Thrilling first podium for Rueda at the Catalan Grand Prix03/09/2023
Jose Antonio Rueda earns his first Moto3 rostrum with third, while Deniz Öncü is twelfth.
The Moto3 Catalan Grand Prix saw an intense fight for the podium until the closing metres. Deniz Öncü crossed the finish line in third position, although a penalty relegated him to twelfth place. Due to this, José Antonio Rueda was given third and achieved his first World Championship podium.
Öncü had a solid weekend, although it did not finish as he had expected. Taking off from second position, he gained the lead off the line and tried to impose his pace to extend the gap. After the first half of the race, the leading riders exchanged positions on the closing laps, but Öncü managed to recover and occupy the podium positions. Although he took the chequered flag in third position, contact with another rider on the last lap caused him to receive a penalty and fall to twelfth. He leaves the Circuit de Barcelona – Catalunya fourth in the standings with 128 points.
Rueda enjoyed one of his best weekends to date. The Red Bull KTM Ajo rider took a big step forward, starting from seventh on the grid. He maintained the position and remained in the front group and, from then on, climbed positions to enter the Top 5 after the first half of the contest. The rookie gave his all in the final stretch and fought for the podium, eventually crossing the finish line in fourth position. However, his teammate’s penalty lifted him to third and his first podium in the Moto3 World Championship. With 81 points, he is eighth in the overall standings.
The Red Bull KTM Ajo Moto3 team continue to lead the Team standings with 209 points. Öncü and Rueda will now travel to Misano to compete in the San Marino GP, from September 8-10th.
Aki Ajo – Team Manager:
“Once again we had a very exciting Moto3 race. We are really happy about the performance during the whole week by both Deniz and Jose Antonio and also the race pace was really good for both. As we know the Moto3 races are always very exciting until the last moment and this time it was very good for our riders as they crossed the finish line in third and fourth position. Unfortunately Deniz was penalised for the incident on the last corner, but in any case he collected a few points that keep him in a good position at the top of the standings. The first podium for Jose was something that he had wanted for a long time but for usit is something really positive that in his rookie season he is on the rostrum.”
1. David Alonso (GasGas) 33:00945
2. Jaume Masia (Honda) +0.076
3. Jose Antonio Rueda (Red Bull KTM Ajo) +0.234
4. Ayumu Sasaki (Husqvarna) +0.289
5. Stefano Nepa (KTM) +0.401
12. Deniz Öncü (Red Bull KTM Ajo) +6.129
Moto3 World Championship Standing 2023
1. Daniel Holgado (KTM) 161 points
2. Ayumu Sasaki (Husqvarna) 148 points
3. Jaume Masia (Honda) 129 points
4. Deniz Öncü (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 128 points
5. Ivan Ortola (KTM) 124 points
8. Jose Antonio Rueda (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 81 points
Moto3 Teams World Championship Standing 2023
1. Red Bull KTM Ajo 209 points
2. Liqui Moly Husqvarna Intact GP 195 points
3. Angeluss MTA Team 191 points
4. Leopard Racing 178 points
5. Gaviota GasGas Aspar Team 167 points
#53 DENIZ ÖNCÜ
“We did our best this weekend here in Barcelona. We did not get the result that we expected, but we were very strong during the practice sessions and during the race. I tried to break away from the other riders when I was leading the group but on the last lap there was contact with another rider and I received a penalty so I didn’t get onto the podium. I apologise to the team, because we were working very well. We will come back stronger at Misano.”
#99 JOSE ANTONIO RUEDA
“It was an exciting race, with a lot of overtaking and I knew that on the last lap I had to position myself well. It was difficult to overtake, but I felt comfortable on the bike and we achieved a good setup today. We knew that in the race we had to be at the front to have a chance, and making the podium here in Barcelona has been very special for me. It is one of the best experiences I have had and I have to thank everyone who made it possible for us. My teammate helped me a lot this weekend, we worked hard together and I think next weekend we can continue getting good results.”