On the Misano World Circuit, the 21-year-old from the Leopard Racing Team took an emphatic first career victory in his 48th race in the World Championship. An unfortunate conclusion of the weekend for Enea Bastianini, blamelessly involved in a multiple rider crash at the start.
Sunday morning opened with ideal temperatures and a hot sun on 4226 m of the Misano World Circuit, theater of the thirteenth race of the 2018 season. The Leopard Racing duo, Enea Bastianini & Lorenzo Dalla Porta, started the day on the right foot and finished Warm Up in 3rd and 10th position respectively. Both riders had strong motivations: Bestia running in front of his home fans, and for Lore it would be his 48th start in the World Championship, the same as his glorious yellow race number.
At 11 o'clock, the traffic lights of the San Marino Grand Prix switched off, with the Leopard Racing bikers making solid starts and maintaining their positions. But on Lap2 on the straight, a multiple fall caught the blameless Enea Bastianini, the local hero was forced to say goodbye to his dreams of glory, fortunately avoiding any physical consequence.
With a series of fastest laps in a sequence, Dalla Porta engaged in a duel with Bezzecchi & Martin in the leading group. At the beginning of the Lap8 the Tuscan rider broke the tie and took command of the race. Laps by laps the two Italians exchanged the lead, with the other three rivals waiting. On Lap14 Lorenzo moved back to the front, followed closely by Diggia: now 3 Italian riders at the head of the race – the crowd roaring in excitement.
At this point the pursuers got closer, but the lone representative of the Leopard Racing Team resisted, trying to close all the spaces. His rivals approached and altogether began to push closer and closer to the limit. On the last lap the leader of the championship, Bezzecchi, slipped away and into the gravel, with the two riders of the Gresini team taking the opportunity to get ahead.
But Lorenzo Dalla Porta was in an incredible form today: with a masterful manoeuvre he cut through the two Gresini duo to steal victory by 0.0058s in true Moto3 style. It's his first career triumph ever in the World Championship and the best way to celebrate his renewal with the Leopard Racing Team, which was announced yesterday.
Above all it’s a clear sign of his mental and competitive growth on the Honda NSF 250 RW after the podium of Losail and the front row at the cancelled Silverstone. In the rankings, Enea Bastianini retains 5th place, while Lorenzo Dalla Porta moves up to 8th with 88 points. The MotoGP show returns in two weeks, on the weekend of 21-23 September at the MotorLand track, where the Aragon Grand Prix will be held.
48 Lorenzo DALLA PORTA - 1°
"I am living a dream here in Misano on the weekend of confirmation with Leopard Racing! I wanted to do well in front of the home crowd; I started well and I tried to make my rhythm. We were five riders in the lead group, but I felt very strong and I knew I had something more in the fast corners. When Diggia passed me I let off on the brakes and closed the front, but I managed to open the gas before him. It is my first victory, sweaty and deserved, even for all the sacrifices I have made. It's my 48th race in the World Championship, like the number of my bike, the number of my grandmother's birth year: a sign from destiny! After the finish line I took so long time on the track, I screamed inside the helmet. I thank my family, my fans and the whole team, today the bike was fantastic!"
33 Enea BASTIANINI - NC
"A race to forget! I had a good start, then I made a small mistake and I did not have time to recover as unfortunately a rider ahead of me fell and it was impossible to avoid the pile of bikes and riders. Fortunately I did not hurt myself and the other riders seem OK, but I lost the opportunity to recover points in the standings. But nothing is lost, the games are still open: we have to push hard and believe it!"
Moto3™ Race – San Marino Grand Prix 2018:
1 – L. Dalla Porta / ITA / Leopard Racing / Honda / 23 giri
2 – J. Martin / ESP / Del Conca Gresini / Honda / +0.058
3 – F. Di Giannantonio / ITA / Del Conca Gresini / Honda / +0.122
NC – E. Bastianini / ITA / Leopard Racing / Honda /
Moto3™ Riders World Standing 2018:
1 – Jorge Martin / 166
2 – Marco Bezzecchi / 158
3 – Fabio Di Giannantonio / 137
5 – Enea BASTIANINI / 117
8 – Lorenzo DALLA PORTA / 88
Moto3™ Teams World Standing 2018:
1 – Del Conca Gresini / 303
2 – Redox Pruestel GP / 249
3 – LEOPARD RACING / 205
4 – Estrella Galicia / 149
5 – Angel Nieto Team / 127