The European leg of the 2021 Moto3 World Championship season is go at full speed, with GASGAS Gaviota Aspar riders Sergio Garcia and Izan Guevara battling through absolutely edge of the seat racing at the Autodromo Internacional Do Algarve; narrowly missing out on a podium and points haul.
Like an asphalt roller coaster winding through the heart of the Algarve, there are few places better suited to celebrate the opening European-season-race of the 2021 Moto3 World Championship. While the Autodromo Internacional Do Algarve greeted the GASGAS Gaviota Aspar team with slightly cooler temperatures - around 5°C less on track - compared to the previous two races in the desert, there was no cooling of the white hot battles around the 4.6km (2.8mile) Portuguese track.
Former Moto3 Grand Prix winner Sergio Garcia was on top form coming into the 2021 Grande Prémio 888 De Portugal. The 18-year old showed blistering pace, qualifying in fourth position, just 0.198 of a second off the front row. Better still, Garcia made an awesome start to the 21 lap race, carving through Portimão’s stunning motocross-like-layout with laser guided precision - and getting into podium contention within the first two laps. Frequently trading places with championship leader Pedro Acosta, and pole sitter Andrea Migno.
Garcia looked on course for at least a third place podium - and the associated 16 points - but unfortunately fate dealt a cruel hand on the last lap. Entering turn three rival rider Andrea Migno dived up the inside of Sergio and came into contact with him with his elbows and knees. Using all of his skill Garcia kept his GASGAS RC 250 GP bike upright, however the momentum and speed had been scrubbed off and he eventually crossed the line in eighth.
Meanwhile Junior Moto3 Champion Izan Guevara fell victim to a racing incident between two riders on lap seven. While lapping with consistent speed in the mid-pack, the 16-year old was given nowhere to go, as rival Kaito Toba dived down the inside of Niccolò Antonelli at the apex of turn three. The resulting crash collected Guevara and ended his race. Thankfully the Spanish rider was unhurt, and he vows to bounce back stronger in front of his home crowd in a fortnight’s time.
Now that Moto3 is back on European soil, Sergio, Izan and the GASGAS Gaviota Aspar Team won’t have long to wait before having another chance to battle the competition; with round four of the championship set for just under two weeks time at the Gran Premio Red Bull de España at Jerez on May 2.
#11 - Sergio Garcia: “Compared to the times we have been doing this weekend, today was a really fast race. It is such a pity about the touch I had from behind me on the last lap at turn three. I almost crashed, but it ruined my race then because I was 3rd or 4th with options to fight for the podium. I had the speed all of today, and made a good start. The battles were really good fun during the race but very close. Like I said I had options to fight for the podium, but now I have to focus on bringing more speed when we go to Jerez in two weeks.”
#28 - Izan Guevara: “The race was going well until I had that contact with another rider. I’d made up distance quite well and was with the front group. I had a good rhythm and was running in the low 48s. The bike was also working better, and it was more comfortable for me today. I’m not sure if I could have gone for the podium but I was pushing hard to be there. With six-seven laps done it was over. There was nothing I could do and I had to finish the race with a bent handlebar. I will push to come back as strong as I can at Jerez.”
Jorge Martinez (GASGAS Gaviota Aspar Team Manager): "This was a really fast race, much more than we were expecting. Sergio was right in the hunt for the win and the podium until the last lap. It was a shame that Migno pushed to the inside and made contact with him - with his elbow and knee. At least he could save the crash and finish the race, which is very important. Overall it is a shame for Sergio. The same feeling for Izan; he had made a great comeback, but Toba fell in front of him and he had nowhere to go. It was a complicated situation with a lot of contact. We’ll now hope for a much better race at our home Grand Prix in Jerez.”
Results - 2021 Moto3 FIM World Championship, Round 3:
1. Pedro Acosta (KTM) 21 laps; 2. Dennis Foggia (Honda) +0.051, 3. Andrea Migno (Honda) +0.584, 8. Sergio Garcia (GASGAS), +1.245… 23. Izan Guevara (GASGAS) +1’08.552
Championship Standings - After Round 3:
1. Pedro Acosta (KTM) 70pts; 2. Jaume Masia (KTM) 39; 3. Darryn Binder (KTM) 36; 8. Sergio Garcia (GASGAS) 21; 11. Izan Guevara (GASGAS)19