Jaume Masia (Leopard Racing Honda NSF250RW) started today’s Americas Moto3 Grand Prix from pole position and rode a perfect race, shadowing leader Ayumu Sasaki for much of the 14 laps, biding his time.
With two and a half laps remaining Masia finally moved into the lead, out-braking Sasaki at the end of COTA’s super-long back straight. However, Sasaki came back at him the following lap to regain the first place, only to crash a few corners later, with Masia just metres behind him. Masia took dramatic avoiding action, running off track and dropping to the very back of the leading five riders.
With just over two laps remaining it seemed Masia’s hopes of victory were entirely over, but the 22-year-old Spaniard did not give up. The NSF250RW rider quickly caught the leading four and started making some superb moves. Victory did not seem out of question.
At the final corner he snatched second place, to chase 18-year-old winner Ivan Ortola over the finish line, less than half a second behind. The result puts Masia fourth overall in the Moto3 World Championship, with 18 of 21 races completed.
Masia’s team-mate Tatsuki Suzuki (Leopard Racing Honda NSF250RW), who won the Argentine GP two weeks ago. was also in the hunt for another great result until he tumbled out on the ?? lap.
That left Kaito Toba (Sic58 Squadra Corse Honda NSF250RW) Honda’s next-best placed rider in 11th place.
Mario Aji (Honda Team Asia Honda NSF250RW) had a superb ride, charging through from 25th on the grid after a complicated Saturday. The 19-year-old Indonesian made astonishing progress through the pack to finish 12th, his best-ever GP result. The performance was a huge morale boost for the teenager, who is in the early stages of his second World Championship season.
Team-mate Taiyo Furusato (Honda Team Asia Honda NSF250RW) qualified 19th and finished 20th. He learning plenty during the 14 laps, but his hopes of a better result were ruined by a mistake at Turn One, which lost him many places.
After these two races in the Americas the MotoGP circus returns to Europe for the Spanish, French, Italian, German and Netherlands rounds.