Italian riders dominated an action-filled Moto3 race at the TT Assen on Sunday with KTM rider Andrea Migno (Sky Racing Team VR46) finishing third for a career best finish. Andrea Bagnaia won the race with Fabio Di Giannantonio in second for an all-Italian sweep.

Andrea Migno in fact crossed the line in second place after a photo finish with Bagnaia but race officials then bumped him down to third after what they deemed was an illegal overtaking move in the final straight. Migno’s teammate Romano Fenati was a race leader for much of the 22-lap contest and finished fourth. Nicolo Bulega, the third member of the VR46 squad crossed the line in seventh. KTM riders Joan Mir and Red Bull KTM Ajo’s Bo Bendsneyder, competing on his home circuit, were 8-9 for what was Bendsneyder’s best ever result.

Migno passed Fenati in the closing stages of the race and looked a winner with just 200 meters to the line. Speaking after the race he said: “With 200 meters to go to the checkered flag I was at 120%. I passed on the curb in the last corner and I took a risk because I braked very strong. I’m very happy because I was fast all weekend and I feel I have been strong. This podium is very important for me and for my team. I work very hard and I never give up.”

The race, which was tightly fought throughout and for the first two thirds between a group of 13 riders separated by just two seconds, took a dramatic turn in the 16th lap. The lead constantly changed back and forth between about five riders and championship leader Brad Binder of Red Bull KTM Ajo was a major podium contender throughout. But then he almost lost control of his KTM RC250 GP after a brief, too close encounter with Migno. Binder made an impressive save but ran off the track onto the wet grass and rejoined the race back at 13th place. Returning to the fray with wet and muddy tires, the South African then had to ride out the last six laps with caution and finally finished in 12th place, just over 12 seconds off the winning pace. Binder still salvaged four points and advances to a 48-point lead in the championship, now at its half way mark. It was the first time this season that he has not finished on the podium.

Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup Race 1
In desperately slippery conditions pole man Raúl Fernández won a shortened Race 1 at Assen. The 15-year-old Spaniard had already settled into a nice rhythm at the head of the field when the chasing pack of three all slid off together. Eight seconds behind, Marc Garcia and Ai Ogura took second and third.

While those around him made mistakes Fernández rode the perfect race. “From the start it felt strange but from the second or third lap I found my rhythm and was comfortable on the bike. After halfway I knew that I had a big lead and when it started to rain more I used my head and took it easy. With more rain the good feeling was gone, it was a lot more slippery and I couldn’t brake or accelerate as hard. It is great to have my first win here, I love the track and it was a hard race. I dedicate the win to Luis Salom and his family,” added the Madrid native who moved into third place in the championship chase.

Next Race: July 17, 2016 – Sachsenring (GER)

Results Moto3 Assen 2016
1. Francesco Bagnaia (ITA), Mahindra, 38:11.535 min (22 laps)
2. Fabio di Giannantonio (ITA), Honda, +0.039 sec
3. Andrea Migno (ITA), KTM, +0.018 (one place penalty)
4. Romano Fenati (ITA), KTM, +0.084
5. Niccolo Antonelli (ITA), Honda, +0.136

Other KTM
7. Nicolo Bulega (ITA), KTM, +0.826
8. Joan Mir (ESP), KTM, +0.839
9. Bo Bendsneyder (NED), KTM, +1.023
11. Philipp Oettl, (GER), KTM, +1.153
12. Brad Binder (RSA), KTM, +12.169
14. Maria Herrera (ESP), KTM, +18.518
DNF Andrea Locatelli (ITA), KTM, +4 laps
DNF Juanfran Guevara (ESP), KTM, +15 laps
DNF Gabriel Rodrigo (ARG), KTM, +21 laps
DNF Fabio Quartararo (FRA), KTM, +21 laps

Standings Moto3 2016 after 8 of 18 rounds
1. Binder, 151 points
2. Jorge Navarro (ESP), Honda, 103
3. Fenati, 93
4. Bagnaia, 79
5. Bulega, 75

Other KTM
7. Mir, 50
11. Quartararo, 39
12. Migno, 37
15. Oettl, 32
16. Locatelli, 30
18. Guevara, 25
21. Bendsneyder, 14
25. Rodrigo, 6
28. Herrera, 4

Results Race 1 Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup Assen 2016
All riders on KTM RC250 RB
1. Raúl Fernández (ESP), 18:15.415 min (9 laps)
2. Marc Garcia (ESP), +8.108 sec
3. Ai Ogura (JAP), +8.535
4. Ayumu Sasaki (JAP), +9.079
5. Kevin Ogris (GER), +9.527

Standings Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup 2016 after 3 of 13 rounds
1. Sasaki, 58 points
2. Aleix Viu (ESP), 45
3. Fernández, 44
4. Garcia, 31
5. Rofino Florido (ESP), 29