Can Öncü signs off 2018 season with podium in Valencia


Red Bull KTM Ajo rider ends the FIM CEV campaign with sixth and third place finishes in the final round. Deniz Öncü completes the races 24th and 26th.


One week on from his becoming the youngest ever Grand Prix winner, Can Öncü was back in Valencia for the final round of the FIM CEV series. The Turkish rider -the first from his country to win a World Championship race- placed sixth and third in the two races held at the Ricardo Tormo Circuit this weekend. Brother Deniz ended the season with 24th and 26th place finishes.

In the first Moto3 Junior World Championship race, Can Öncü started from eighth on the grid and smarting from a crash suffered in the morning warmup. He kept in the second group and ran a pace similar to that of the frontrunners. On a close final lap, Can crossed the line sixth. Deniz Öncü had a difficult first race, but was able to take the chequered flag. Red Bull KTM Ajo rider claimed 24th place in the opening contest on Sunday.

In Race 2, Can Öncü was able to challenge in the front group from the get-go, leading the contest at various points and exchanging overtaking moves at the head of the field. Two laps from the scheduled end to the race, a crash brought out the red flag, and on the countback Can took third place. The rostrum was his third of the season, taken on his final race before making a permanent move up to the Moto3 World Championship. In the second race, Deniz Öncü experienced the tough nature of starting from far back on the grid. The Turkish rider would gain places over the course of the race, finishing 26th.

The Moto3 Junior World Championship season ends with Can Öncü 7th overall, with 95 points to his name. Deniz is 14th in the final standings, with 39 points.


Results – Race 1
1. Ai Ogura (Honda) 30:32.961
2. Jeremy Alcoba (Honda) +0.064
3. Raul Fernandez (KTM) +0.084
4. Aleix Viu (Honda) +0.395
5. Sergio Garcia (Honda) +9.901
6. Can Öncü (Red Bull KTM Ajo) +9.931
24. Deniz Öncü (Red Bull KTM Ajo) +41.945

Results – Race 2
1. Sergio Garcia (Honda) 25:27.491
2. Ai Ogura (Honda) +0.060
3. Can Öncü (Red Bull KTM Ajo) +0.195
4. Raul Fernandez (KTM) +0.297
5. Yuki Kunii (Honda) +0.369
26. Deniz Öncü (Red Bull KTM Ajo) +0:32.444

Moto3 Junior World Championship Standing
1. Raul Fernandez (KTM) 209 points
2. Sergio Garcia (Honda) 132 points
3. Manuel Pagliani (Honda) 131 points
4. Jeremy Alcoba (Honda) 131 points
5. Ai Ogura (Honda) 128 points
7. Can Öncü (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 95 points
14. Deniz Öncü (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 39 points


Aki Ajo – Team Manger
“We had a difficult weekend. On Friday the track conditions weren’t consistent, and that made it difficult to find a good setup for the bike. Deniz [Öncü] hasn’t been able to get his confidence back 100% since his crashes in Albacete. However, he is a rider with great talent, so I am sure that during the winter he will regain it.
As for Can [Öncü], it was difficult for him to concentrate and race here in Valencia after his victory in the World Championship last week. This morning he suffered a heavy crash but however, he managed to overcome all this and achieved another great podium in the second race, demonstrating once again his magnificent talent.”

“After the last race in Albacete I lost a little confidence. That meant that today in Valencia I didn’t feel confident enough to fight for the top positions in either of the two races. This winter we have to work hard to regain confidence for next year. We have a lot of work to do, but I’m very excited about next season and I will do everything possible to make it even better than this one.”

“The first race did not go as we had hoped, because I suffered a crash in the warmup and my right arm was painful throughout. In the second race, I thought about how it was going to be my last race in the FIM CEV, so I went for broke. I had a good pace and knew I could fight for the win, but the red flag with two laps to go prevented me from doing that at the end. I want to thank my team for this great season, which has allowed me to make the move up to the World Championship next year.”