Tough first Moto3 race of the year for Can Öncü


Red Bull KTM Ajo rider finishes eighteenth at the Losail International Circuit.

The opening race of the 2019 Moto3 World Championship took place in the Qatari desert this Sunday, and it proved to be a tough day for Red Bull KTM Ajo rookie, Can Öncü. The Turkish rider had a crash at the start of the warm-up session: in spite of some pain in the hands and right arm, the youngster was fit for the 18-lap contest..

Can Öncü, who also started from 18th on the grid, experienced a hard beginning to the race, dropping eight places off the line due to a crash with lots of riders involved that he had to avoid. The teenage talent would move up the order and was back inside the Top 20 on Lap 4. Step-by-step, he found a solid pace and crossed the line 18th on his full-time Grand Prix debut.

The next time the Turkish rider will get onboard his KTM will be for the Argentina Grand Prix, from March 29th-31st.

Results Moto3 Race
1. Kaito Toba (Honda) 38:08.887
2. Lorenzo Dalla Porta (Honda) +0.053
3. Aron Canet (KTM) +0.174
4. Marcos Ramirez (Honda) +0.505
5. Celestino Vietti (KTM) +0.584
18. Can Öncü (Red Bull KTM Ajo) +26.272

Moto3 World Championship Standing 2019
1. Kaito Toba (Honda) 25 points
2. Lorenzo Dalla Porta (Honda) 20 points
3. Aron Canet (KTM) 16 points
4. Marcos Ramirez (Honda) 13 points
5. Celestino Vietti (KTM) 11 points
-. Can Öncü (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 0 points



“The season is underway for the Moto3 class. We have to be positive since Can [Öncü] performed really well in the preseason tests, especially here in Qatar -where this weekend he has continued taking steps forward. Unfortunately he got caught up in a crash involving several riders on the first lap; although he avoided going down, he was unable to catch back up with the front group. He managed to finish the first race of 2019, which was only his second ever Grand Prix. As always I say, Can is a rookie. However, we know that he has potential and this season we can do great things with him.”

61 Can Öncü

“It has been a good weekend overall. It’s a shame that I lost touch with the front group so early, due to a crash with lots of riders involved that I had to take action to avoid. I tried to fight back, and finally I was able to catch the riders ahead of me and pass them. I was setting good lap times, but the gap to those in front was too big to overcome. We should take the positive away from this weekend, which is that I’ve learnt a lot. I can’t wait for the next race, in which I’m sure that we will do much better.”