Both the Moto3 and Moto2 races for the Italian GP weekend had drama, but for very different reasons: Moto3 brought it’s usual last lap fun with a cast of lesser known names in the mix, while in Moto2 a red flag caused confusion and chaos with two restarts before the mess was fixed.
In both cases it was a rider from the Ajo camp that rose to the top and kept a cool head – Brad Binder in Moto3 and Johann Zarco in Moto2.
Moto3 got the Italian grand prix race day of to an explosive start with over 20 riders in the train to the line at the finish with the lead swapping continually over the 20 lap distance.
Red Bull KTM Ajo rider Brad Binder was the fist rider to gain any sort of advantage and keep it and did so on the final lap, which he controlled for his third win on the bounce.
With so many riders in contention it was a chance for some of the smaller names on the grid to make an impact, and that is exactly what Gresini’s Fabio Di Giannantonio did on the Honda, a superb rookie ride at his home round.
The final spot on the grid went to Aspar Mahindra rider Francesco Bagnaia, no stranger to the podium this season, slipstreaming past his closest rival to third.
Niccolo Antonelli was unlucky to miss out in the drag to the line, but showed character in barging his way from 22nd on the grid for Ongetta-Rivacold to fourth, making up somewhat for his poor qualifying after a crash.
Fabio Quartararo also lead before missing out in the chareg to the flag too, and finished fifth for Leopard.
Not far behind was Hiroki Ono in sixth for Honda Team Asia, Joan Mir in seventh for Leopard and top Sky Racing VR46 rider Nicolo Bulega in eighth – pole man Romano Fenati had been in contention at the front when a bike failure ended his chances.
Juanfran Guevara took ninth for RBA Racing and the Sky bike of Andrea Migno completed the top ten.
Also in the points were Jules Danilo (Ongetta-Rivacold) taking eleventh after a photo finish, beating Enea Bastianini (Gresini) to the position leaving him 12th.Gabriel Rodrigo (RBA) took 13th, Jorge Martin ( Aspar Mahindra) 14th and Lorenzo Dalla Porta; only returning to replace the injured Philipp Oettl; took 15th.
Estrella Galicia rider Aron Canet and Jorge Navarro both failed to finish, Canet fell on the last lap as did Argentina winner Khairul Idham Pawi.
The Peugeot Mahindra team struggled with gearbox issues again – Alexis Masbou did not finish but John McPhee rallied for 23rd.
Moto2 needed two races to find a winner – the original start saw Sam Lowes leading when Xavi Vierge crashed and his bike burst the airbag it hit.
The restart lead to madness as championship contender Alex Rins, Edgar Pons, Simone Corsi, Xavier Simeon, Julian Simon, Ratthapark Wilairot, Taka Nakagami and wild-card Federico Fuligni were all moved to pit lane for leaving under red lights and then demoted to the back of the grid for holding up the restart.
When the race finally resumed it was Johann Zarco who took advantage for Ajo Motorsport, holding off Lorenzo Baldassarri for the win.
The Forward rider still recorded a personal best finish in second for Forward at their and his home race.
The final podium spot was won after more battling on track with Sam Lowes fighting back to take the position for Gresini and return to the top of the championship standings in the process.
Tom Luthi took fourth for Interwetten and Hafizh Syahrin fifth for Petronas Raceline Malaysia.
Sixth went to a battling Axel Pons for AGR while Rins made the best recovery of the demoted riders for a seventh place finish for Paginas Amarillas HP 40, real damage limitation for his title hopes.
Franco Morbidelli took eighth for Estrella Galicia 0,0, while Nakagami also came back strongly for Idemitsu in ninth. Dominique Aegerter completed the top ten for Interwetten.
Sandro Cortese returned after missing Le Mans with a 11th place finish for Dynavolt Intact GP just ahead of Roman Simone Corsi in 12th for Speed Up.
Miguel Oilveira was top rookie in 13th for Leopard one place ahead of team-mate Danny Kent in 134th. Jonas Folger had gone to the pit to retire as the race was stopped but was able to take advantage of the circumstances to finish 15th.
Luca Marini was taken out after a collision with Alex Marquez in race one, Marquez returned for 16th in the race. Simeon crashed on the warm-up lap on the restart and Mattia Pasini and Luis Salom both fell in the second, shorter race.
For the full Moto3 result click here.
For the full Moto2 result click here.