FENATI AND MILLER GIVE KTM 1-3 IN ARGENTINA GRAND PRIX!
KTM rider Romano Fenati was declared the winner of the Moto3 Grand Prix of Argentina on Sunday at the brand new Termas de Rio Hondo racing circuit after a final dramatic few seconds in the final corner when he bumped both Red Bull KTM Ajo’s Jack Miller and Alex Marquez. Marquez was declared second and Miller, the championship leader third.
Pole man Jack Miller, Romano Fenati and Spanish rider Efren Vazquez dominated the first half of the race. The tone of the race emerged early as these three riders were locked in a fierce three-way battle that saw the lead go back and forth at almost every corner and some very hard jockeying for position on the sweeping 4.8 km circuit.
Then with 11 of 21 laps to go, just after Vazquez had made a bid for the lead, Marquez and teammate Alex Rins caught the leading group of three. Marquez then fought it out with the two KTM riders while Vazquez slipped down the order at the same time as 17-year-old birthday boy Livio Loi of Belgium moved into fourth on his KTM-driven KALEX machine.
It was clear that the battle for the lead was going to be relentless, especially in the final corners and while it looked like Miller was going to pull off his hat-trick of early season victories, Fenati went through the middle of him and Marquez. Bars bumped and the young Italian grabbed the glory in the final meters.
While Miller was clearly disappointed with the outcome, he still leaves Argentina with a 17-point lead in the championship points and an enviable 1-1-3 result from the first three rounds of the Moto3 World Championship.
Miller said it had been a good but hard fought race and that he was happy to have salvaged the podium place and the valuable championship points. “At first I focused on doing my laps, pulling ahead as planned, with a little fighting with Fenati. We managed to open a gap and we ended up as a group of four riders. My strategy on the penultimate lap was to let Marquez pass, but I also let Fenati by. It didn’t upset me because on the last lap I could take advantage of the slipstream of two bikes on the back straight. I made the move to overtake them but I didn’t manage to get by Marquez and I had to pass him in the next corner. In the second to last corner I had the inside and was about to accelerate and I was hit from behind. I went into the dirty area of the track but was able to save the podium position.”
It was not a good weekend for Miller’s young teammate Karel Hanika who crashed twice during the race. He rejoined after the first incident but retired after the second crash. Five other riders suffered the same fate. Fenati’s win extends KTM’s straight victories in the smallest class to 24!
Competition will again be fierce next weekend when it resumes at Jerez, Spain for Round 4 and where leading Spanish riders will have the crowd behind them on their home track.
Moto3 Results Argentina
1. Romano Fenati (ITA), KTM, 38:34.451 min (21 laps)
2. Alex Marquez (ESP), Honda, +0.099 sec
3. Jack Miller (AUS), KTM, +0.540
4. Livio Loi (BEL), KALEX-KTM, +0.624
5. Alex Rins (ESP), Honda, +5.530
7. Isaac Viñales (ESP), KTM, +8.965
10. Enea Bastianini (ITA), KTM, +17.310
16. Hafiq Azmi (MAL), KTM, +38.610
19. Eric Granado (BRA), KTM, +48.717
20. Jakub Kornfeil (CZE), KTM, +58.925
25. Niccolo Antonelli (ITA), KTM, +1:10.178 min
DNF Karel Hanika (CZE), KTM, +3 laps
DNF Francesco Bagnaia (ITA), KTM, +13 laps
Standings Moto3 after 3 of 18 rounds
1. Miller, 66 points
2. Fenati, 49
3. Efren Vazquez (ESP), Honda, 42
4. Marquez, 40
5. Rins, 35
7. Kornfeil, 21
10. Viñales, 17
11. Bagnaia, 15
17. Hanika, 8
18. Antonelli, 7
Manufacturers Standings MOto3 after 3 of 18 rounds
1. KTM, 75 points
2. Honda, 56
3. Husqvarna, 19