moto3 / Leopard Racing looks to turn the page at the Sachsenring
An error in strategy at the TT Circuit prevented Mir from achieving his second consecutive win. House’s bitter also for his team-mate Livio Loi, out of the points area.
At 11:00 local time, the lights in Assen went out, known often as ‘Cathedral of Speed’ Assen was host to the eighth race of the 2017 season. The Leopard Racing Team duo appeared on the starting grid with high morale after an encouraging Warm Up in the morning, confirming the competitiveness of Joan Mir (3rd) and the pace of his team-mate Livio Loi (16th), who treats Assen as a home race.
The talent of Palma de Mallorca’s started well, jumping straight into the Top3 behind the poleman Martin and local hero Bendsneyder hero. Meanwhile Livio Loi remained enthralled in the back traffic of the Oettl and Binder on the KTMs. On the fourth lap the lead group was made of six riders, Martin and Bo alternating the lead, with Joan Mir retaining third position.
Livio Loi was anchored in the 24th battlefield with Toba and Herrera. On the 8th lap his advantage on the group, previously opened to 3 seconds, was cut by the return of his pursuers captained by Canet. They continually alternated the lead and sent the fans wild at every turn. 5 laps from the end, the game began to get harder: McPhee comes back with Ramirez, while Mir remains always alert in the Top3.
A lap later the Spaniard of the Leopard Racing Team took command of the race, followed by the Scottish and the reborn Danilo. McPhee appeared in the rear vision mirrors of Joan Mir. But with four corners until the finish, the Spaniard committed a small mistake in strategy. The heat of battle saw him leave a gap open and dropped him down to ninth at the line. His team-mate Livio Loi, struggling with the rear grip, closed the race in 21st and out of the points area.
The two colleagues of the Leopard Racing team will learn from their mistakes, without letting themselves be demoralized: in seven days the rematch is booked at Sachsenring!
#36 Joan MIR – 9th:
“It was a great race, in the final lap I knew I had something more than the others and I could win. I missed the strategy in the last lap: four laps from the finish line I slowed down to make my run but a rider came past then the advantage of the slipstream in the last chicane proved. In spite of everything, we have the edge over our rivals in the standings; It is not a negative result because in the end these are valuable points. No one is infallible: the important thing is to learn from our mistakes. There will not be a second time.”
#11 Livio LOI – 21st:
“It was a very difficult race, already in the first laps I lost many positions. After that I was struggling to find the rhythm and I had no grip at the back. I could not push hard in the home race. It’s a shame because the overall weekend was not so bad.”
Moto3™ Race – TT Assen 2017:
1 – Aron Canet / SPA / Estrella Galicia 0,0 / Honda / 22 laps
2 – Romano Fenati / ITA / Marinelli Rivacold / Honda / +0.035
3 – John McPhee / GBR / British Talent / Honda / +0.117
4 – Jorge Martin / SPA / Del Conca Gresini / Honda / +0.310
5 – Jules Danilo / FRA / Marinelli Rivacold / Honda / +0.532
9 – Joan MIR / SPA / Leopard Racing / Honda / +0.980
21 – Livio Loi / BEL / Leopard Racing / Honda / +34.338
Moto3™ World Standing 2017:
1 – Joan MIR 140
2 – Aron Canet 110
3 – Romano Fenati 108
4 – Jorge Martin 89
19 – Livio LOI 15
Photo credit: Leopard Racing