Sergio Garcia and the SANTANDER Consumer GASGAS Team enjoyed the ultimate slice of redemption in Austria - at the Bitci Motorrad Grand Prix von Österreich - by taking a thrilling victory after charging through the field from 13th on the grid.
There is simply nothing better than back-to-back weekends of racing. For fans it means more edge-of-the-seat action, and for the riders and teams it means more opportunities to do what they do best; fighting for positions and points on track. At the 2021 Austrian Grand Prix, this couldn't apply more accurately to Sergio Garcia and the SANTANDER Consumer GASGAS Team.
Just seven days after the drama of the Styrian Grand Prix - where Garcia lost the win due to a shock crash on the final lap - the 18-year-old Spanish ace managed to take ultimate redemption in Spielberg. A charge through the field, a chance to stand on the top step of the podium, and his third victory of the year… Here’s how he did it.
Starting from 13th on the grid, Garcia’s pace was immediately clear as he managed to make up eight places in the first two laps of the race. By the eighth circulation, Garcia had battled his way into podium contention with the bright and dry 34°C conditions suiting his GASGAS RC 250 GP machine perfectly. What’s more Garcia looked comfortable and blisteringly fast in the leading pack - where the top-eight riders were covered by a handful of tenths of a second.
Racing into the closing stages, Garcia kicked things up a gear again, taking the bar-to-bar fight to championship rival Pedro Acosta. As the saying in racing goes; timing is everything, and Garcia managed his second race in as many weeks at the Red Bull Ring in fine style. On the final lap, Garcia burst into second position at turn four, and then lined up rival Deniz Öncü for a race winning move in the penultimate corner. A short full-gas sprint to the line, and the win was in the bag. Better still, a third win of the season brings a further 25 points to Garcia’s championship campaign, closing the gap to leader Acosta from 53 to 41 points.
As if the action at the front of the field wasn't enough to keep the SANTANDER Consumer GASGAS Team on the edge of their seats, former Junior Moto3 World Champion Izan Guevara rode an intense and dramatic race.
Having looked fast all weekend, Guevara qualified into 10th place for Sunday’s Grand Prix. While an uncharacteristically slow start meant Guevara dropped down to 16th, the 17-year old from Palma remained steely-eyed, and quickly battled back up into the top 10.
By lap 15 Guevara had closed the gap on the leading group to just 2.659 seconds, and by lap 19 Guevara recorded the fastest lap of the race - a new lap record - of 1'36.058 at a blistering 161.8 Km/h. Four laps later, Guevara crossed the line in 8th, just one-tenth of a second from seventh placed John McPhee.
Next up is Round 12 with the Monster Energy British Grand Prix at Silverstone on the 29th of August.
#11 - Sergio Garcia: “What a beautiful race! At the beginning it was very difficult because the pace of the race was very, very strong; I pushed to the limit on every lap. On the last lap I pushed again and managed to come through from third into second at turn 4. Then on the second-to-last corner I managed to get into the lead, and it was a full speed sprint to the finish. This is simply an amazing victory - and it is amazing for the team. It is our third win of the season, and it is so good for the championship.”
#28 - Izan Guevara: "The race started pretty badly and I lost quite a few positions. I was spending too much time in the second group and that allowed the first lot to get away with a five second gap. I focused and pushed to go forward and gain ground. We knew we had a good rhythm here but with so many straights it was hard to recover time. I don’t know how I did it but I caught them up. I had an outside chance of the podium but it was a tough task and when someone overtook me on the last lap I couldn’t make it. Anyway, I’m pretty happy. We did quite well."
Results - 2021 Moto3 FIM World Championship, Round 11:
Championship Standings - After Round 11: