Masia snatches French Moto3 win from Sasaki with final lap move

Jaume Masia, Moto3, French MotoGP, 14 May 2022 // Gold & Goose / Red Bull Content Pool // SI202205141128 // Usage for editorial use only //

Jaume Masia defeated Ayumu Sasaki on the final lap of the French Moto3 encounter to claim his second win of the year as he closed on the championship lead.

The original 22-tour contest was red flagged at the end of lap two after a brief rain shower coated the track and caused several riders – including title contenders Sergio Garcia, Izan Guevara and Ayumu Sasaki – to crash out, the race restarted following a 15 minute delay for a 14-lap sprint.  

With the track having since dried – and all the riders that crashed in the initial attempt able to take part in the rejuvenated encounter – Moreira repeated his start from the first race and lead the way early on ahead of Dennis Foggia and Masia.

Masia soon managed to find his way into the lead and led the way for the bulk of the encounter, the KTM Ajo racer fending off the likes of Foggia, the other Leopard Racing entry of Tatsuki Suzuki and GasGas’ Garcia throughout the race.

Having been passed for the lead by Foggia in the final couple of laps, Masia re-paid the favour by snatching back the initiative from the Italian into Turn 3 at the start of the final tour, though soon came under attack by a charging Sasaki.

The Japanese pilot pulled off a bold move on the flip-flop at Turn 10 to move take the leadership, though he left the door wide open into the subsequent slow left-hooker of Turn 11 – thus allowing Masia to fire back down the inside into a lead he would never relinquish, taking the chequered flag just 0.150s clear of a crestfallen Sasaki.

Pole-man Foggia meanwhile failed to even reach the rostrum as Izan Guevara snatched third away in the final set of bends, the Leopard man forced to settle for fourth ahead of team-mate Suzuki.

Carlos Tatay got the better of Garcia on the final lap to take sixth ahead of the series leader, who lost touch with the front group as a result of a mistake at Turn 3 on the penultimate circulation.

Ryusei Yamanaka managed a strong eighth for the second consecutive race ahead of Deniz Oncu, while Migno completed the top ten on his Snipers machine.

The returning John McPhee – who took part in his first race since Qatar in March – managed to secure solid points for 12th just ahead of Riccardo Rossi and Moreira, who ended up only 14th after receiving a long-lap penalty for cutting Turn 3 at around mid-distance.

Garcia’s points advantage has shrunk to just 15 over the now-tied Guevara and Foggia with a third of the season in the books, with Guevara only a further six adrift in fourth overall.

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