Two more points for Deniz Öncü on his Le Mans debut


Red Bull KTM Ajo rider completes the third round of the Moto3 Junior World Championship in fourteenth position. Brother Can places twenty-eighth after an incident on the first chicane.


The Red Bull KTM Ajo Moto3 Junior World Championship team made their debut at Le Mans this weekend, coinciding with the MotoGP World Championship’s visit to the historic French track. The third round of the season -featuring the fourth race of the year- was held on Saturday. Deniz Öncü fought his way back from the seventh row to finish fourteenth, while Can Öncü had to battle from 36th place to reach 28th at the chequered flag.

Deniz Öncü started from twenty-first on the grid, convinced that he would be able to enter the points in his first race at the French track. The Red Bull KTM Ajo rider made a good start, placing eighteenth position on the first lap and part of a group of 13 riders competing for ninth place. Deniz waited until 2 laps remained to attack, breaking into the points. After crossing the finish line in fifteenth position, a penalty for another rider moved him up to fourteenth.

Can Öncü experienced bad luck this Saturday, having to take evasive action to dodge an incident between two other riders on the first chicane. That relegated him to 36th position on the first lap. The Red Bull KTM Ajo rider did not throw in the towel, however, and for the remaining 16 laps he pushed hard, leading his group and finishing in twenty-eighth.

With four races already contested in this FIM CEV class, Can is nineteenth in the overall standings with 7 points, while Deniz is 23rd with 4 points. The next round, featuring two Moto3 races, will be held at the Barcelona-Catalunya Circuit on June 10th.


Results (Race)
1. Aleix Viu (Honda) 29:31.913
2. Raul Fernandez (KTM) +1.667
3. Ai Ogura (Honda) +2.248
4. Somkiat Chantra (Honda) +2.408
5. Yuki Kunii (Honda) +3.743
14. Deniz Öncü (Red Bull KTM Ajo) +24.012
28. Can Öncü (Red Bull KTM Ajo) +37.775

Moto3 Junior World Championship Standing 2018
1. Raul Fernandez (KTM) 78 points
2. Manuel Pagliani (Honda) 58 points
3. Aleix Viu (Honda) 49 points
4. Yuki Kunii (Honda) 48 points
5. Somkiat Chantra (Honda) 41 points
19. Can Öncü (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 7 points
23. Deniz Öncü (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 4 points


“I liked this circuit a lot and it was a good race today at Le Mans. During qualifying I took 21st, because I didn’t manage to go very fast in that session. We should also bear in mind that we did not have any free practices, so the laps we put in during the two QPs were the first ones that I did at this track. Despite this, today in the race I finished 14th. I made a good start but then I struggled a bit and lost some positions. There was a large group of riders so I had to fight hard and be strong. I was fighting to keep moving up positions but this was my limit. I wanted to finish in the Top 10 but it wasn’t to be today. The next race is in Barcelona, and I’m looking forward to getting back on my KTM.”

“My race was affected by the incident on the first chicane. I had made a good start, holding my position, but there was an incident between two riders in front of me and I lost a lot of time trying to avoid them. I was very far back and the only thing I could do was push hard to try to climb up the order as much as I could. Overtaking moves amongst the group lost us time and that’s why when I was at the front of the group, the closest riders ahead of us were already far away. I liked the Le Mans circuit a lot, it’s beautiful. I’m looking forward to the next race in Barcelona and hope everything goes well without any more scares.”