Unstoppable Fernandez achieves first Moto3 victory in Valencia08/11/2020
The Red Bull KTM Ajo Moto3 rider wins the European Grand Prix, whilst teammate Kaito Toba is unable to take the chequered flag.
The effort and hard work of Red Bull KTM Ajo and Raul Fernandez reaped its rewards at the European Grand Prix, as the Spaniard claimed his first ever victory in the Moto3 class. The 20-year-old dominated the race from start to finish, looking steady and assured despite only having the briefest amount of dry track time during the weekend. Teammate Kaito Toba would fight for the top positions, but he would have to retire from the contest due to a mechanical issue.
Fernandez started from the front row of the grid for the ninth time in 2020. Although he only had the morning warm-up in which to test out the track in dry conditions, he immediately imposed a strong pace and moved up into the lead. A crash on Lap 2 cut the front group off from the rest of the field, and the Spaniard rider took advantage of the incident to break away. Fernandez’s lead was up to 3 seconds by Lap 5, and he managed the gap calmly through to the end of the contest, claiming a second podium of the season and his first victory in Moto3. The result comes at the same track where he made his World Championship debut in 2016.
Kaito Toba had a good start from the fourth row, climbing four places on the first corner to move into sixth. The Japanese remained in the chasing group, fighting for the Top 10. However, as the race reached its midway point, Toba lost contact with the pack and dropped several positions. He would finally be forced to abandon the contest with seven laps to go, due to a mechanical issue.
After 13 rounds of the Moto3 World Championship season, Raul Fernandez occupies 7th position in the standings with 118 points. Kaito Toba is 17th with 40. The Red Bull KTM Ajo duo will return to action next week at the Ricardo Tormo Circuit, for the Valencia Grand Prix from November 13-15th.
Results – Race
1. Raul Fernandez (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 38:29.140
2. Sergio Garcia (Honda) +0.703
3. Ai Ogura (Honda) +1.005
4. Tony Arbolino (Honda) +1.037
5. Darryn Binder (KTM) +13.392
DNF. Kaito Toba (Red Bull KTM Ajo)
Moto3 World Championship Standing 2020
1. Albert Arenas (KTM) 157 points
2. Ai Ogura (Honda) 154 points
3. Celestino Vietti (KTM) 137 points
4. Tony Arbolino (Honda) 134 points
5. Jaume Masia (Honda) 133 points
7. Raul Fernandez (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 118 points
17. Kaito Toba (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 40 points
AKI AJO – TEAM MANAGER
“It was a great day for us in Moto3 with Raul [Fernandez]. His performance, as at the previous rounds, was very good – especially in practice. We are happy about the pace he showed, going fast in any conditions. As I have said on previous occasions, the performance in the race has to improve little by little in contests as different as we have in Moto3, where there is always a lot of battling. We are satisfied that Raul took a step forward in this regard. I want to congratulate him and the whole team. As for Kaito [Toba], he was unlucky. Sometimes problems happen and now it is a question of analysing what occurred, to find a solution for the next round.”
25 RAUL FERNANDEZ
“I have no words to describe this first victory. I want to thank my family for sticking by me at all times, and also the great team that I have alongside me. I don’t want to talk about technicalities today; I only have words of thanks for all the people who have supported and helped me. There is the entire Red Bull KTM Ajo crew, Red Bull and KTM but, above all, Aki Ajo – because he has been the person I have worked with the most and the one who has taught me and educated me the most on a sporting level. I hope this is the first triumph of many together, and that in the future we can fight for titles.”
27 KAITO TOBA
“It was not a positive race for us. At the beginning I felt very strong and was in a good position. As the laps went by, I started to suffer a bit, but I tried to keep pushing. However, the problem increased and I had no choice but to return to the garage. Now we have to reset and focus on the next round, where I hope we have more luck.”