Fernandez completes French Grand Prix with solid race performance11/10/2020
The Red Bull KTM Ajo Moto3 rider finishes seventh at Le Mans, whilst Kaito Toba crashes with five laps to go when riding in the leading group.
The French Grand Prix came to an end on Sunday with a 22-lap race for the Moto3 class, in which the Red Bull KTM Ajo riders once again had to battle in a group. Raul Fernandez did a solid job riding in the front pack from start to finish, taking the chequered flag in 7th position. Teammate Kaito Toba was enjoying a positive performance before, with five laps remaining, he suffered a crash.
Raul Fernandez made a good start from fourth on the grid, holding his position on the first corner. The low track temperatures forced the Spaniard to remain calm during the opening laps and he pushed steadily to stay with the leading group. The Red Bull KTM Ajo Moto3 rider was able to avoid the various incidents that occurred between his rivals within the pack and the 19-year-old would finish the 10th round of the season in seventh place.
The French Grand Prix race saw Toba have one of his strongest starts so far this year, climbing six places to move into 10th when the lights went out. The Japanese pushed hard on the opening laps to stay in the front group and did so until those ahead of him broke away past the halfway mark. After a spell riding alone, an increase in pace took Toba back into the mix, but an unfortunate crash with 5 laps to go – from which he was unable to get back on track – meant he left Le Mans empty-handed.
After ten rounds of the 2020 Moto3 World Championship, Raul Fernandez is in 9th position in the overall standings with 73 points. Kaito Toba is 21st with 19. The Red Bull KTM Ajo team now travel to Spain, where the Aragon Grand Prix will be held from October 16th to 18th at MotorLand.
Results – Race
1. Celestino Vietti (KTM) 37:37.384
2. Tony Arbolino (Honda) +0.142
3. Albert Arenas (KTM) +0.198
4. Jaume Masia (Honda) +0.336
5. Andrea Migno (KTM) +0.569
7. Raul Fernandez (Red Bull KTM Ajo) +1.361
DNF. Kaito Toba (Red Bull KTM Ajo)
Moto3 World Championship Standing 2020
1. Albert Arenas (KTM) 135 points
2. Ai Ogura (Honda) 129 points
3. Celestino Vietti (KTM) 119 points
4. Tony Arbolino (Honda) 115 points
5. John McPhee (Honda) 98 points
9. Raul Fernandez (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 73 points
21. Kaito Toba (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 19 points
AKI AJO – TEAM MANAGER
“It wasn’t an easy weekend for us. Le Mans has always been a challenging track due to the weather and the fact that this race now took place in October didn’t make things any easier. We had a tough weekend, with several crashes in all classes, so taking this into account our performance in Moto3 wasn’t all bad. Raul [Fernandez] finished the contest and, although we expected a little more, he set a good pace throughout the Grand Prix. As for Kaito [Toba], he was progressing positively but unfortunately he suffered a crash at the end.”
25 RAUL FERNANDEZ
“Today we once again lacked that step forward that would have allowed us to be in the fight for the podium. We rode with the leading group throughout the contest, but it is still difficult for us to get onto the rostrum. We have to analyse the exact reason why this happens to us.
On the other hand, I’m very satisfied with the work the team did, since they always help me with everything I need. I’m happy with my crew and I want to thank all of them. At Aragon we will continue to do our best to make good use of the two opportunities we have there.”
27 KAITO TOBA
“Overall, it was a good weekend for us, although, unfortunately, we weren’t able to finish it off with a great race result due to the crash. We made a strong start and even though in the middle of the contest we lost contact with the leading group, I hunted them down again by the end. It’s a shame about the incident, but the positive thing is that I am feeling better on the bike all the time. Next week we will try again, with the same strength and desire as always.”