Courageous Top 10 for Raul Fernandez at Sachsenring15/07/2018
Red Bull KTM Ajo stand-in makes incredible fightback from 25th to 9th position, after going off track due to contact with another rider when fighting for the podium.
The Red Bull KTM Ajo Moto3 team went into the Moto3 summer break in good form, thanks to a ninth place for Raul Fernandez at Sachsenring. The Spaniard, replacing the injured Darryn Binder this weekend, also made a great comeback, having dropped to 25th place on Lap 10.
Fernandez, who started 17th after a three positions penalty yesterday in the qualifying session, gradually climbed up the order to reach fifth on Lap 10, entering into the fight for the podium with a large group of more than ten riders. Unfortunately, on the last corner of that lap he ran off the track after being hit by another rider, falling down the order as a result.
Despite being out of the lead group, the young talent refused to give up and set a spectacular pace, a second faster than the frontrunners, to reach the points again. That was seven laps from the end and, with the clear objective of finishing in the Top 10, Fernandez continued to overtake, crossing the finish line in 9th position and less than 6 seconds behind the race winner.
The Spanish rider thus ends a great weekend in his first Grand Prix appearance with Red Bull KTM Ajo, achieving 7 points. The next Moto3 World Championship race will be held after the summer break, in the Czech Republic, from August 3rd to 5th.
1. Jorge Martin (Honda) 39:36.427
2. Marco Bezzecchi (KTM) +2.515
3. John McPhee (KTM) +2.571
4. Marcos Ramirez (KTM) +2.936
5. Aron Canet (Honda) +3.028
9. Raul Fernandez (Red Bull KTM Ajo) +5.383
Moto3 World Championship Standing 2018
1. Jorge Martin (Honda) 130 points
2. Marco Bezzecchi (KTM) 123 points
3. Aron Canet (Honda) 92 points
4. Fabio Di Giannantonio (Honda) 91 points
5. Enea Bastianini (Honda) 84 points
22. Darryn Binder (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 20 points
23. Raul Fernandez (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 13 points
Aki Ajo – Team Manager
“It’s been a very good weekend for Raul [Fernandez]. On Friday he made a great start and we saw how focused he was, showing great maturity when working in practice. Saturday was not easy, as he put too much pressure on himself, but again he showed consistency and a very good preparation for the race, something rare to see from such a young rider. In the race a rival drove him off track, something that usually happens in Germany, but he was able to make an incredible comeback. We are very happy with his performance and we have to congratulate him on that.”
#25 Raul Fernandez
“The team had told me that it would be tough on the first lap, because Sachsenring is a narrow circuit and you can lose a lot of places. I started out calmly and was able to move up a few positions. When I saw that Martin wasn’t pulling away, I tried to keep in the group because I thought that at the end we could stay with him and fight at the front. It was a shame that, when I was fifth, another rider touched me and took me off the track, but I kept a cool head and tried to recover as much ground as I could. When I saw that I could get back into the group, I could hardly believe it, I pushed hard to catch those who were fighting for the podium, but the tyre was quite worn out at the end. I want to thank all the Red Bull KTM Ajo team for giving me this opportunity, because they helped me a lot, especially Aki [Ajo] who has supported me with the psychological aspect in particular. I have achieved my best result in the Moto3 World Championship, and I am very happy about it.”