Thrilling debut podium for Rueda with 3rd in #CatalanGP, Öncü 12th after penalty
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 team mate’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.
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 team mate helped me a lot this weekend, we worked hard together and I think next weekend we can continue getting good results.
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.