David Alonso snatched a third Moto3 win of 2023 away from Jaume Masia and Deniz Oncu on the final lap of a breathless San Marino lightweight class grand prix.
The Colombian focussed on saving his rubber across the entirety of the 20-lap contest as the likes of Leopard Racing’s Masia and Ajo’s Oncu did their best to string out the pack, the former nearly escaping the entire field in the early laps before the latter towed the rest of the pack onto the Spaniard.
From then on it was about clicking off the laps, though the leading duo’s pace advantage once again came to the fore as the race reached three-quarters distance, Oncu putting the hammer down under pressure from Masia, an event that broke the field up and allowed the leading quartet – also including Alonso and BOE Motorsports’ David Munoz – to sprint clear.
Oncu led the way at the start of the final tour as Alonso battled to find a way through on Masia, something he achieved at Turn 10, before an opportunity was gifted to him as Oncu ran wide at Turn 13 – though the GasGas man followed suit and allowed Masia a free run down the inside.
Masia very nearly lost the front though as he braked impossibly late, allowing Alonso to switch back on the exit of the hairpin and re-take a leadership he would never relinquish, leaving him to secure supremacy by just 0.036s ahead of Masia, with Oncu completing the rostrum just moments behind.
Series leader Daniel Holgado meanwhile suffered a second straight non-points scoring outing after struggling for speed throughout the encounter, the Tech 3 rider eventually taking the chequered flag 16th after falling outside the top 15 late on – his freefall meaning his points lead has been slashed to just four over Husqvarna’s Ayumu Sasaki, with Masia and Oncu closing to 12 and 17 markers adrift respectively.
Munoz fell off the back of the leading trio in the final couple of tours after nearly losing the front of his bike to take fourth ahead of Colin Veijer, the sister Husqvarna entrant pulling well clear of the battle for sixth but doing so too late to do anything about the leaders.
Kaito Toba ultimately came out victorious in the tussle for sixth for the Sic58 squad ahead of Sasaki, while Ivan Ortola recovered from an early wide moment at the hairpin to secure eighth ahead of Jose Antonio Rueda.
Snipers racer Romano Fenati completed the top ten having rallied back through in the closing stages, while Diogo Moreira fell all the way to 12th in the final reckoning having challenged strongly within the leading group in the opening half of the contest.