In an unbelievable Moto3™ Grande Prémio Brembo do Algarve, Pedro Acosta (Red Bull KTM Ajo) is crowned 2021 lightweight class World Champion after winning in Portimao for a second time this season. Dennis Foggia (Leopard Racing) was taken out at Turn 3 on the final lap after leading for the majority of the race in Portimao, as the Italian experiences late heartbreak after a sensational run of form. Andrea Migno (Rivacold Snipers Team) and Niccolo Antonelli (Avintia VR46 Academy) picked up podiums, but the day – and season – belongs to Acosta.
Polesitter Sergio Garcia (MuchoNeumatico GASGAS Aspar Team) grabbed the holeshot into Turn 1 with Adrian Fernandez (Sterilgarda Max Racing Team) getting the better of John McPhee (Petronas Sprinta Racing) down the hill. Foggia lost a couple of places on the first lap but the pocket rocket slipstreamed his way to P1 at the beginning of Lap 2, with Acosta 12th at the end of the first lap.
However, Acosta was carving his way through the pack expertly and starting Lap 3, Acosta was 6th. Foggia, up front, had a stellar Lap 3 to set the fastest lap of the race and stretched a lead over Darryn Binder (Petronas Sprinta Racing) to 0.6s. Meanwhile, Acosta was now P4 after passing Fernandez and McPhee – the latter crashing unhurt at Turn 13 on Lap 5. Foggia’s lead then disappeared and crucially for the Italian, teammate Xavier Artigas (Leopard Racing) was in the top three – and making life difficult for Acosta.
On Lap 9, Acosta finally got the better of Binder into Turn 5 and the top two in the title chase were now 1-2 in Portimao. Foggia leading Acosta with 13 laps remaining. Diving down the hill into Turn 1 on Lap 10, Acosta led for the first time. However, he was wide, allowing Foggia and Binder to get back past. Now though, Acosta had his teammate Jaume Masia with him as a wingman, with Artigas dropping outside the top 10.
And just like that, Masia was past Acosta at the start of Lap 13, then shoved his way up the inside of Foggia at Turn 3. Masia sat up Foggia, the Spaniard took the lead and following his teammate through… Acosta. Turn 5 on the same lap saw Acosta then take the lead, but Masia returned the favour on the front straight. Acosta then looked behind him and in doing so, lost time. Suddenly, after leading, Acosta was sixth – and Foggia led again!
What. A. Race. This was a titanic battle for the title, with Foggia leading from Binder and Acosta with five laps to go. At his favoured Turn 13, Acosta grabbed second from Binder and once again, it was Foggia and Acosta 1-2. With four to go, it was as you were. With three to go, Turn 3 saw Acosta overtake Foggia. Turn 5 saw Masia crash as Acosta found himself 0.5s up the road from Foggia.
Two to go. Foggia reeled in Acosta using the slipstream, but as things stood, Acosta would be crowned Champion. Not for long though. A brilliant move up the inside at Turn 11 gave Foggia the lead once more, as the riders clocked onto the final lap. Foggia 1st, Acosta 2nd.
Then, Turn 3, drama. Unbelievable drama on the last lap. Acosta dived up the inside of Foggia for the lead, a move we’d seen before. However, braking way too late, Binder was in hot. The South African collided into the back of Foggia, who crashed, with Garcia also getting caught up in the incident. Heartbreak for Foggia.
This left Acosta as the race leader. Making no mistake on the last lap, Acosta took victory from P14 on the grid to be crowned 2021 World Champion, capping off a phenomenal season for the rookie sensation.
Jeremy Alcoba (Indonesian Racing Gresini Moto3) picked up P4 ahead of Izan Guevara (MuchoNeaumatico GASGAS Aspar Team) and Ayumu Sasaki (Red Bull KTM Tech3) – the latter duo producing fine performances after taking Long Lap penalties in the race. Romano Fenati (Sterilgarda Max Racing Team), Artigas, Tatsuki Suzuki (SIC58 Squadra Corse) and Filip Salač (CarXpert PrüstelGP) rounded out the top 10.
Fernandez, Carlos Tatay (Avintia Esponsorama Moto3), Moto3™ Junior World Championships Daniel Holgado (Red Bull KTM Tech3) and Joel Kelso (CIP Green Power), and Alberto Surra (Rivacold Snipers Team) completed the points.
Binder, after causing the crash that saw Foggia and Garcia go down on the last lap, was disqualified from the race after crossing the line P4.
