27th Mar 2023
WINNING START FOR RED BULL KTM AJO MOTO2 IN PORTIMAO
Pedro Acosta wins the Portuguese Grand Prix, with Albert Arenas in eighth.
The Moto2 Portuguese Grand Prix race took place on Sunday at the Autodromo Internacional do Algarve. Pedro Acosta took victory in a fast 21-lap race, whilst teammate Albert Arenas stayed in the front positions until finishing in eighth.
The Portuguese GP Moto2 race forced the riders to give their all due to the demanding conditions. Acosta started from the front row of the grid and made a great start that allowed him to take the lead after the first few laps. The Red Bull KTM Ajo Moto2 rider kept up a high pace that included him setting the fastest lap of the race, holding off any challengers and becoming the first winner of the 2023 season.
Arenas started from the third row of the grid, in seventh position. The Red Bull KTM Ajo Moto2 rider climbed positions at the start, moving up to fifth, and felt very comfortable in the first half of the race. He closed the gap to those at the front and maintained a good pace as the laps went by. After the midway mark he did not have such a good feeling, but remained in the Top 10 to finish his first race with Red Bull KTM Ajo in eighth position, his best result to date at the Portuguese track.
The Argentina Grand Prix will be the next round for the Red Bull KTM Ajo Moto2 team, which will be held next week from March 31st to April 2nd.
Aki Ajo – Team Manager
“We are really happy about our start in Moto2. Of course Pedro controlled the race really well and showed the maturity that he has at the moment. It was a great win. I feel that Albert had a really good start too. We need to analyse what happened at the end of the race to improve our pace in the second part. In general it was a really good start to the season and we will continue working in Argentina next week.”
#37 PEDRO ACOSTA
“It was a tough race from start to finish. All the riders were very fast and there was no losing concentration. We managed to find an advantage and both in the tests and this weekend we have worked well, which has allowed us to avoid some mistakes that could have affected us in the race. The team have been able to give me that little step up that we were missing and I can only be grateful for their work, both in the GP and throughout preseason. We improved a lot on the first lap and I leave here satisfied. Now it’s time to focus on Argentina and the next race.”
#75 ALBERT ARENAS
“We have completed the first race of the season and took our first points. I want to highlight the first part of the race, which was good. I enjoyed it and I was strong. In the second half I wasn’t able to maintain the pace that I wanted, but we will keep working to improve. At the next race it will be one of the points to improve but we have clear ideas about how. Congratulations to my teammate for the first victory, see you in Argentina!”
1. Pedro Acosta (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 36:04.193
2. Aron Canet (Kalex) +1.358
3. Tony Arbolino (Kalex) +4.460
4. Filip Salac (Kalex) +7.110
5. Manuel Gonzalez (Kalex) +8.193
8. Albert Arenas (Red Bull KTM Ajo) +12.270
Moto2 World Championship Standing 2023
1. Pedro Acosta (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 25 points
2. Aron Canet (Kalex) 20 points
3. Tony Arbolino (Kalex) 16 points
4. Filip Salac (Kalex) 13 points
5. Manuel Gonzalez (Kalex) 11 points
8. Albert Arenas (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 8 points
Moto2 Teams World Championship Standing 2023
1. Red Bull KTM Ajo 33 points
2. Elf Marc VDS Racing Team 25 points
3. Pons Wegow Los40 21 points
4. Gresini Racing Moto2 19 points
5. Correos Prepago Yamaha VR46 Mastercamp 11 points
RUEDA PLACES FOURTH AND ÖNCÜ TENTH AT PORTUGUESE GRAND PRIX
The Red Bull KTM Ajo Moto3 duo complete the opening race of the season with satisfactory results.
The first Moto3 race of the season took place at the Autodromo Internacional do Algarve on Sunday, and the Red Bull KTM Ajo riders faced a demanding contest at the Portuguese circuit. Jose Antonio Rueda finished in fourth position after fighting for the podium in the final meters, while Deniz Öncü made a great comeback to place tenth and score some good points for the Championship.
Öncü had made steady progress throughout the weekend, but an unexpected problem on the signting lap meant he was forced to start from Pit Lane. The Turkish rider faced this new situation and set a high pace from the first lap, climbing up through the order and breaking into the points. The Red Bull KTM Ajo Moto3 rider was one of the most consistent riders in the race, he set the fastest lap and also broke the circuit record, on route to tenth place and score some good points.
Rueda started the first race in the Moto3 World Championship from the front row of the grid and, whilst he lost several positions on the opening corners, remained in the front group. The fast pace of the Portuguese Grand Prix meant that Rueda had to push to the limit, and halfway through the race he dropped places, although the rookie managed to recover and complete a great final stretch that included him leading the field. Rueda fought for the podium until the closing metres, crossing the finish line fourth and just +0.033 off the rider ahead of him.
The Red Bull KTM Ajo Moto3 duo travel to Termas de Rio Hondo this coming week to contest the Argentina Grand Prix, from March 31st to April 2nd.
Aki Ajo – Team Manager
“We should be happy about Moto3, as both riders were in the Top 10. We should be especially pleased about their speed. Unfortunately Deniz’s bike stopped on the grid and he had to start from pit lane. He showed something really special to finish in the Top 10 and in the main group. Jose showed something incredible too in his rookie race. He fought for the podium until the end and we should be really happy about his pace. We are looking forward to the next race in Argentina.”
#53 DENIZ ÖNCÜ
“The bike stopped on the grid, so we had to start from pit lane. It was a pity because we were strong, but we will make sure that this will not happen again in future races. In the race I started to push from the beginning and I found my own pace. I felt very good and I finished just 1.4 seconds behind the winner. I’m sure that we could have fought for the podium. I’m know that I can be really strong and I can be fast riding alone. We will keep working hard and give our best in Argentina.”
#99 JOSE ANTONIO RUEDA
“I felt very comfortable with the bike. I am adapting very quickly to the KTM and I have to thank the team for all the work they are doing for this. To be able to enjoy a race like this is something incredible; it is only the first one of the year but I am very happy that we started in this way. I was left with a bittersweet taste in my mouth because the podium slipped away in the final stretch, but that’s racing and even so I am very satisfied. We knew it was going to be a tough race with many overtaking moves, but we were able to handle it well. Now we have to continue working in the same way and go all-out in Argentina.”
1. Daniel Holgado (KTM) 34:27.061
2. David Muñoz (KTM) +0.160
3. Diogo Moreira (KTM) +0.175
4. Jose Antonio Rueda (Red Bull KTM Ajo) +0.206
5. Jaume Masia (Honda) +0.233
10. Deniz Öncü (Red Bull KTM Ajo) +1.409
Moto3 World Championship Standing 2023
1. Daniel Holgado (KTM) 25 points
2. David Muñoz (KTM) 20 points
3. Diogo Moreira (KTM) 16 points
4. Jose Antonio Rueda (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 13 points
5. Jaume Masia (Honda) 11 points
10. Deniz Öncü (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 6 points
Moto3 Teams World Championship Standing 2023
1. Red Bull KTM Tech3 25 points
2. BOE Motorsports 20 points
3. Red Bull KTM Ajo 19 points
4. MT Helmets – MSI 16 points
5. CFMOTO Racing PruestelGP 15 points