Portugal Moto3 Race: Holgado Key to First Victory

Previously, the Red Bull KTM Tech3 racer had only won one podium and one pole position since appearing in the lightweight class in 2021.

“I had the best race today. The team did a very good job especially in the set-up. I am happy with the first win,” said the 17-year-old teenager.

Deniz Oncu had a problem with his motorbike so he couldn’t take part in the Warm Up Lap. The Red Bull KTM Ajo racer must start from the pit lane.

Joel Kelso, who was starting from the first row of his career in Moto3 for the first time, led the pack. Meanwhile, pole sitter, Ayumu Sasaki followed behind.

A bitter end for Lorenzo Fellon. CIP Green Power racer had to withdraw very early. Scott Ogden also crashed in the early laps.

Meanwhile, Dani Holgado pushed Sasaki out of second place before finally overtaking Kelso. Honda Team Asia racer, Mario Suryo Aji, moved up to P20.

On lap 3, Kelso and Holgado were involved in a duel for the first position. David Munoz, who recorded the fastest lap time, was one step ahead of P5. He also shadowed Sasaki.

In the midst of the fierce fourth lap duel, David Alonso fell at Turn 1 after brushing against Ivan Ortola. This incident was investigated by the Stewards and resulted in a double long lap penalty for the Angeluss MTA Team racer because he was deemed to have driven recklessly.

David Munoz took advantage of the slipstream and pushed his way into the top three and Sasaki managed to take second again on the fifth lap. Moto3 debutant, Filippo Farioli also crashed into the gravel. Mario Aji managed to improve his score and climb to 18th place.

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On the seventh lap, Munoz distracted Holgado from driving ahead. Sasaki, who previously tried, slipped to third place, ahead of Xavi Artigas and Jaume Masia.

Sasaki took the position of group leader again on the next lap. Holgado, Artigas and Munoz continued to threaten. Artigas took advantage of the momentum to shoot to the forefront, before being picked up by Holgado again.

Diogo Moreira again presented a stunning appearance. Starting from P15, he reached P2 on lap 10.

Sasaki topped the table after lap 11. Munoz and Holgado continued to stick together while waiting for the Liqui Moly Husqvarna IntactGP driver to make an error.

Munoz went wide and Holgado took advantage to get to the front with six laps to go. Moreira remains in third place, followed by Jaume Masia, Stefano Nepa and Artigas. David Alonso finished his struggle and returned to the pits.

Rueda surprised his opponents by advancing to first place on the 15th lap. Unfortunately, he was unable to withstand the onslaught and was thrown into P6. Holgado, Sasaki and Moreira are back in contention for the podium.

The crash ended Ortola’s bad day when the race was four laps down. He also dropped to 18th place. Meanwhile, Mario Aji kept crawling trying to get closer to the points zone by stepping on P16 before going down two stairs.

Competition in the front group is still fierce until the last lap. Munoz got on Moreira’s track and took P2 when Holgado opened the gap up front. Rueda attacked Moreira but lost third.

As his team-mates crossed the finish line, Joel Kelso brushed Holgado and flew off his bike before landing on the track. He was seen sitting on the track, then approached by the Safety Car. CFMoto Racing Prustel GP rider was taken to the medical centre.

The podium belongs to Holgado, Munoz and Moreira. Moreira became the first Brazilian racer to finish on the podium since Alex Barros at the 2017 Italian MotoGP. Meanwhile, Mario Aji ended the first series with P17.

“Extraordinary. Last year was difficult for us, but finally we got the podium. Thanks to the team,” said Moreira, the first Brazilian rider to finish on the podium in Moto3.

Portugal Moto3 Race Results 2023

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