A hot and windy climate and dusty track conditions continued to afflict the MotoGP paddock as the world championship remained in the Middle East and registered a second consecutive Grand Prix at the Losail facility. The circumstances throughout Free Practice, Qualification and then the 18-lap race itself on Sunday evening presented problems for the Moto3 field due to the tyre abrasion from the asphalt and the physical difficulties of coping with the relentless gusts.
The Sterilgarda Max Racing Team went into the second event of nineteen with optimism after the fast pace shown by both Fenati and Grand Prix rookie Fernandez the previous Sunday. Only Long Lap penalties held the Italian and the Spaniard back from being higher than 11th and 17th in the classification.
Fenati managed to log top-ten lap-times in three of the Free Practice sessions but was then hit with a sanction for slow riding in FP2 from Friday and forced to start the Grand Prix from pitlane with six other riders. His 14th position from Q2 was discarded and the fifth row grid slot was actually occupied by Fernandez who subsequently moved up the order.
Both racers had to regain ground and find positions in the first phase of the GP early Sunday evening. Fenati pushed hard to close a seven-second gap and latch into the second half of the lead group. Fernandez had already been fighting intensely in the top ten and in search of his first Grand Prix points until he crashed out with four laps to go. Fenati continued and was able to improve on his classification from the previous Sunday by finding his way to 10th, less than two seconds from the race winner.
After the extended period in Qatar, MotoGP returns to Europe and will travel to the Algarve International circuit in Portimao for the Grande Premio 888 de Portugal in two weeks time.
Romano Fenati: “I’m happy about the race and to come from the pitlane to 10th was really good. We lost a bit near the end because we had to short-shift. It was important to finish like this and go to Portimao knowing we are strong and we can continue this form.”
Adrian Fernandez: “For being just my second race I was happy and we worked well with the team. It’s just a shame we were only four laps away from the end when another rider hit me and I crashed. I was competitive though and we have to be pleased about this.”
Max Biaggi, Team Principal: “The race was very exciting to watch and I was very impressed by Adrian who did a great job in just his second race of the year. He was right inside the top group. I’m quite optimistic about him and his potential and he was unlucky to be put off the track. Romano came back strong but he struggled to overtake riders and be more aggressive to pass. We have some points but the result might have been better today.”
Results – 2021 Moto3 FIM World Championship, Round 2
1. Pedro Acosta (KTM) 38:22.430, 2. Darryn Binder (Honda)+0.039, 3. Niccolo Antonelli (KTM) +0.482 10. Romano Fenati (Husqvarna) +1.967, DNF. Adrian Fernandez (Husqvarna)
World Championship standings
1. Pedro Acosta (KTM) 45pts; 2. Darryn Binder (Honda)36pts; 3. Jaume Masia (KTM) 32pts; 11. Romano Fenati (Husqvarna) 11 pts; 20. Alonso Lopez (Husqvarna) 0 pts.