So there we have it – Pedro Acosta is the 2021 Moto3™ World Champion. A young Spaniard taking the world by storm, Acosta has been nothing short of phenomenal this season and becomes the first rookie lightweight class Champion since Loris Capirossi in 1990. Commiserations to Foggia, who now heads to Valencia hoping to end his classy campaign on a high, both riders giving us a title chase to remember.
1. Pedro Acosta (Red Bull KTM Ajo)
2. Andrea Migno (Rivacold Snipers Team) + 0.354
3. Niccolo Antonelli (Avintia VR46 Academy) + 0.880
4. Jeremy Alcoba (Indonesian Racing Gresini Moto3) + 1.768
5. Izan Guevara (MuchoNeaumatico GASGAS Aspar Team) + 1.839
6. Ayumu Sasaki (Red Bull KTM Tech3) + 1.874
7. Romano Fenati (Sterilgarda Max Racing Team) + 1.972
8. Xavier Artigas (Leopard Racing) + 2.333
9. Tatsuki Suzuki (SIC58 Squadra Corse) + 3.423
10. Filip Salač (CarXpert PrüstelGP) + 6.591.
GRANDE PRÉMIO BREMBO DO ALGARVE
Portimao, Sunday, November 07, 2021
|1||25||37||Pedro ACOSTA||SPA||Red Bull KTM Ajo||KTM||151.9||38’04.339|
|2||20||16||Andrea MIGNO||ITA||Rivacold Snipers Team||Honda||151.9||+0.354|
|3||16||23||Niccolò ANTONELLI||ITA||Avintia VR46||KTM||151.9||+0.880|
|4||13||52||Jeremy ALCOBA||SPA||Indonesian Racing Gresini Moto3||Honda||151.8||+1.768|
|5||11||28||Izan GUEVARA||SPA||MuchoNeumatico GASGAS Aspar Team||GASGAS||151.8||+1.839|
|6||10||71||Ayumu SASAKI||JPN||Red Bull KTM Tech 3||KTM||151.8||+1.874|
|7||9||55||Romano FENATI||ITA||Sterilgarda Max Racing Team||Husqvarna||151.8||+1.972|
|8||8||43||Xavier ARTIGAS||SPA||Leopard Racing||Honda||151.8||+2.333|
|9||7||24||Tatsuki SUZUKI||JPN||SIC58 Squadra Corse||Honda||151.7||+3.423|
|10||6||12||Filip SALAC||CZE||CarXpert PruestelGP||KTM||151.5||+6.591|
|11||5||31||Adrian FERNANDEZ||SPA||Sterilgarda Max Racing Team||Husqvarna||151.5||+6.940|
|12||4||99||Carlos TATAY||SPA||Avintia Esponsorama Moto3||KTM||151.3||+9.392|
|13||3||96||Daniel HOLGADO||SPA||Red Bull KTM Tech 3||KTM||151.3||+9.930|
|14||2||66||Joel KELSO||AUS||CIP Green Power||KTM||151.3||+9.996|
|15||1||67||Alberto SURRA||ITA||Rivacold Snipers Team||Honda||151.2||+10.416|
|16||82||Stefano NEPA||ITA||BOE Owlride||KTM||151.2||+11.650|
|17||20||Lorenzo FELLON||FRA||SIC58 Squadra Corse||Honda||151.1||+11.695|
|18||54||Riccardo ROSSI||ITA||BOE Owlride||KTM||151.1||+11.736|
|19||5||Jaume MASIA||SPA||Red Bull KTM Ajo||KTM||151.0||+13.616|
|20||92||Yuki KUNII||JPN||Honda Team Asia||Honda||150.0||+30.001|
|21||6||Ryusei YAMANAKA||JPN||CarXpert PruestelGP||KTM||149.9||+30.183|
|22||19||Andi Farid IZDIHAR||INA||Honda Team Asia||Honda||149.9||+30.249|
|27||Kaito TOBA||JPN||CIP Green Power||KTM||90.6||8 Laps|
|7||Dennis FOGGIA||ITA||Leopard Racing||Honda||151.9||1 Lap|
|11||Sergio GARCIA||SPA||MuchoNeumatico GASGAS Aspar Team||GASGAS||151.9||1 Lap|
|17||John MCPHEE||GBR||Petronas Sprinta Racing||Honda||151.5||17 Laps|
|40||Darryn BINDER||RSA||Petronas Sprinta Racing||Honda||0 Lap|
|29||Andi Farid IZDIHAR||Honda||INA||4|
Credits : Photos and content courtesy of motogp.com