Sama Qatar Ángel Nieto Team rider involved in race-long mid-pack battle for eighth
Romano Fenati set pole position in Austria yesterday but after being pushed back one position due to a penalty imposed on a number of riders for slow riding in Q2, the Italian came out fighting to take his first victory of the season in today’s race. Tony Arbolino, John McPhee, Celestino Vietti and Jaume Masiá scrapped it out behind him for the final two podium positions, the latter crashing out on the final lap to miss out on a breathtaking finish. Just 0.023 seconds covered the three riders over the line, with Arbolino taking second, McPhee third and Vietti missing out on the podium in fourth. In the chase for the championship Lorenzo dalla Porta finished sixth to retake the lead by a single point from Aron Canet, who was tenth.
Albert Arenas and the Sama Qatar Ángel Nieto Team were back in the points with an important eleventh position that ends the recent drought for the Spaniard and gives him an important boost in confidence for the remainder of the season. Arenas was not able to stick the pace at the front as he lost ground in the first two sectors, but he made up for it in the second half of the lap to hold his position in the mid-pack. His teammate Raúl Fernández crashed out on the seventh lap when he was in eighteenth place, meaning he stays sixteenth in the championship in his rookie season. Sama Qatar Ángel Nieto Team Junior rider Max Kofler scored his best Grand Prix result in 20th position, ahead of a bunch of more experienced riders in a difficult race due to the weather conditions.
11th Albert Arenas: “It was important to finish this race although it wasn’t easy in these conditions. I always want more but today I couldn’t do better. We were really struggling in the first two sectors, where the others were getting away from me, but I could take more risks at the end of the lap than them and make it up again. We have to work out why this was the case and keep pushing for more in the next round.”
20th Max Kofler: “The race conditions were difficult, we left the garage on wet tyres and then changed to slicks on the grid. It was still damp in the last sector so I had to be careful there. Twentieth place is my best result in the World Championship and I finished ahead of a few more experienced riders, so I am happy because the level is very high this year.”
Raúl Fernández (DNF): “I made a good start but I got pushed wide onto the damp part of the track in turn one and couldn’t pass anybody back. If you can’t get onto that dry line it is difficult to make any overtakes. I am usually good in the wet and have won races in these conditions before but today it wasn’t to be. I am struggling at the moment to fight at the front. This is a learning year and we are working hard but something is holding us back at the moment.”