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. Points Num. Rider Nation Team Bike Km/h Time/Gap
1 25 36 Joan MIR SPA Leopard Racing Honda 151.0 38’27.364
2 20 17 John MCPHEE GBR British Talent Team Honda 151.0 +0.135
3 16 88 Jorge MARTIN SPA Del Conca Gresini Moto3 Honda 151.0 +0.218
4 13 44 Aron CANET SPA Estrella Galicia 0,0 Honda 151.0 +0.252
5 11 5 Romano FENATI ITA Marinelli Rivacold Snipers Honda 151.0 +0.453
6 10 16 Andrea MIGNO ITA SKY Racing Team VR46 KTM 151.0 +0.579
7 9 23 Niccolò ANTONELLI ITA Red Bull KTM Ajo KTM 151.0 +0.661
8 8 21 Fabio DI GIANNANTONIO ITA Del Conca Gresini Moto3 Honda 151.0 +0.878
9 7 42 Marcos RAMIREZ SPA Platinum Bay Real Estate KTM 150.9 +1.693
10 6 7 Adam NORRODIN MAL SIC Racing Team Honda 150.5 +7.904
11 5 71 Ayumu SASAKI JPN SIC Racing Team Honda 150.2 +12.221
12 4 11 Livio LOI BEL Leopard Racing Honda 150.0 +16.748
13 3 40 Darryn BINDER RSA Platinum Bay Real Estate KTM 150.0 +16.786
14 2 8 Nicolo BULEGA ITA SKY Racing Team VR46 KTM 149.9 +16.821
15 1 24 Tatsuki SUZUKI JPN SIC58 Squadra Corse Honda 149.9 +16.832
16 33 Enea BASTIANINI ITA Estrella Galicia 0,0 Honda 149.9 +16.943
17 95 Jules DANILO FRA Marinelli Rivacold Snipers Honda 149.3 +27.583
18 41 Nakarin ATIRATPHUVAPAT THA Honda Team Asia Honda 149.3 +27.638
19 27 Kaito TOBA JPN Honda Team Asia Honda 149.3 +27.641
20 84 Jakub KORNFEIL CZE Peugeot MC Saxoprint Peugeot 149.2 +28.034
21 6 Maria HERRERA SPA AGR Team KTM 149.2 +28.150
22 96 Manuel PAGLIANI ITA CIP Mahindra 149.2 +28.379
23 48 Lorenzo DALLA PORTA ITA MAHINDRA MOTARD Aspar Mahindra 149.2 +28.388
24 14 Tony ARBOLINO ITA SIC58 Squadra Corse Honda 149.1 +29.520
25 12 Marco BEZZECCHI ITA CIP Mahindra 147.6 +54.344
26 64 Bo BENDSNEYDER NED Red Bull KTM Ajo KTM 146.6 +1’09.769
Not Classified
4 Patrik PULKKINEN FIN Peugeot MC Saxoprint Peugeot 145.1 4 Laps
58 Juanfran GUEVARA SPA RBA BOE Racing Team KTM 150.9 6 Laps
65 Philipp OETTL GER Südmetall Schedl GP Racing KTM 150.8 6 Laps
75 Albert ARENAS SPA MAHINDRA MOTARD Aspar Mahindra 148.6 14 Laps