SANTANDER Consumer GASGAS Team rider Sergio Garcia kept everyone on the edge of their seats this weekend. Leading the race, setting multiple fastest laps, crashing on the final lap and scrambling back to second place.
The wait is finally over. After 42 long hazy summer days, the Moto3™ World Championship is back in business! What’s more, the action went from 0-100 in the blink of an eye, as the SANTANDER Consumer GASGAS Team rolled into the Styrian mountains for the first weekend of an exciting double-header of events in Austria.
An opportunity to kick back during the summer break had clearly done wonders for 18 year old Spanish young gun Sergio Garcia. Aboard his GASGAS RC 250 GP machine, Garcia attacked the rolling Spielberg circuit from the outset; staking his claim on a second place grid slot for Sunday’s 2021 Michelin Grand Prix of Styria.
Proving that even a fall at turn three during qualifying on Saturday had done little to dent his focus for the podium, the starlet romped away into the lead at the start of the race on Sunday. The decision to run wet tyres proved to be a crucial one - as Garcia spent the majority of the 23-laps sparring with championship leader Pedro Acosta, while the duo consistently pulled away from the chasing pack.
Lap after lap the battling pair gapped their pursuers, while Garcia led the way. Better still, Garcia looked comfortable despite the slippery conditions, setting fastest laps on lap seven and 13. It wasn't until the very final lap that disaster unfortunately struck. After trading paint through turns three and four, Garcia lost the front of his GASGAS RC 250 GP machine under braking into turn nine.
Quickly scrambling out of the gravel and dusting himself off, Garcia jumped back onboard and scorched to the finish line, thankfully managing to retain second place, and a vital haul of 20 championship points. A relieved Garcia bagged a fourth podium of the season, and he now sits second in the championship on 130 points.
Teammate and SANTANDER Consumer GASGAS rider Izan Guevara used the first race back after the summer break as a learning experience. Having notched up a solid P5 qualifying position in Saturday’s dry conditions, Guevara struggled to get to grips with the wet race tarmac on Sunday.
The former Junior Moto3 Champion battled traction issues and slipped back to 14th by the final flag - still netting a further two championship points in the process.
With eight more races to go in the 2021 season, the SANTANDER Consumer GASGAS Team is in second place in the team’s championship with a healthy 49 point lead over their next nearest rivals. Next up is the Bitci Motorrad Grand Prix von Österreich – at the same venue - on the 15th of August.
#11 - Sergio Garcia: “The race was absolutely incredible until the last few corners on the last lap! I lost the front into turn 9 but I jumped up as quickly as possible to get back on the bike. I knew we had managed to pull a gap on the riders in third and fourth position, so I was able to recover and still finish P2. It’s still great for the championship to get the points, and at the next race - if we improve a few more little things - we can fight for the win again. It’s a super exciting way to start racing again after the summer break!”
#28 - Izan Guevara: “It was a difficult race for me; I found it extremely tricky in the wet! I had a weird feeling on the bike during the race, and I was losing traction and struggling for grip. This meant I couldn’t keep the line I wanted in the corners. I got faster as the laps went on and the track was drying, but the others were a bit too far ahead. I’ll take the points which are always important, and I know I am strong in the dry here; so I hope next Sunday will not be a wet race.”
Results - 2021 Moto3 FIM World Championship, Round 10:
1. Pedro Acosta (KTM) 23 laps; 2. Sergio Garcia (GASGAS) +14.431, 3. Romano Fenati (Husqvarna) +15.410, 14. Izan Guevara (GASGAS), +37.514
Championship Standings - After Round 9
1. Pedro Acosta (KTM) 183pts; 2. Sergio Garcia (GASGAS) 130pts; 3. Romano Fenati (Husqvarna) 96pts; 16. Izan Guevara (GASGAS) 38pts