Tatsuki Suzuki held off John McPhee to claim his second ever Moto3 victory in the AndalucianGP at Jerez by just 0.064.
The Japanese racer led throughout the majority of the 22 lap contest, deciding to switch up his strategy relative to last week’s Jerez race where he spent most of the race in the lower reaches of the top ten, but was then unable to make up the ground needed to fight for victory.
Leading onto the final lap, Suzuki’s main rival was the Petronas SRT machine of McPhee, the Scotsman having just taken the position from Darryn Binder.
His victory chances were dealt a small blow by Binder attacking him into Turn 5, just allowing Suzuki enough of a gap to hold his lead into Turn 6.
McPhee closed back in on the SIC58 man, but despite having a look into Turn 9 was unable to make a move stick, leaving just the final corner as his opportunity to steal the race at the death.
Suzuki elected to cover the middle of the track, leaving enough of a gap on the inside for McPhee to try a similar move he pulled last weekend-which ultimately ended with him down in the gravel on the exit of the turn.
Suzuki had braked impossibly late though, denying any chance for McPhee to make the move stick, allowing Suzuki a good run to the line to secure victory by the narrowest of margins ahead of McPhee.
Third went the way of Celestino Vietti, the VR46 rider able to get the best of Binder on the final lap to compete the podium placings.
Binder therefore had to make do with fourth, although still a great result considering the South African had come from a lowly 25th on the grid-once again displaying his fearsome overtaking talent.
He initially crossed the line fifth behind Jeremy Alcoba, but the Gresini racer dropped back after crossing the line due to a three-second track limits penalty he had picked up in the closing laps, dropping him to seventh in the final classification.
Gabriel Rodrigo came home fifth following Alcoba’s penalty, while Raul Fernandez also took advantage to bag sixth.
Eighth went the way of Sergio Garcia’s Estrella Galicia Honda machine, while team-mate Ryusei Yamanaka impressed in ninth ahead of Tony Arbolino-who faded towards the end of the 25-lap encounter.
Several high-profile names suffered problems during the race, the biggest of which being championship leader Albert Arenas.
Arenas-who had won both the opening two races of the season-crashed out late on at the fast Turn 11 right hander, his Aspar machine sliding out from underneath him and causing him to slide into the gravel.
He was stretchered off following the incident and headed straight to the medical centre for tests.
Second-placed championship racer Ai Ogura also suffered in this race, having been taken out by Jaume Masia at Turn 9 towards the beginning of the race.
Masia lost the front of his Leopard Racing bike into the bend, leaving Ogura nowhere to go as the bright blue machine skittled him off into the gravel trap and out of the race.
Arenas continues to lead the series despite his retirement heading to Brno in two weeks time, although now by a significantly reduced six point margin over the victorious Suzuki.