto3 Results: Joan Mir over John McPhee by 0.135
2017 Qatar Moto3 Result: Joan Mir

2017 Qatar Moto3 Results

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.

2017 Qatar Moto3 Results: Joan Mir over John McPhee by 0.135
2017 Qatar Moto3 Result: Joan Mir

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.

2017 Qatar Moto3 Results

Pos.PointsNum.RiderNationTeamBikeKm/hTime/Gap
12536Joan MIRSPALeopard RacingHonda151.038’27.364
22017John MCPHEEGBRBritish Talent TeamHonda151.0+0.135
31688Jorge MARTINSPADel Conca Gresini Moto3Honda151.0+0.218
41344Aron CANETSPAEstrella Galicia 0,0Honda151.0+0.252
5115Romano FENATIITAMarinelli Rivacold SnipersHonda151.0+0.453
61016Andrea MIGNOITASKY Racing Team VR46KTM151.0+0.579
7923Niccolò ANTONELLIITARed Bull KTM AjoKTM151.0+0.661
8821Fabio DI GIANNANTONIOITADel Conca Gresini Moto3Honda151.0+0.878
9742Marcos RAMIREZSPAPlatinum Bay Real EstateKTM150.9+1.693
1067Adam NORRODINMALSIC Racing TeamHonda150.5+7.904
11571Ayumu SASAKIJPNSIC Racing TeamHonda150.2+12.221
12411Livio LOIBELLeopard RacingHonda150.0+16.748
13340Darryn BINDERRSAPlatinum Bay Real EstateKTM150.0+16.786
1428Nicolo BULEGAITASKY Racing Team VR46KTM149.9+16.821
15124Tatsuki SUZUKIJPNSIC58 Squadra CorseHonda149.9+16.832
1633Enea BASTIANINIITAEstrella Galicia 0,0Honda149.9+16.943
1795Jules DANILOFRAMarinelli Rivacold SnipersHonda149.3+27.583
1841Nakarin ATIRATPHUVAPATTHAHonda Team AsiaHonda149.3+27.638
1927Kaito TOBAJPNHonda Team AsiaHonda149.3+27.641
2084Jakub KORNFEILCZEPeugeot MC SaxoprintPeugeot149.2+28.034
216Maria HERRERASPAAGR TeamKTM149.2+28.150
2296Manuel PAGLIANIITACIPMahindra149.2+28.379
2348Lorenzo DALLA PORTAITAMAHINDRA MOTARD AsparMahindra149.2+28.388
2414Tony ARBOLINOITASIC58 Squadra CorseHonda149.1+29.520
2512Marco BEZZECCHIITACIPMahindra147.6+54.344
2664Bo BENDSNEYDERNEDRed Bull KTM AjoKTM146.6+1’09.769
Not Classified
4Patrik PULKKINENFINPeugeot MC SaxoprintPeugeot145.14 Laps
58Juanfran GUEVARASPARBA BOE Racing TeamKTM150.96 Laps
65Philipp OETTLGERSüdmetall Schedl GP RacingKTM150.86 Laps
75Albert ARENASSPAMAHINDRA MOTARD AsparMahindra148.614 Laps