Aron Canet wins Austin battle to take first victory for Max Biaggi team
Aron Canet took the Max Biaggi-run team's maiden Moto3 victory after resisting a late attack from Andrea Migno in the Americas Grand Prix.
Canet and Migno inherited the lead when long-time leader Tatsuki Suzuki crashed late on, with the Max Racing runner prevailing in a frantic final-lap battle to win his first race since the 2017 British Grand Prix.
Raul Fernandez nailed his launch from second on the grid to take the lead on the Angel Nieto KTM, while poleman Niccolo Antonelli slotted into second ahead of Gresini rider Gabriel Rodrigo.
Antonelli threw his SIC58 Honda up the inside of Fernandez at Turn 7, though surrendered the lead to Rodrigo at Turn 12 on the second lap.
The pair traded places on the following lap, with Antonelli resisting a daring attack from CIP's Darryn Binder at Turn 2 on the fourth tour to remain at the front of the pack.
Antonelli's lead only lasted a handful more corners, as Estrella Galicia rider Alonso Lopez hit the front at the end of the back straight at Turn 12, while the sister SIC58 bike of Suzuki closed them down.
Suzuki soon deposed Lopez and begun a reign at the head of the field which looked unassailable at one point, with the Japanese rider building up a buffer of eight tenths.
Canet worked his way into the position of chaser on Suzuki by lap eight, but struggled to bridge the 0.8s gap, while Migno steadily worked his way from 13th on the grid to 0.8s behind Canet in third.
Migno made his move on Canet on lap 12, the Max Racing rider unable to retaliate on the run into the final corner.
Suzuki's lead shrunk as Migno and Canet locked horns, but still maintained enough of a gap to remain relatively comfortable.
However, the Japanese rider crashed at Turn 7 with five laps to go, releasing Migno into the lead for the first time.
Canet led on the final lap having passed Migno at Turn 1 on the previous tour, and fought back immediately when Migno lunged up the inside of his at Turn 12, before building up a gap of 0.909s to take victory.
A late resurgence from Migno's Bester Capital Dubai team-mate Jaume Masia, who dropped to 18th at one stage, ended in him snatching second from Migno at Turn 15, while Rodrigo was denied a podium by just 0.027s.
Canet and Masia now sit equal on 45 points at the top of the world championship standings.
Antonelli ended up fifth ahead of Tony Arbolino [Team O] and Fernandez, with Lopez and VR46 duo Celestino Vietti and Denis Foggia completing the top 10.
Romano Fenati [Team O] collided with Prustel's Jakub Kornfeil after getting caught out by a bump at Turn 18 on lap 10. Qatar race winner Kaito Toba [Team Asia] also fell at Turn 18.