Aragon was set to be the scene of some historic moments in the Moto3 and Moto2 classes, but nothing can be certain in the world of racing.
Fresh from inking a new deal Danny Kent looked ready to put in a solid performance and make his title hopes stronger while social media was full of the #ZarcoTitleChance hashtag as the Frenchman arrived with his first title winning opportunity. There was added drama after a huge crash between Dominique Agerter and Xavier Simeon brought out the red flag in the 100thMoto2 race.
| Timely home success for Rabat Photo:EG 0,0 Marc VDS
It was however Miguel Oliveira and Tito Rabat who went on to take the spoils after a pair of last lap wars, with Moto3 title rivals Kent and Enea Bastianini both crashing at the end of the race and Zarco unable to find away out of sixth after twelve straight podium appearances.
Moto3 saw the lead change lap after lap with most of the top ten taking a turn at the front before Miguel Oliveira, who had put in the most laps out in first laid claim to the win, keeping clear of the trouble behind him and blocking his nearest rival Jorge Navarro to take victory for Red Bull KTM Ajo.
Navarro’s second was all the more impressive given he missed the last round after his heavy practice crash and was only passed fit to race for Estrella Galicia 0,0 after another run to the hospital to be checked after a crash in warm-up.
Third went to a very determined Romano Fenati, with a performance which echoed his run through the pack last year to win, this time the Sky Racing VR 46 rider had to settle for third.
The late crashes for Enea Bastianini, hitting the back wheel of Brad Binder as he hit the brakes taking the pair out and Danny Kent who flew out of contention at the final corner saw all the riders behind benefit from an enhanced position.
Efern Vazquez had worked to move up in the group and the Leopard Racing rider took the spoils snatching a fourth, just ahead of a very impressive ride with the leaders from Philipp Oettl for Schedl GP Racing his best performance in the dry after being a podium finisher at Indy.
Nico Antonelli tested the track limits once to often and found himself in sixth for Ongetta-Rivacold, with Jorge Martin taking a career best seventh as the top Mahindra on track.
Alexis Masbou was the best of the rest leading the chasing group over the line in eighth, his team-mate John McPhee was unlucky to miss out on a points finish at the back of the train in 17th.
In between were Hiroki Ono, a best ever ninth for Leopard, Andrea Migno with a top ten finish despite receiving a three place grid penalty, Francesco Bagnaia in eleventh on a strong showing for Mahindra and Stefano Manzi, in the points for San Carlo Team Italia.
Jakub Kornfeil (SIC M7 Drive) scored 13th, Maria Herrera started 30th after her penalty but secured a best ever result of 14th for Husqvarna Factory Laglisse with Livio Loi (RW Racing GP) securing the final point in 15th.
Moto2 saw Alex Rins hit the front before the race was halted to attend to Dominique Aegerter trackside.
With the Swiss rider declared ‘OK’ the race was restarted and Rins and Rabat took back up where they had left off this time with the EG 0,0 Marc VDS man finding his way to the front after a handful of laps. Their cat-and-mouse game continued until the last lap when Rins’ last lunge failed to pay off, with Rabat defending well after taking first back to hold on for a valuable win.
Behind the Pons bike Sam Lowes was a distant, lonely third for Speed Up with Jonas Folger an equally solitary fourth for the AGR Team.
While Rabat was doing all he could to keep his title hopes alive -cutting the gap to78 points, Ajo Motorsport man Zarco could not fight his way out of the chasing group and finished sixth after failing to catch Luthi who held his fifth for the Interwetten team late on. Indeed he only picked up a place after Alex Marquez fell out of his then fifth spot.
Taka Nakagami put in another points performance in eighth for Idemitsu Honda Team Asia, with Simone Corsi rising to fifth before losing places for Ninth for Forward Racing , his team-mate Lorenzo Baldassarri completed he top ten best riders.
Eleventh went to QMMF’s new recruit Mika Kallio, and twelfth to the second AGR Team entry piloted by Axel Pons.
Sandro Cortese (Dynavolt Intact GP) took the flag in 13th, Azlan Shah (Idemitsu Honda Team Asia) in 14th and Marcel Schrotter collected the final point on offer in 15th for Tech 3.
For the full Moto3 race result click here
For the full Moto2 race result click here.