Last sector heartbreak for Daniel Holgado in the #CatalanGP
Heartbreaking Sunday in Barcelona for Red Bull KTM Tech3 who saw its championship leader crash within the final sector of the last lap after an incredible race spent fighting for the crown. Daniel Holgado is going home with no points and is seeing his gap in the championship being reduced to thirteen points on his contender, while Filippo Farioli did not have time to prove anything after he was taken down by another rider early into the Moto3™ race.
Starting from P11, championship leader Daniel Holgado had work to do if he had podium dreams today, but nothing is impossible in the lightweight class, everyone knows it. When lights went out at 11:00 local time (GMT+2), the number 96 did not take the perfect start and got a bit stuck in corner 1’s traffic. Trying to not lose too much, he was in P16 after one lap. Quickly though, the Red Bull KTM Tech3 rider started to get the fast laps in to make it back progressively, already riding the race’s hottest lap in 1’48.902 on lap 2.
With sixteen laps to go, he had already made it to the top 10 after overtaking title contender Ayumu Sazaki. Then came the turn of David Munoz, Jose Antonio Rueda, …etc, until he found himself in fifth just behind the leading group. However, that was obviously not enough for the young Spaniard who was looking to bag as many points as possible on a track he knows very well. After exciting the last corner of lap 6, he powered through all riders ahead of him on the straight line to take the lead for the first time, at corner 1. That was the start of the fight for the Catalan crown with usual contenders Deniz Oncu and Jaume Masia, as they started overtaking each other many times, giving back positions, and so on.
Eventually, with 5 laps to go, Holgado was holding it tight behind Oncu as he was in second, but the fight was not over. Jaume Masia passed him, but these constant overtakes meant that David Munoz was in the back wheel of Holgado, ready to take any opportunity he could be given. Just behind, Ayumu Sazaki was catching back the leading group with late fast laps while the boys at the front were playing 1-2-3. Three laps to go, corners got tighter and tighter, Masia made it to the top while Munoz and Alonso made their way to the front, and Oncu tried to stay inside of Holgado and made contact with him.
Luckily no crash, but that left Holgado retrograded to P6. Two laps to go, the championship leader had already made it back to the top with Alonso so close behind, followed by Oncu waiting for his moment. The last lap was between Holgado, Alonso, Oncu and Masia, without forgetting Sazaki who was coming back in full power, who was going to come out on top ? Holgado was in first, not the easiest job to take on, but that’s how it was. The battle was tough and all were taking many risks in each corner to try to come on top, but eventually Daniel Holgado made a mistake in the final sector, and crashed, with his dreams of victory falling into pieces. He rejoined, but that was too late. No points for the championship leader today, it hurts, but he will be back next week in Misano.
Teammate Filippo Farioli was starting from P17 in Catalunya today. At the race start, he took a decent start as he managed to stay with the front group. He lost two positions and was in P19 after one lap, but his early race pace was promising. Unfortunately, there was not much to do when the young Italian was taken down by another rider in sector 4 of lap 5. He went through a medical check after getting his right hand checked, but nothing major for the young rookie who will look to bounce back on home soil next week in Misano. Red Bull KTM Tech3 will now travel to Italy for the San Marino Grand Prix, on September 8-10, 2023, the last European round before flying away.
“I did an incredible race today, although the last lap was a disaster obviously. However, I was so fast during the eighteen laps, came back to the top quickly, and I felt very strong. I am positive about today, and we are already focused on the next race in Misano. Thank you to my team for their amazing job, and thank you to my family who was here this weekend with me.”
“I don’t have much to say… I was starting from P17, took an ok start, kept contact with the big group, but sooner than later I was taken down by another rider in turn 4. That was it for me today. I am gutted, but we will look forward to another home race in Italy next week in Misano.”