Overcast conditions greeted the paddock on race day in Jerez, and Moto3 got the proceedings off to an exciting start with a frantic race which was decided on the final corner, with Britain’s Danny Kent keeping a cool head to take the win as rookie Fabio Quartararo was lucky to stay on board and finish.
Moto2 saw Jonas Folger take advantage of a mistake by Tito Rabat, with great timing allowing him to pass and pull off a small but significant lead to guarantee the win. Rookie Rins tried a last lap lunge past Rabat but he was not as lucky…
Danny Kent became the first Brit since Barry Sheene to take three wins in a row as he found the hole in the last thrilling lap and powered to the line to take a dramatic win in Jerez.
Leopard Racing’s Kent had been in contention all race in the lead group battling for position with rookie Fabio Quartararo of Estrella Galicia and the Red Bull KTM pairing of Miguel Oliveira and Brad Binder.
As the final lap approached there was still all to play for, with Quartararo’s error eventually deciding the podium places.
Kent leapt at the opportunity for first, while Miguel Oliveira was out wide after the near fall and could only manage second, equalling his best ever finish while still searching for that elusive win. Brad Binder followed him through for his first podium finish this year, leaving the Frenchman fourth.
The first Spaniard home in Jerez was Efren Vazquez on the second Leopard entry in fifth, he had caught the leaders for a spell before fading again.
Last years winner Romano Fenati finished sixth for Sky Racing Team VR46 ahead of another Italian – Mahindra rider Francesco Bagnaia.
Jorge Navarro (Estralla Galicia 0,0) was eighth, Enea Bastianini (Gresini) ninth while John McPhee made up 15 places in the race for a top ten finish for the Saxoprint Team.
Isaac Vinales (Husqvarna Factory Laglisse) in 11th, Jules Danilo (Ongetta-Rivacold) in 12thLivio Loi (RW Racing GP) in 13th , Jorge Martin (Mapfre Team Mahindra) in 14th and Alexis Masbou (Saxoprint RTG) in 15th took the remaining points on offer.
Tito Rabat had been the early leader in Moto2 before a small error by the Spaniard allowed AGR Team rider Jonas Folger to pass, the German rider then held position and pulled out a small lead to be clear in first as he became the first rider to win two races in the class this season.
Behind all the action was unfolding as the race drew to a close. A last rush of effort from Alex Rins saw his eager lunge fail as Tito Rabat shut the door on the Paginas Amarillas HP 40 rider, leaving the rookie to pick up his smashed bike to ride over the line out of the points after looking good for another rostrum finish.
Johann Zarco who had already made up plenty of positions to be in the lead group took advantage of the scramble and beat off Rabat to steal second in the run to the line for Ajo Motorsport.
This left EG 0,0 Marc VDS rider Rabat pushed into third, but still an improvement for the Kalex man as it marks his first podium finish of the season so far.
Tom Luthi was a lonely but solid fourth for Derendinger Interwetten Paddock, Easily ahead of fifth place man Xavier Simeon Aboard the Gresini.
Italtrans rider Franco Morbidelli held off the top Pons finisher Luis Salom for sixth, Simone Corsi was next to cross the line after the battling pair taking a eighth place finish for Athina Forward Racing.
Alex Marquez was the top rookie in ninth for EG 0,0 Marc VDS, Marcel Schrotter the first rider to finish who was not riding a Kalex machine in tenth for Tech 3. Julian Simon made up for a last place start after failing to make the minimum weight requirement by scything through the field for 11thfor QMMF.
Also in the points were Hafizh Syahrin (Petronas Raceline Malaysia) in 12th , Lorenzo Baldassarri (Athina Forward Racing) in 13th Randy Krummenacher (JIR) in 15th and Ant West (QMMF Racing Team) in 15th.
A tough race off the pace with tyre issues left a despondent Sam Lowes 20th for Speed Up.
What we learned – it’s not where you start that counts but where you finish.
No-one has won from pole at Jerez in the lightweight class since 2005, and that didn’t change today and whereas missing out on pole certainly didn’t hinder Danny Kent’s ability to pull off a win there were some fierce charges through the pack in both classes that were not always apparent on the tv.
The best example of this in Moto3 was the determined Brit John Mcphee who made up 15 places to finish tenth. Though expected to run at the front Johann Zarco made up seven places in Moto2 to finish second. Luis Salom picked off twelve other riders to take seventh, while Julian Simon really went for it after being placed at the back of the grid by Race Direction in 31sthe finished an incredible eleventh.
For the full Moto3 result click here
For the full Moto2 result click here.