Romano Fenati scores first Moto3 win since 2017, Aron Canet loses title advantage
Romano Fenati dominated at the Red Bull Ring to secure his first Moto3 victory since 2017 in a mixed conditions Austrian contest.
The race started with a clear dry line around most of the 4.5km circuit, but was extremely damp off-line. Fenati, as well as Snipers team-mate Tony Arbolino and pole-man John McPhee, relished the tricky conditions and pulled away from the group behind at a rapid rate.
The trio lapped over half-a-second per lap quicker than the group led by title contender Lorenzo Dalla-Porta to build a lead of over four seconds at one point, before Fenati moved into the lead and began to pull away just prior to mid-distance.
The Italian- who secured pole on the road before being penalised for blocking- was able to pull away from Arbolino and McPhee by setting a string of fastest laps, eventually breaking the slipstream which allowed him to build a lead of nearly three seconds.
This allowed him to control the gap towards the end to secure victory by two seconds, while the chasing duo were being caught at a rapid rate by Celestino Vietti and Jaume Masia as the track dried out in the final stages of the race.
Vietti and Masia were pulling in the front three by nearly a second a lap at points, ultimately catching Arbolino and McPhee with just a lap and a half remaining.
Masia attempted to make a move on McPhee at Turn 9 but was pinched by the Scot, running wide onto the damp part of the track and crashing out of the race.
The remaining trio battled throughout the final lap, and it looked as if Vietti would snatch second from Arbolino as he got superior drive on the run to the line. He was unable to capitalise though, and was even usurped by McPhee who snatched third and missed out on second by just a wheel length.
Behind the leading four Marcos Ramirez led home Leopard team-mate Dalla Porta in fifth and sixth places, while Kazakhstani rider Makar Yurchenko scored his best ever Moto3 result in seventh.
Jakub Kornfeil came home eighth ahead of Niccolo Antonelli, while Aron Canet lost his championship lead after he could manage just tenth in the race, dropping behind Dalla Porta by just a singular point heading to Silverstone.