Red Bull KTM Tech3’s Deniz Öncü delivered a stunning show in today’s Catalan Grand Prix. Starting from 12th position on the grid, the Turkish youngster was fighting for the top 10 in the first half of the race but made a genius move on lap 12 to jump from ninth to the lead. Fighting for the podium, Öncü then crossed the line in fourth, but got upgraded when Jaume Masia in front of him received a penalty. There with, the 17 years old was standing on the rostrum in Grand Prix racing for the very first time.

Mixed fortunes dominated the Red Bull KTM Tech3 garage though, as Ayumu Sasaki, who was inside the top group as well throughout the race, lost control of his KTM on the last lap and was hit hard. The Japanese lost consciousness for a little while, suffering a head trauma, he was transferred to the local hospital for a full checkup. Luckily, he didn’t sustain any severe injuries.


Deniz Öncü

Position: 3rd

Championship: 17th

Points: 24

“Today is one of my happiest day of my racing life as I did my first podium here at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya. This means so much to me! We have been working a lot this year. Apart from the two races in Qatar, I was always fighting for the podium, however the unlucky part of racing was with me all the time apparently. So, I was missing something. This weekend, everything just worked out and I was lucky. I’m lost in words and really happy, it’s just amazing!”


Ayumu Sasaki

Position: DNF

Championship: 6th

Points: 57


Hervé Poncharal

Team Manager

“That was another thrilling Moto3 race, which is difficult to follow, when you’ve got two riders involved in that race. But we were happy to see our two guys, Ayumu and Deniz in the front group, fighting there with many other riders.”

“I think Ayumu did really well until a few laps to the end, because we could see him a lot in front. Unfortunately, he had a crash on his own in the very last lap of the race, but was hit by some other riders. We were a bit worried, when we knew he was going to the medical center. Finally, he was taken to the local hospital because he had a head concussion and lost consciousness for a short while. The good news is, he is 100 percent ok brain-wise and there is nothing wrong with his body. They will just keep him over night to be sure, that everything is ok. Thank God! We are very happy about that.”

“On the other side of the garage, Deniz did a super good race, very exciting. We could see that he was waiting for the last laps to come back to the front. Once he was there, it was obvious that he was very strong in braking. He was quite clean and one of the few riders never touching the green and keeping himself on the track. The last lap was frantic, unbelievable. We saw him almost on the podium, but he was crossing the line in fourth and almost at the same time, we learned that Masia exceeded track limits and had to drop one position, so that was a podium for us.”

“It is a great feeling and a great reward for Deniz. He is really improving a lot since we started with him at the beginning of 2020. He has had some bad luck, I just want to remember the last race in Jerez a few weeks ago. Deniz is only 17, but he is growing a lot and this is very well deserved. He is pushing, he is dedicating like almost nobody is doing in the paddock. I’m glad, he could do it here, in front of his manager Kenan Sofuoglu. It’s a good story for us and I think this podium will be followed by quite a few more from Deniz. Get well soon, Ayumu and we will have you two in Germany, hopefully both fighting for the podium and ideally both on the podium – that would be a dream!”


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