Deniz Öncü wins wet and wild Australian Grand Prix22/10/2023
The Red Bull KTM Ajo rider earns his third victory, while Jose Antonio Rueda finishes eighteenth.
The Moto3 Australian Grand Prix race took place in extreme conditions where rain and wind affected the race. Deniz Öncü achieved his third victory of the year after a great overtake on the final corner, while José Antonio Rueda finished in eighteenth position.
On this occasion, the Red Bull KTM Ajo Moto3 duo were able to carry out a warmup session to prepare for the race, because the conditions were very different from those of the rest of the weekend. Öncü finished fourth with a time of 1:49.779, while Rueda was 22nd with a 1:52.721.
Öncü started the race from seventh position on the grid and got off the line well. Despite the delicate state of the track, the Turkish rider advanced positions to enter the Top 3 early on, remaining in second place. After a small scare, he managed to recover and regain positions again, waiting for the best moment to try to overtake the race leader. On a great last lap, Öncü overtook his rival at Turn 10 and snatched first position, going on to claim the win. With 180 points, he is fifth in the overall standings, level with the rider in fourth place.
Rueda faced a tricky race at Phillip Island. The Spanish rider took off from the seventh row of the grid, dropping several places. Rueda tried not to make mistakes and to complete a race in which the rain and wind made riding highly difficult. The rookie climbed positions and, after completing the 21 laps, crossed the finish line in eighteenth. Rueda remains eighth in the Moto3 standings with 11 points.
The Red Bull KTM Ajo Moto3 team face the last race of the triple header this week, with the Thai Grand Prix.
Results (Moto 3 race)
1. Deniz Öncü (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 39:57.919
2. Ayumu Sasaki (Husqvarna) +0.407
3. Joel Kelso (CFMOTO) +4.392
4. Collin Veijer (Husqvarna) +23.062
5. Adrian Fernandez (Honda) +31.661
18. Jose Antonio Rueda (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 1 lap
Moto3 World Championship Standing 2023
1. Jaume Masia (Honda) 217 points
2. Ayumu Sasaki (Husqvarna) 213 points
3. Daniel Holgado (KTM) 195 points
4. David Alonso (GasGas) 180 points
5. Deniz Öncü (Red Bull KTM) 180 points
10. José Antonio Rueda (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 111 points
Moto3 Teams World Championship Standings 2023
1. Liqui Moly Husqvarna Intanct GP 302 points
2. Red Bull KTM Ajo 291 points
3. Leopard Racing 278 points
4. Angeluss MTA Team 252 points
5. Gaviota GasGas Aspar Team 244 points
Aki Ajo – Team Manager
“What an emotional win for us here in Phillip Island. Deniz did a great job, as he showed that he can control the race in very extreme conditions. He managed things in a perfect way and on the last lap he made the decision to pass the leader. We have huge respect for Deniz and of course the whole team, who are supporting him all the time. That just showed how much he is maturing, especially on the mental side, and I’m very happy about that. It wasn’t an easy weekend for Rueda, especially today in rainy conditions, as our performance wasn’t really strong. It’s his rookie year and everything is new for him, so that’s understandable, but especially in wet conditions we have to practice a lot and find out what we have to do to improve performance.”
#53 DENIZ ÖNCÜ
“The race was amazing and felt too long for me. It was raining a lot and you needed to be consistent. It was so hard for me to keep focused during the whole race because of the wind, the cold and the rain. After 10 laps I started to shake, so I just tried to manage that and finish in the best way possible. On the final laps I saw how I could win the race and on the last lap I tried it. It was a great reward for us, especially with these conditions.”
#99 JOSE ANTONIO RUEDA
“It was a very hard race for me. Throughout the weekend we have not had a good feeling, and today’s conditions were very complicated and it was too risky to ride like that. I want to focus on the next race and try to do well from Friday. We also learn from these weekends, so now it’s time to keep working.”