Red Bull Ring provided once again the thrills on Sunday with another incredible Moto3™ race. Home to KTM and Red Bull, the fight for the crown in Austria was an intense one, with Red Bull KTM Tech3 willing to make it right on home turf, but so were the others. After an incredible race, championship leader Daniel Holgado eventually took the second position in an extremely tight finish, finishing 0.005 seconds from Deniz Oncu who took the win today. Filippo Farioli took P21 at the CryptoDATA Motorrad Grand Prix von Österreich.
Daniel Holgado had been one of the fastest all week at the Red Bull Ring, which was confirmed on Saturday when he qualified for the front row in second. Fast and confident, there was potential to do a good result for the Moto3™ championship leader who was eager to do well, although there were a few others who had the same objective… Lights went out at 11:00 local time in front of orange fans, and it was Daniel Holgado who exited turn 1 at the top, making the best of poleman Colin Veijer, followed by title contender Deniz Oncü, who had also made the statement over the weekend that he wanted the win in Austria. They were soon joined by another candidate for the crown, Ayumu Sazaki who rode fast all weekend. Quickly, a front group formed itself, and the fight for the win was on. Red Bull KTM Tech3’s Daniel Holgado kept the front, as he set himself up in the fast lap, riding his fastest on lap 5 in 1’41.723. If positions were changing behind him, the championship leader almost never let go the lead of the race, as he defended incredibly well each single attack from his opponents. Positions between the front four were moving, but it was always Dani who closed the laps in front, except for the fourteenth lap. In a tense but enjoyable atmosphere, the front group was 2.827 seconds away from the rest of the riders, all riding with an incredible pace. But who was going to take the win? The Red Bull Ring has been host to exceptional finishes in the past, and today was not going to be any different. With one lap to go, Holgado came out first followed closely by Ayumu Sazaki and Deniz Oncu. The number ninety-six defended his lead in each single corner, until Sazaki eventually took over, but the Spaniard was not going to let go. In that tight and crucial corner, he took the inside of the Japanese, but both riders touched meaning that it was Deniz Oncü who came on top on the final straight, 0.005 seconds in front of Daniel Holgado. Déjà-vu in Spielberg, but Daniel Holgado climbed on the second step of the podium, making it to six podiums this season, as he extended his championship lead to twenty-six points.
Rookie Filippo Farioli qualified in twenty-fourth on Saturday, after two rather difficult days at the Red Bull Ring. Lacking rhythm and confidence on the Austrian layout, the number 7 had hoped for a rocket start if he wanted to target points. Unfortunately, his start was far from ideal, and a few mistakes made him lose a couple of positions as he exited the opening lap in P27. Everything had to be done again, so he tried to focus quickly on his pace, trying to get into a consistent rhythm as he was on the lookout for confidence and regularity. He rode his fastest lap of the race on lap 6, in 1’42.497, and continued to maintain his pace to progressively gain places, lap after lap. In the end, Farioli took P21 at the Austrian Grand Prix.
Round 10/20 completed, we are halfway through the 2023 Moto3™ World Championship! The Red Bull KTM Tech3 team will now head to Spain in Barcelona in two weeks time, for the Catalunya Grand Prix, on September 1-3, 2023.
“Amazing race really. I was strong and fast during the twenty laps. Just like every Moto3 race, the final lap was hectic, and this time Deniz Oncu got the best of me, but well done to him. We score very important points for the championship, as I remain at the top, so I am happy. Because this is KTM’s and Red Bull’s home race, the pressure was very high, but with P2 in qualifying and P2 today, I think that we did an amazing job. Very happy, thank you to my team!”
“Disappoining race, not much to stay. We took a bad start, and then I made a mistake in turn 3 so I struggled to recover the positions, and in general the confidence and pace were not there. Not the result I wanted, but we will focus on the next round in Barcelona. It is a track that I know well, so I hope that we will have a good weekend there.”
“Another fantastic Moto3 race here in Austria! It is more or less the same three riders who are on the podium weekend after weekend, so it shows that they will be fighting hard for the crown until the very last round, and it is exciting. Daniel Holgado led the race most of the time, with his contenders staying very close, so anything could happen until the last corner. Still, he was once again smart and fast, with a great attitude, and was in a great position to win it. However, we got a typical Spielberg ending here. The last two corners are very fast and crucial, and although he had the best speed down the line, his small contact with Ayumu Sazaki made him lose a bit of speed, which helped Deniz Oncu to take the slipstream from these two and pass the checkered flag in first, 0.005 seconds from Dani. I would be lying if I would say that we are not disappointed, because we were really close, but we scored another podium, and are now leading the championship by twenty-six points. It was a great race and a great fight between these three, so congratulations to them, and especially Dani. I am a bit lost for words regarding Filippo Farioli, because we thought that things would improve for him after the summer break. This week, we had a very long chat, we reassured him that we are with him, and that we believe in him, but still the results are not there. We are halfway through the season, so there are still many races to go, we will help him as much as we can. The best thing he can do at the moment is work with his teammate, because he can learn a lot from him.”