Lewis Duncan  |    |   1  |  18 November 2018

15-year old Wildcard Can Oncu wins dramatic Valencia finale

15-year-old Ajo wildcard Can Oncu cruised to a historic maiden Moto3 victory in his debut race after long-time race leader Tony Arbolino crashed out of a wet Valencia Grand Prix.

Arbolino looked set for a comfortable first win after several rivals crashed early on, but he too fell foul of the conditions, gifting reigning Red Bull Rookies Cup rider Oncu his and Turkey's first grand prix success.

Poleman Arbolino grabbed the holeshot at the start, and resisted an attack from Prustel GP's Marco Bezzecchi on the run into the second corner, while Ajo KTM wildcard Can Oncu slotted into third.

Behind, chaos unfolded when SIC58 rider Tatsuki Suzuki crashed and collected Aron Canet [EG 0,0] and Leopard's Lorenzo Dalla Porta at Turn 4.

Arbolino already put six tenths between himself and Bezzecchi at the end of the opening tour, while Oncu continued to shadow the pair.

Bezzecchi's charge ended when he crashed at Turn 4 on lap four, releasing Arbolino to a 2.3s lead over Oncu, while John McPhee inherited third.

However, the CIP rider could do nothing to stop the Gresini duo of Fabio Di Ginannantonio and new world champion Jorge Martin from scything through at Turns 7 and 8 on the seventh lap.

Arbolino opened up his lead to close to three seconds over the next few laps, but his hopes of a maiden victory were dashed when he was flicked from his Honda at Turn 4 at mid-distance.

This released Oncu into a seven-second lead, while Martin was unable to advance ahead of stablemate Di Giannantonio.

A mistake from Di Giannantonio exiting the final corner allowed Martin through into second, while McPhee would soon pounce on the Italian for the last step of the podium.

Oncu kept his lead at a stable eight seconds through to the flag, surviving a late scare at Turn 6 on the last lap to become the youngest grand prix winner in history.

Martin held onto second for his ninth podium of the season, while McPhee completed the rostrum for only the second time this year.

Di Giannantonio headed Enea Batsianini on the sister Leopard bike across the line, with Jaume Masia [Bester Capital Dubai], Niccolo Antonelli [SIC58], Honda Asia's Nakarin Athiratphuvapat, Masia's teammate Marcos Ramirez and Celestino Vietti [Sky VR46] rounding out the top 10.

Ayumu Sasaki [SIC] was 11th, while the final points went to CIP's Stefan Nepa, Nieto wildcard Raul Fernandez, teammate Andrea Migno and Jakub Kornfeil, who recovered from a crash at Turn 12.

Kornfeil's Prustel teammate Bezzecchi fell again at Turn 12 just seconds later while running in 14th, and was 20th at the flag after a run through pitlane to fix some fairing damage.

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