Leonard Smith was at Phillip Island for the Michelin MotoGP Grand Prix and caught the action from the junior classes – here the Moto3
Joan Mir (Leopard Racing) is the 2017 Moto3™ World Champion after winning his ninth race of the season in the Australian GP. Teammate Livio Loi followed him over the line in second as he took an impressive podium on the comeback from injury, with polesitter Jorge Martin (Del Conca Gresini Moto3) completing the top three.
Off the line it was Gabriel Rodrigo (RBA BOE Racing Team) who got through Turn 1 first, before Jorge Martin fought back – and the battle began. Fabio Di Giannantonio (Del Conca Gresini Moto3) was the first to fall out of contention from the leaders, before Aron Canet (Estrella Galicia 0,0), Juanfran Guevara (RBA BOE Racing Team) and Jules Danilo (Marinelli Rivacold Snipers) had different incidents to lose out – leaving a group of eight riders fighting it out: Rodrigo, Marcos Ramirez (Platinum Bay Real Estate), Loi, Mir, Enea Bastianini (Estrella Galicia 0,0), Romano Fenati (Marinelli Rivacold Snipers), rookie Ayumu Sasaki (SIC Racing Team) and teammate Adam Norrodin.
Fenati – fighting to keep his title hopes alive – took his turn at the front for a number of laps, before key rival Mir began to make his move. Shuffling into Turn 1 then saw another name fall from the fight at the front, with Martin and Ramirez getting a little too close for comfort and the Platinum Bay Real Estate rider forced wide – and then going down.
Back at the front, Mir was pushing on. Making it to the front the Majorcan was able to keep just ahead of the game for a number of laps – until some spots of rain started to appear. Suddenly, the heavens opened – and with 2/3 race distance done, the Red Flag that came out marked the end of the race.
Initially unaware as the grid slowed and the Majorcan looked to the screens around the track for confirmation, Mir then realised he was 2017 Moto3™ World Champion.
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Photos by Leonard Smith, October 2017
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