Aldeguer secures third straight Moto2 victory, Masia Moto3 champion.
Gresini Racing’s Fabio Di Giannantonio has made his bid to remain in MotoGP beyond the 2023 season clear with victory in the Qatar GP, edging championship leader Francesco Bagnaia while Fermin Aldeguer continued his Moto2 winning streak, and Jaume Masia was crowned Moto3 world champion after finishing on the top step in a heated encounter.
Bagnaia (Ducati Lenovo Team) charged to quickly take control of the lead on Sunday in Lusail, and ultimately stretched away from the field with the number 49 in tow.
With five laps to go Di Giannantonio received the suggested mapping eight message on his dashboard, previously used by Ducati to suggest a rider should remain behind. However, on the next lap, he made a decisive move past Bagnaia for P1, and when the defending champion tried to respond at turn one he ran off the track.
Bagnaia was still able to finish a comfortable second, 2.734s from Di Giannantonio. Pole-setter Luca Marini (Mooney VR46 Racing Team) completed the top three, ahead of Maverick Vinales (Aprilia Racing), Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing), Alex Marquez (Gresini Racing), Fabio Quartararo (Monster Energy Yamaha) and Ducati Lenovo Team’s Enea Bastianini who delivered a blistering pace in the closing stages.
Australia’s Jack Miller was ninth, ahead of sprint race winner and title contender Jorge Martin (Prima Pramac Racing) in P10, the Spaniard having a Sunday to forget with wheelspin off the line and then firmly believing he had a bad rear tyre. Martin now trails Bagnaia by 21 points ahead of the final round of the season next weekend in Valencia.
Beta Tools SpeedUp’s Aldeguer made it three wins on the trot in the intermediate class, ultimately powering to a 2.643s victory at Lusail.
Manuel Gonzalez narrowly finished second, ahead of Aron Canet (Pons Wegow Los40) who completed the podium positions in Qatar.
Japanese talent Ai Ogura (Idemitsu Honda Team Asia) took the checkers fourth, ahead of GasGas Aspar Team’s Jake Dixon in P5, while Moto2 world champion Pedro Acosta (Red Bull KTM Ajo) was eighth on the night.
In Moto3, Leopard Racing’s Jaume Masia took the championship on the top step of the podium, leading David Alonso (GasGas Aspar Team) and Deniz Oncu (Red Bull KTM Ajo) across the line.
The gap between the leading trio was 0.163s, while title-contender Ayumu Sasaki (Liqui Moly Husqvarna Intact GP) finished P6 after an eventful encounter.
Sasaki appeared to be intentionally run wide by Masia on two occasions, forcing him to recover back through the leading group. In the closing stages, Masia’s teammate, Adrian Fernandez, made aggressive moves on the number 71 that dropped him back and away from the front pack.
In a gutsy attempt to regain lost ground, Sasaki bridged back across in the closing stages but a near high side on the final lap brought an end to his challenge.
The Idemitsu Asia Talent Cup also competed in Qatar, with Australian Marianos Nikolis delivering a solid 4-8 scorecard, concluding the series in P10 and four spots ahead of countrymen Levi Russo.