Izan Guevara put in a performance that felt as if it could define the championship as he controlled MotorLand to ease to victory in the Moto3 Aragon Grand Prix, round fifteen of the championship.
The current championship leader started from pole with a great run previously on home soil – winning both of the rounds previously held in Spain.
That track record was maintained after a breakakway at the front of the race.
Leading from the front for Autosolar GasGas Aspar and never truly challenged for the lead, the Spanish rider initially had Daniel Holgado and Ayumu Sasaki go with him, with the front row starters holding station out front.
Holgado was dropped first, with Sasaki closing in for a final push for position on the penultimate lap.
The #28 instead pulled away for his fourth win of the season, leading over the line by almost a second with a 0.937s gap.
Sterilgarda Husqvarna Max rider Sasaki was unable to answer so had to settle for second, with his own gap back to Holgado, running solo in third.
The Red Bull KTM Ajo rider was on the front row for the third time in his rookie season, but before this round had not translated his qualifying form into podium success. This time he enjoyed his first podium finish and was quick to congratulate his friend on the win, the pair also having helped each other find the best line in qualifying on Saturday.
Deniz Oncu was kept from the front of the grid with a bike issue in qualifying, which left him down in 13th on the grid. The Turkish rider wasted no time in cutting through the pack and soon found himself taking over from Tatsuki Suzuki at the front of the chasing group.
Setting a new best in race lap record was not enough to be able to bridge the sizeable gap the lead trio had carved out for themselves, but one in fourth the Red Bull KTM Tech3 rider was unchallenged for the position.
After his controversial qualifying experience, which saw the Max Racing team members sanctioned for their actions, Adrian Fernandez seemed to have a fire lit underneath him for Sunday. His electric performance saw him race his way to fifth in a seven way battle to the line from the chasing group, his best finish to date.
Angeluss MTA team rider Ivan Ortola put on some strong moves in the final corners to climb to sixth, with fellow rookie David Munoz (BOE Motorsports) seventh after a long lap penalty for forcing Fernandez wide earlier in the race as he was perhaps too aggressive on his way through from 16h on the grid.
Twice a winner at Aragon, Jaume Masia made late gains to claim eighth in the crowded rush to the line for Red Bull KTM Ajo, just ahead of Carlos Tatay (CFMoto Racing PreustelGP).
McPhee 10th despite bike issues
John McPhee brought home the second Sterilgarda Husqvarna Max Racing bike in an up and down race for the British rider.
Qualifying fifth McPhee immediately looked at home in the chasing group and able to fight to the front and lead the chase to the breakaway trio.
The issues he had experienced in practice then returned and the #17 was unable to switch gear, dropping him out of the top ten. Fighting back he made top five again after much fiddling to get his bike moving again only for the issue to rear its head again with three laps remaining. Fighting hard the Scottish rider came home tenth in the main group.
Eleventh went to Xavier Artigas on the second CFMoto entry. He just kept Tatsuki Suzuki behind on the first of the Leopard bikes to cross the line.
Title hopefuls falter
Sergio Garcia was next to the line in the incredibly close gang to meet the flag.
The Spaniard, who lost his title lead to Guevara last time out in San Marino had a tough time out on track. Trying hard to make up for his twelfth on the grid, every time he made up places he was pushed back after trying too hard and running tight or wide.
One place further back in 14th was Dennis Foggia. The Italian had brought himself back into the championship race after winning the San Marino Grand Prix but never featured at all in the race and was off the huge group crossing the line on his Leopard entry.
The final point on offer went to Diogo Moreira ( MT Helmets – MSI), who also came back from a long lap loop penalty, his was for exceeding track limits.
Maria Herrera and her all female team and crew at MTA Angeluss finished 27th with regular female rider Ana Carrasco (BOE Motorsports) ahead in 25th.
Crashes and penalties
Lorenzo Fellon fell off at turn one on the very first lap and took both Nicola Carraro and Joshua Whatley with him. Scott Ogden was the best of the VisionTrack riders in 22nd,
Ryusei Yamanaka fell later on the same lap but rejoined for seven more laps before retiring.
Where does that leave the championship?
Izan Guevara now extends total to 229 points moving his lead from a slim eleven to a substantial 33 point gap over team-mate and rival Sergio Garcia who only added three points to his tally.
Dennis Foggia only gained two points to leave him a very distant third overall, with Ayumu Sasaki’s second moving him into fourth overall on 158 points.