Jorge Martin wins the first Moto3 race of the 2018 MotoGP season.
Unlike last year’s race where as many as 17 riders fought for victory, the leading duo broke away from the chasing pack.
The Malaysian Petronas Sprinta Racing riders finished 8th and 11th.
Jorge Martin held on to edge out compatriot Aaron Canet to the line, to win the first Moto3 race of the year.
The pair had broken away from the pursuing group from early on to establish a two-horse race. The Losail International Circuit has the longest front straight of any circuit on the GP calendar and Canet had trailed Martin out of the last corner to set up a slipstream pass. But Canet could only show his front wheel alongside Martin just as the latter crossed the line first.
The real spectacle, however was the manic battle for third among those in a group of ten riders, including eventual third-placed finisher Lorenzo Dalla Porta, Niccolo Antonelli, Ayumu Sasaki, John McPhee, among others. Gentlemanly racing soon gave way to argy-bargy and paint-swapping hard moves with two laps to go, John McPhee was among the casualties. It was heartbreak for the Scotsman having fought up through the field into the fight for the final podium position.
Ayumu Sasaki of the Petronas Sprinta Racing team fought tooth and nail to come away eighth at the checkered flag, having gone as high as fifth. He had lost the slipstream to the group midway through the race but had managed to fight back into the group. Adam Norrodin languished in the 15th to 16th positions all days, but crashes up ahead promoted him up to 11th at the finish.
|1||25||Jorge MARTIN||SPA||Del Conca Gresini Moto3||Honda||38’18.207|
|2||20||Aron CANET||SPA||Estrella Galicia 0,0||Honda||+0.023|
|3||16||Lorenzo DALLA PORTA||ITA||Leopard Racing||Honda||+6.746|
|4||13||Niccolò ANTONELLI||ITA||SIC58 Squadra Corse||Honda||+6.791|
|5||11||Gabriel RODRIGO||ARG||RBA BOE Skull Rider||KTM||+6.850|
|6||10||Fabio DI GIANNANTONIO||ITA||Del Conca Gresini Moto3||Honda||+6.916|
|7||9||Kaito TOBA||JPN||Honda Team Asia||Honda||+6.946|
|8||8||Ayumu SASAKI||JPN||Petronas Sprinta Racing||Honda||+6.998|
|9||7||Jakub KORNFEIL||CZE||Redox PruestelGP||KTM||+7.156|
|10||6||Andrea MIGNO||ITA||Angel Nieto Team Moto3||KTM||+7.699|