Marcos Ramirez scores maiden Moto3 victory at Barcelona
Marcos Ramirez secured his first Moto3 victory in a thrilling Catalan Grand Prix at the Circuit de Barcelona Catalunya, edging Aron Canet for the win on the final lap.
Ramirez, who started way down in 12th, remained a part of the leading group of riders for the entirety of the 21-lap contest, but started to make moves on the final lap.
He was fourth heading into the final sector, but a crash from leader Kajto Toba into Turn 10 that caused Canet and Alonso Lopez to run wide opened the door for the Leopard Racing rider and he vaulted into the lead by Turn 11.
He then survived a late dive from Canet into the final corner to secure his first victory in the lightweight class in his 53rd start.
Canet managed to hold onto second to increase his championship lead, as chief rival Lorenzo Dalla Porta-who entered the weekend just three points behind the Spaniard- suffered a mechanical problem while leading and was forced to retire.
Celestino Vietti meanwhile scored his second podium finish of the season in third for the VR46 junior squad, while Lopez slipped to fourth by the flag just ahead of the second of the VR46 man Dennis Foggia.
Front row qualifier Ai Ogura had a strong race to finsish sixth, his best Moto3 result, while Romano Fenati recovered from 22nd to finish seventh.
Kazuki Masaki, impressive wildcard rider Ryusei Yamanaka and Jakub Kornfeil rounded out the top 10 finishers.
Several top riders slipped out of contention in the closing stages aside from Arbolino and Toba, including John McPhee who had looked strong towards the head of the pack.
The Scotsman was also a victim of turn ten, suffering a huge high-side as he asked for the power from his Petronas SRT Honda on corner exit. He somehow managed to stay on the bike and continue, salvaging 14th place and two championship points.
Tatsuuki Suzuki and Tony Arbolino also looked fast during the early stages of the race, but also ran into their own issues.
Suzuki was touched by Albert Arenas on the entry to turn ten and crashed, but managed to remount and finish 20th, while Arbolino suffered a mechanical problem early on that forced him to retire from the leading group.
Pole-man Gabriel Rodrigo also failed to see the flag, as Darryn Binder crashed out and took the unfortunate Argentine with him.