Tough Sunday for Red Bull KTM Ajo Moto3 in Barcelona27/09/2020
Raul Fernandez finishes 13th in the Catalan Grand Prix, with Kaito Toba 18th after a penalty for exceeding the track limits.
The Moto3 Catalan Grand Prix concluded today in Barcelona with a closely fought 21-lap race, in which the Red Bull KTM Ajo team were not able to carry over their good feeling from practice. Both riders were fighting at the front at the start of the contest, but Raul Fernandez would go on to conclude the ninth round of the season in 13th place. Teammate Kaito Toba was amongst the points until he was handed a penalty for exceeding the track limits, going on to take the chequered flag in 18th.
Raul Fernandez started from the front row of the grid, but dropped two places on the opening corner. The Spaniard pushed hard to stay in the large leading group, holding off several pass attempts and making overtakes of his own. It was only in the latter stages of the race that the Red Bull KTM Ajo Moto3 rider faded, due to heavy tyre wear. Fernandez eventually concluded a tricky Sunday with further points from a 13th position finish.
From the third row, Kaito Toba got off the line well and was into the Top 10 early on. The Japanese kept close to the large leading pack, studying his rivals and gaining further knowledge in the race. After several incidents involving other competitors, the group was split and the Red Bull KTM Ajo Moto3 rider battled for the points. Unfortunately, Toba was penalised for repeatedly touching the green area of the track and was given a ‘long lap’ penalty that lost him several places. He finally crossed the line 18th.
Red Bull KTM Ajo Moto3 round off a busy September with Raul Fernandez 9th in the Moto3 World Championship with 64 points. Kaito Toba is 19th, with 19. The duo now have a week off, before returning to action at the French Grand Prix at Le Mans on October 9-11th.
Results – Race
1. Darryn Binder (KTM) 38:32.507
2. Tony Arbolino (Honda) +0.103
3. Dennis Foggia (Honda) +0.157
4. Sergio Garcia (Honda) +0.232
5. Alonso Lopez (Husqvarna) +0.386
13. Raul Fernandez (Red Bull KTM Ajo) +3.572
18. Kaito Toba (Red Bull KTM Ajo) +13.556
Moto3 World Championship Standing 2020
1. Ai Ogura (Honda) 122 points
2. Albert Arenas (KTM) 119 points
3. John McPhee (Honda) 98 points
4. Tony Arbolino (Honda) 95 points
5. Celestino Vietti (KTM) 94 points
9. Raul Fernandez (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 64 points
19. Kaito Toba (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 19 points
AKI AJO – TEAM MANAGER
“Throughout the weekend our performance in Moto3 was positive. However, as has happened at other times this year, we were not able to carry our good feelings from practice over to the race. Both Raul [Fernandez] and Kaito [Toba] did a great job in practice and were consistent. We have to analyse with both riders how we can improve in this regard for the next round, at Le Mans.”
25 RAUL FERNANDEZ
“Today was not an easy Sunday for us. I had the race under control but, with seven or eight laps to go, the tyres went off and it was impossible for me to enter the fight for the top positions. The team did an exceptional job and the bike was very fast, so we were on course to get a good result. We will continue to try our best at the French Grand Prix in two weeks.”
27 KAITO TOBA
“It was a tough race for me. After the first few laps the tyre started to wear out and that hindered our progress. During practice, we had used these compounds and I felt good with them, so I don’t know what happened. I did my best to hold onto the position, but when I received the penalty for exceeding the track limits I lost all possibility of that. We were doing a great job this weekend, but we couldn’t finish it off today. At the next contest, at Le Mans, we will try again with the same enthusiasm.”