Starting the Gran Premio Red Bull de España from the eighth position on the grid, Ayumu Sasaki was right in the mix of the front group one more time today. For 22 intense laps at the Circuito de Jerez-Angel Nieto the Japanese kept his strong pace and eventually saw the chequered flag in a strong fifth position, which makes him stick in seventh position of the overall standings.

On the other side, Red Bull KTM Tech3’s Deniz Öncü was starting from P10 and delivered an incredible performance. He took over at the front for the first time on the fifth lap and lead the Moto3 World Champion field for the majority of the race. He managed to hold onto a podium spot in the last lap but unlucky slipped out on the final corner.


Ayumu Sasaki

Position: 5th

Championship: 7th

Points: 33

“Today has been another good race. We are improving. We are definitely fast. Many people took a lot of risks in this race, especially maybe because it’s the Spanish GP and all the Spanish guys are pushing to the limit. I felt like I was good enough to fight for the win, but I was not aggressive enough. I was also thinking about the Championship a little bit and maybe a bit too calm.”

“I didn’t touch anyone, I did my own things and finished the race. The riders in front had a similar pace, but have been just a bit more aggressive than me. This is where we have to improve and sometimes we have to take risks, but today I chose not to take risks. When I feel I have a little bit more, than for sure I fight for the win. To finish fifth is a good result for us. We are seventh again in the Championship, which is not so bad. Now I’m looking forward to France, the home GP of the team.”


Deniz Öncü

Position: 20th

Championship: 23rd

Points: 1

“Honestly, this whole weekend was really good for us, since FP1. We always tried to be alone, push and find a good pace. I was quite good and had a strong speed alone. In the race, I went to the top from P10. I was so consistent, many riders tried to overtake me, but couldn’t hold on for long. I was leading more or less all race long. Unfortunately, in corner six I was braking too late and was too far inside, so I got passed by two, three riders, so I was third on the last corner.”

“When I was entering, I was braking like usual, but I couldn’t bring the bike to the first gear, so I was just sliding in the second gear, tried to stop the bike, but just hit Masia and made him crash as well. I’m really sorry for him! We had such a great weekend, have been working so hard and finally, I crashed in the last corner, which was very painful – not physically. I hope I can continue as strong as this weekend for the next round in Le Mans.”


Hervé Poncharal

Team Manager

“What a Moto3 race! It’s been an incredible long race to watch for us, having Deniz most of the time leading the pack with as usual such a big group fighting together in each corner. When we entered the last three laps and we saw Deniz still in the lead, we were quite confident of a great result. We know how well he has been working all weekend long, doing every session on his own without following anybody. That helped him a lot during the course of the race, because he was clearly the fastest guy on track, when he was on his own and the only one who could pull the pack.”

“Unfortunately, Jerez is Jerez. In that very last corner so many things happen and this is part of the history of this circuit. I think Deniz was passed down the back straight of the last lap and I really believe he couldn’t accept not to be at least on the podium. Eventually, he made that fatal mistake in the race that is robbing him from a strong result. He was devastated at the end of the race and it was very difficult to calm him down. But this is showing how much he is involved, how much he is putting all he’s got into his race. There is no way to say ‘if, if, if’, he’s been strong and this is what he has to keep in mind. We need to keep the positives, go to the next race with the same spirit, the same attitude and the same work.”

“Ayumu did a great race, he was always in the pack and you could see that he was quite wise just doing what was enough to be in contention for a top 5 finish, which is what he got. He was very close, so I think he definitely doesn’t have to be ashamed of anything. He did a strong weekend, a strong race and ended up one more time in the top 5. He is now P7 in the Championship and we are proud of Ayumu. He has matured a lot this year and is a much better rider, a much more complete rider than last year and hopefully, he can carry on pushing and targeting some podiums in the near future.”

“Anyway, it was an incredible race, a beautiful race. Unfortunately, this didn’t end up the way we wanted. I would like to thank the whole crew from both Ayumu and Deniz. I would like to thank Red Bull and KTM for supporting us and I think there was a great show for Red Bull KTM all race long. One day it will be our turn to be on the top spot of the podium.”


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