Deniz Öncü on the podium in 3rd after spectacular #QatarGP comeback, Jose Antonio Rueda 16th
The Qatar GP was an atypical race for the Red Bull KTM Ajo Moto3 team, as both Deniz Öncü and Jose Antonio Rueda were forced to make fightbacks after receiving double long lap penalties. The Turkish rider got onto the podium, whilst his teammate would cross the line sixteenth.
Öncü faced the penultimate race of the season with great determination after setting the third best time in qualifying. Unfortunately, he committed a jump start, for which he was penalized with a double long lap. Adapting to the new situation, he kept calm and mounted a comeback once the penalty was completed, setting a great pace to move from 25th to the Top 10 with 6 laps remaining. The Red Bull KTM Ajo Moto3 rider continued his charge until the last lap, where he made a clever move to take third place and a spot on the podium.
Rueda didn’t start from the most favourable position on the grid, in eighteenth. The Red Bull KTM Ajo Moto3 rider had some outstanding early laps, in which he was able to gain positions and reach the points quickly. The Spaniard took advantage of a large group to continue climbing up the order, although due to a collision with another rider he was also penalised with a double long lap. From that moment on, Rueda was forced to change the race strategy and try to get as close as possible to the main group. On the final laps, on the verge of the points, he was unable to catch up with the front group and finally finished sixteenth.
The Red Bull KTM Ajo team will end the 2023 season this coming weekend, with the Valencian Grand Prix from November 27-29th at the Circuit Ricardo Tormo.
I did a jump start. I realised it in the moment, so I knew that I was going to be penalised. I know I was strong and I tried to keep calm and do my best. I was able too because of the support I have here. After the double long lap, getting back to the podium is not so bad. It is acceptable despite the fact that we could have fought for the victory. Now it’s time to focus on Valencia and keep working in the same way as here for our last race in the class.
JOSE ANTONIO RUEDA
We got a good start, gained positions and I felt strong with the bike and knew I could be at the front. On the fifth lap I had a collision and they penalised me with a double long lap. I did them the fastest that I could, but I only had 7 laps left to make up the ground I had lost. Although I recovered a lot, the group broke away and I was left behind. Despite everything, I am happy with the bike and with how we worked this weekend. Finishing the race like this feels bittersweet, because we know that we had more in us and that we could be higher up, but that’s the way races go and we can also learn from these situations. Now it’s time to prepare everything for Valencia to do as best as possible.