As expected, the weather got worse on Sunday as the rain and strong winds took over Phillip Island, just in time for the races. Exceptionally, the Moto3™ class was given a ten minute-window for a warm up session early this morning at 8:20 LT (GMT+11), in order to get ready in the wet and cold track conditions which awaited them for the race, advanced to 10:00. Shortly after, things turned into a nightmare for Daniel Holgado who crashed in the sighting lap as riders went to place themselves on the grid. Thanks to great teamwork through rain and wind, the bike was fixed in time for the race. The Spaniard managed to take P13 in extremely difficult track conditions with very little visibility, and scored three points, while teammate Filippo Farioli crashed.
The weekend had not been so easy so far for Daniel Holgado at the Australian Grand Prix who had struggled to find the right bike’s setting, but eventually in qualifying he found good directions and was looking forward to Sunday’s race. But then the weather got bad, and everything had to be re-done, as the lightweight class had not gotten any wet track time since the start of the weekend. If we want to push a bit more, the class had not raced in the wet since the Argentinian Grand Prix, the second round of the season. These things aside, the warm up session went well for the Spaniard who was fifth at the end of the ten allocated minutes. Everything appeared to be good. However, when it was time to head to the grid, Dani crashed in the sighting lap, and brought a broken bike to the grid. Luckily, his mechanics were able to fix it just in time for the race, and allowed the Spaniard to go out there and defend his title chances. When lights went out, he jumped to two positions ahead after he started eleventh, but gave them back the next lap to find himself behind Riccardo Rossi. Track conditions were tricky, a lot of rain and not much visibility, so all riders took a couple of laps to find the confidence to push a bit more on a damp track, including Dani who was riding more or less two seconds slower than the front group led by Adrian Fernandez. Struggling to find a good pace, he dropped positions progressively, until he was in P16 at lap 9. Eventually, the confidence came progressively, and he rode his fastest race lap on lap 11 in 1’55.382, which were roughly the lap times of today’s podium finishers in their fifth/sixth laps. As he felt pain from his earlier crash, the laps were getting more and more difficult. He held on, and managed to finish thirteen and score three points. After sixteen rounds, he sits in third in the riders championship, twenty-two points from leader Jaume Masia.
For Filippo Farioli, things didn't go as he would have wanted today. After a positive warm up session this morning in which he looked confident in the rain, the young Italian had hopes of a top 15. However, with the weather getting worse just in time for the Moto3™ race, the rookie’s confidence took a hit as the race started on a damp track. It took him a bit of time to adapt to the conditions, and once he had done so, he was able to start pushing more. On lap 8, he rode a lap in 1’55.789, which was faster than his teammate at the time. Unfortunately, he made a mistake in the following lap while he was trying to overtake another rider, and crashed. This is a great shame for Farioli who had gotten into a decent race pace.
This is a disappointing weekend overall for the Red Bull KTM Tech3 crew who leaves Australia with just three more points in the pocket on Daniel Holgado’s side. The team will now hope for better luck as we are heading to Buriram for the OR Grand Prix of Thailand, on October 27-28-29.
“Difficult day, very rainy, windy, and so cold! I made a mistake in the sighting lap and crashed. We had to fix the bike quickly on the grid, but my team did an amazing job and we were able to take the start as normal. In the race, I tried my best, but conditions were really tricky. It is not the result we wanted, so I want to apologise to my team. We will rest, reset and go to Thailand with new goals.”
“There was a lot of water on track at the race start, so I did not feel very confident on the bike at the start and for the first few laps. But lap after lap, I felt better and we got into a good rhythm under the rain. Unfortunately, I crashed in turn 4 while I was trying to overtake another rider. I went a bit long, and when I opened the gas I did a big highside. I feel a bit of pain in my body, but I am ok overall. We will rest, get warm, and look forward to heading to Thailand in warmer conditions.”
“It was a tricky weekend overall for the Red Bull KTM Tech3 crew here at the Australian Grand Prix. The conditions were not very good, with a lot of rain and wind, in addition to low visibility. Daniel Holgado never seemed to feel comfortable on this track this weekend, and things got worse when he crashed in today’s sighting lap, which is obviously not the best way to start a race. His mechanics managed to fix the bike in time. However, he injured one toe and his wrist, which made the race difficult for him. He was in pain, but did everything he could and finished thirteenth. On the other hand, Filippo Farioli felt confident after this morning’s warm up in which he looked good in the wet, but in the race he suffered another crash. It is a great shame, because he was hoping to score some points this weekend. These are not at all the results we are targeting in Moto3, so we hope that the sun will shine a bit more for the Red Bull KTM Tech3 crew next week in Thailand.”