moto3 / MIR BETS BIG TO WIN BIG, A GREAT VICTORY AT MONTMELO
Mallorca’s talent wins with an incredible move at the last turn of the Grand Prix de Catalunya at Montmelo, capturing his fourth victory of the season and increasing his world championship lead. A difficult race for Leopard Racing’s other rider, Livio Loi.
At 11 o’clock local time, the lights went out at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, scene of the seventh race of the 2017 season. The duo of the Leopard Racing Team started from the second and eighth row with respectively Joan Mir and Livio Loi. All eyes were on the leader of the Moto3 class, here at Montmelò , his home race.
At the first curve, the talent of Palma de Mallorca came to the forefront with rival Fenati, chased by Canet, who came through with the Italian at the first pass. His team-mate Livio Loi defended his position, fighting in the heavy traffic of the category. Mir stood tall in the top six – able to lead the small breakaway group, who in the fourth lap had already created quite the gap. Meanwhile Loi was forced to fend off the attacks of Toba, Norrodin and Kornfeil.
Unfortunately, the 20-year-old from Hasselt was unable to find his rhythm and slipped back, losing positions each lap. On the contrary, Joan Mir remained right in contention throughout. The Spaniard was focused and continued in the middle of the race to push for the podium positions. In the second part, overtaking started to become more common, tactics becoming crucial. Ramirez also joined the company by pushing to the limit and taking advantage of the slipstream.
On the last lap, Martin and Fenati tried to push ahead, but Mir fended off Bastianini and chased after them. When the Italian was about to launch the attack, Mir put him on the inside without hesitation. In the last chicane before the finish line, he made a surprise move which can only be described as a masterpiece to pass Martin, going on to seize his fourth win in seven races. Thanks to this success, Palma de Mallorca’s talent strengthens his leadership in the world rankings (133 points), extending the gap back to his rivals.
#36 Joan MIR – 1st:
“I’m so happy for this victory! I’m also happy with my race management, a long and difficult race, especially in the heat. In the first laps I did not feel comfortable with the new rubber, but with each lap I gained more confidence. In the last round I saw that Fenati and Martin were running away, but I went immediately past Bastianini and in the second sector I had already recovered everything. I was at the limit and my bike protested, I also passed Fenati and I wanted to take Martin: I knew he would close the door in the chicane. I came in direct and I’m glad I passed right at that point, I almost blew it! Performing overtaking victory in that corner, where Luis [Salom] passed last year, for me it’s a tribute to his memory. I want to remain focused exclusively on this 2017 season and on this Moto3 category until the last race.”
#11 Livio LOI – 25th:
“The race for me was not good, I was always on the limit. I still have not found the right feeling. In this week of pause we will study something to find a solution. We will have to come to Assen with something new to make a step forward. Next time!”
Moto3™ Race – Gran Premi de Catalunya 2017:
1 – Joan MIR / SPA / Leopard Racing / Honda / 22 laps
2 – Romano Fenati / ITA / Marinelli RIvacold / Honda / +0.191
3 – Jorge Martin / SPA / Del Conca Gresini / Honda / +0.462
4 – Enea Bastianini / ITA / Estrella Galicia 0,0 / Honda / +0.674
25 – Livio Loi / BEL / Leopard Racing / Honda / +33.396
Moto3™ World Standing 2017:
1 – Joan MIR 133
2 – Romano Fenati 88
3 – Aron Canet 85
4 – Fabio Di Giannantonio 80
17 – Livio LOI 15
Photo credit: Leopard Racing