Can Öncü makes history as youngest Grand Prix winner

18/11/2018

The Red Bull KTM Ajo Junior Academy rider wins at the Valencia GP, on his debut as a wildcard in the World Championship. Darryn Binder finishes nineteenth after a crash.

 

In a dream debut in the Moto3 World Championship, aged just 15 years and 115 days, Can Öncü wrote his name in the history books as the youngest ever Grand Prix winner this Sunday. The Red Bull KTM Ajo Junior Academy rider was competing as a wildcard, and his excellent Valencia GP also led to him becoming the first ever Turkish winner of a Grand Prix. Darryn Binder had a very difficult race but, despite a crash, managed to finish in nineteenth place.

With the track wet from early rain, Can Öncü took off from the second row of the grid. After making a great start, the Turkish rider moved up into third on the first corner. Despite a small scare on the second lap that forced him to run off track, Öncü managed to maintain his position. When the two riders who were leading the race fell, the Red Bull KTM Ajo rider snatched the top spot on lap 12 and took the chequered flag with an advantage of more than 4 seconds.

Darryn Binder gained ten places on the opening laps. Unfortunately, the South African would then crash at Turn 4 of the second lap, when up into the Top 10. Binder remounted, rejoined the race and finished in a creditable nineteenth position.

At the end of the Moto3 World Championship season, Darryn Binder finishes seventeenth in the standings, with Can Öncü twenty-fourth despite having only one race to his name.

 

Results (Race)
1. Can Öncü (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 43:06.370
2. Jorge Martin (Honda) +4.071
3. John McPhee (KTM) +6.130
4. Fabio Di Giannatonio (Honda) +12.897
5. Enea Bastianini (Honda) +14.735
19. Darryn Binder (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 1 Lap

Moto3 World Championship Standing 2018
1. Jorge Martin (Honda) 260 points
2. Fabio Di Giannantonio (Honda) 218 points
3. Marco Bezzecchi (KTM) 214 points
4. Enea Bastianini (Honda) 177 points
5. Lorenzo Dalla Porta (Honda) 151 points
17. Darryn Binder (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 57 points
24. Can Öncü (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 25 points

 

AKI AJO – TEAM MANAGER

“It has been an incredible day. We couldn’t believe that this could happen. Some might even think that it is too soon, but I must say that both Can and Deniz Öncü have a great attitude and I am sure we will achieve great things in the future with both of them. Can has made history in his first race; He has shown everyone what his attitude is. I would like to congratulate him and the whole team; They -and also Deniz- have a big challenge ahead next weekend at the last FIM CEV round in Valencia.
Darryn [Binder] experienced difficult conditions in the race. However, after a difficult season his end to the year was very good and we all remember his podium at Motegi. We all expected a bit more from today’s race, but when conditions are so difficult, anything can happen, and this time luck wasn’t on our side. I wish him the best for his new adventure next year.”

40 DARRYN BINDER

“This morning in the warmup I felt good on the bike and I was confident that I could have a good race. I knew that if I made a good start, I could fight for the top positions. I managed to climb 10 places on the first few laps, but unfortunately I pushed too hard going into Turn 4 and I crashed. I picked the bike up so that I could finish the season well.
I want to thank the team for all their work, because this has been a difficult year for everyone, but we managed to be stronger at the end of the season and enjoy the races. I wish them all the best.”

61 CAN ÖNCÜ

“For me, the most important thing today was to finish in the points and get a good position, but I did not expect to finish on the podium or win. This morning the track conditions were very bad due to the rain, but when the race began the rain had stopped. When I saw that Bezzecchi and Arbolino had crashed, I decided to take a risk and try to finish first. I saw that I had a big gap, so during the last few laps I tried to manage the situation as best I could. I was not riding on the limit; In fact, on the last lap I was very slow, but there was a point where I didn’t see a puddle of water and I slid; I saw my whole life flash before me then!
My objective before this race was to learn, get experience and try to fight with World Championship riders before they went up to Moto2. In the end I managed to make my dream come true. I didn’t think I would be able to win the race but I am very happy about it. I want to thank Red Bull KTM Ajo and Dorna for all the support that they have given me over these past few years.”

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