Jaume Masia (Leopard Racing Honda NSF250RW) fought like a lion in the first Grand Prix race at Jerez today, battling from the early stages of the 19-lap skirmish to the chequered flag.
The 22-year-old Spaniard was going for his seventh GP win and rode superbly. He came through from seventh at the end of the first lap, making some audacious overtake moves to grab the lead for the first time with a super-brave move through the fast lefts after the Turn-Six hairpin.
From there the lead see-sawed between Masia and at least half a dozen rivals, who were just millimetres apart as they sped around this epically flowing circuit, watched by a capacity crowd of more than 100,000 fans.
The sweet handling of Masia’s NSF250RW allowed him to keep regaining the lead whenever the lost it and he commenced the final lap in first place. However, such is a frantic nature of Moto3 racing that he soon found himself demoted to fourth place, regaining third place and a podium position with just a few corners remaining.
Masia finished a close second last time out at the Grand Prix of the Americas, so he now stands a close fourth overall, with 17 of 21 races remaining.
The next Honda rider past the chequered flag was his team-mate Tatsuki Suzuki (Leopard Racing Honda NSF250RW), who finished less than two seconds behind the winner!
Romano Fenati (Rivacold Snipers Team Honda NSF250RW) had been in the top five in the early laps, slipping to 11th at the finish, just ahead of fellow Honda riders Scott Ogden (Visiontrack Racing Team Honda NSF250RW) and Matteo Bertelle (Rivacold Snipers Team Honda NSF250RW)
Taiyo Furusato (Honda Team Asia Honda NSF250RW) had one of his better rides, taking a 16th-place finish, just one point outside the World Championship points. The 17-year-old from Kanoya had come through well from 23rd on the grid.
Team-mate Mario Aji (Honda Team Asia Honda NSF250RW) also had reason the be happy, the 19-year-old Indonesian qualified 26th and finished 19th, inside the top 20.
Next stop for the Moto3 World Championship is Le Mans, France, on 14th May.