RACE DAY INDONESIA! As always, it was the Moto3™ class that kicked off Sunday’s show at the Mandalika International Circuit, at 12:00 local time (GMT+8). Hot conditions were again awaiting the lightweight class for twenty-laps of fight for the fifteenth trophy of the season on the line. Daniel Holgado clearly played for the win today as he hoped to regain the championship lead lost in Motegi, but two separate short cuts at turn 9 meant he was given two long lap penalties. The Spaniard took fourteenth in the end, and his two little points scored mean that he is now seventeen points away from championship leader Jaume Masia. Filippo Farioli completed the race in twentieth.
Red Bull KTM Tech3’s Daniel Holgado was up for a good fight on Sunday after he imposed himself as one of the fastest on track this weekend. Second in the combined free practice times, he got himself a seventh place on the grid, decent enough to be able to fight at the front for the big points. When lights went out at 12:00 local time in front of Indonesian fans having traveled to Lombok island in big numbers, he took a rocket start and placed himself very well to be able to overtake a few riders such as Jaume Masia and Daniel Holgado. After one lap, he was third close to Diogo Moreira and Collin Veijer, and the next one he gave an extra push to take the lead of the race. The front group had already formed itself, with Holgado leading Moreira, Veijer, Masia who was on a mission to hold his championship lead, and the likes of Alonso and Oncu. Dani was holding it together while the fight was on behind him with constant overtakes and changes of positions, and he managed to keep the head of the race for twelve full laps. His lap times were fast and regular, with his fastest of the race in 1’39.160 on lap 10. Eventually Moreira started to come a bit closer to challenge the number 96 who tried to defend his position, but while doing so he made a short cut at turn 9, and was immediately given a long lap penalty. Once he had completed it, he was pushed back to tenth position, with everything to do again as five laps remained. His race pace was faster than those in front of him, and in two laps he had already made it back to the top 5, as the group was led by Masia. He continued to push, but again he made a very small short cut at turn 9 again. Barely visible, but the rules remain the same, and he was given another long lap penalty. He did not complete it with just two laps remaining, so he took a three second-penalty at the end of the race, which placed him in fourteenth.
Filippo Farioli had nothing to lose today from the back of the grid in P27. The weekend had not been easy for the young rookie: two crashes on Friday, issues on Saturday, not much went the right way for the Italian on his first time at the Mandalika International Circuit. However, he had shown some encouraging results when he finished sixteenth in the combined free practices, not far from the direct Q2 tickets. At the race start, Filippo held his position in twenty-seventh, before overtaking two riders in the next lap. Still, he appeared to be struggling a bit at the start, a struggle which was later on confirmed by the number 7 who felt vibrations with his front tyre. That was a feeling he had to adapt to and control, but once he had done so, his lap times went down and were more consistent, in the 1’40, with his fastest in 1’40.415 on lap 13, a lap which allowed him to progress to P20, a position he maintained until the checkered flag. It is a disappointing outcome for the Red Bull KTM Tech3 crew after what looked like a promising weekend, but we already have another chance as the team will now head to Phillip Island in the state of Victoria, for the Australian Grand Prix, on October 20-22.
“We did a good race, I was so fast, the race pace was strong, and I was at the front a lot. Unfortunately, I was given two long lap penalties. After the first one, I did a good job coming back, but then the second one killed us. Difficult to swallow, but rules are rules. I am still feeling positive because we were really strong today. Let’s focus on the next one in Australia!”
“From the warm up lap, I had a weird feeling with the front of the bike, and it was the same in the race, I felt a lot of vibrations. We need to investigate where the problem was coming from, because that prevented me from being at 100% during the race. Not our weekend at all, luckily, we have the Australian GP in just one week, so I look forward to a new race week.”
“Huge bitter taste for us right now after this Moto3 race. Daniel Holgado has been strong and fast all weekend, and from the beginning we felt that he was going to fight for big points on Sunday. He raced really hard today, was so fast and consistent, he was at the front most of the time, and I think that the win was possible today. Unfortunately, he made two mistakes with big consequences, as he was given two long lap penalties. Two huge penalties for small mistakes, but rules are rules, and we have to cope with them. He is very disappointed right now, but I am sure that he will learn from today, and he will head to Phillip Island even hungrier than he already is. The gap to the championship leader has increased to seventeen points, but he is still in the race for the title, so we will reset and focus for the Australian Grand Prix. On the other side of the garage, Filippo Farioli went through a rollercoaster this weekend: he had some strong sessions, but his crashes earlier this weekend did not help with the confidence, and he was a bit nervous. During the race, he felt some vibrations in the front tyre, which killed a little bit his race. Filippo needs to stay a bit calmer even when things don’t go his way, and when he will start doing so, the results will come. We will now pack everything and travel to Phillip Island for the Australian Grand Prix!”