Moto3: Öncü Takes Photo Finish Victory in Spielberg!

Moto3 never fails to deliver and in the Styria mountains in Spielberg, it was no different today. Deniz Öncü the Turkish teenage wonderkid takes his second victory in Moto3 by a margin of +0.005 seconds to Daniel Holgado in 2nd. A Red Bull KTM 1-2 with Husqvarna riders Ayumu Sasaki finishing in 3rd and pole sitter Collin Veijer in 4th place.

Image Credit: MotoGP


As the lights went out to start the race, the two Red Bull KTMs were 1-2 with Holgado leading followed by Öncü into turn 1.  Pole sitter Veijer dropping back into 3rd. David Alonso up to 4th on the first lap, up 3 places already for the GASGAS Aspar Team rider.

Coming across the line at the end of lap 1, Jaume Masia and Alonso are side by side as they head into turn 1 with Alonso managing to cling onto 4th for the time being. A lead group of 7 riders now developing with a gap of 1.285 seconds to the rest of the field behind.

Coming through lap 2 and Sasaki sets the fastest time of the race. Championship leader Holgado still leading at the front with Veijer 2nd and Öncü 3rd keen to get by Veijer. Towards the end of the lap now into turns 9 and 10, Öncü dives up the inside of Veijer but can’t get the bike stopped into turn 10 with Veijer moving back passed into 2nd.

Lap 4 now and the lead group of 7 have a clear gap now over 2 seconds to the rest of the field with the second group lead by Joel Kelso.

Midway through lap 4 and disaster for Masia and his championship, as technical issues with the bike force Masia to pull over and out of the race. Sasaki and Riccardo Rossi doing well to avoid any collision with Masia.

A quarter of the way through now and onto lap 6, Holgado leads as Alonso now sets the fastest lap of the race. Öncü back up into second with Veijer 3rd. The front 3 now with a second gap to Alonso back in 4th. Alonso with the hammer down pushing hard to close the gap to the front.

Alonso pushing hard starting lap 7 with Sasaki tucked in behind, the front 3 are lapping just as quick though. Its going to be a hard job for Alonso and Sasaki to bridge the gap and fight for the victory.

Into turn 1 Veijer makes his move up the inside of Öncü and back up to 2nd place. Veijer eager to get by Holgado on lap 8 as Alonso yet again sets another fastest lap of the race. Turn 1 clearly the main overtaking spot for the riders on this circuit with it being tough to get by on any other section of the track.

Midway through lap 8 the lead trio has become a group of 5 as Alonso and Sasaki finally join the party at the front Across the line to start lap 9 and a repeat overtake of the one we seen on Öncü a lap before, as Veijer moves by Holgado and into the lead of the race.

Now with 12 laps to go, any of the top 5 could take the victory here in Austria. Holgado using the slipstream as we start lap 10 getting by Veijer into turn 1. Alonso now up into 3rd with a great overtake on Veijer at the end of lap 10. Alonso full of confidence after his incredible win from the back of the grid at Silverstone.

10 laps to go and Alonso is taking the charge to the front getting by Öncü and nearly overtaking Holgado only a few corners later, as they drop down by turn 10 onto the straight straight to start lap 12.

Start of lap 12 now and just as Alonso takes the lead from Holgado, only seconds later at the chicane Alonso goes down. Disaster strikes for the GASGAS Aspar Team.

It’s Sasaki now making moves getting by Öncü and looking to attack Holgado. Sasaki passes Holgado into turn 9 leading the race as they start lap 15. Holgado continuing the dicing at the front getting back by Sasaki into turn 3. Öncü taking all sorts of racing lines trying everything to get by Sasaki.  Ivan Ortola in 5th from 18th on the grid is trying all he can to catch the front setting the quickest times. Ortola may have left it too late though to get a podium.

As we go by the KTM stand, Sasaki is right up behind Holgado through turns 7 and 8 is still unable to get by as Holgado resists the pressure and continues to lead the race with 3 laps to go. Sasaki trying to fight for the win with Holgado just inches ahead at the same time as defending constantly against Öncü desperate to get by.

Its any of 4 riders now with 2 laps to go to see who can take this. Holgado holding his nerve keeping his cool gets back by Sasaki into the lead. We are set for a frantic last couple of laps with the win all to play for.

Onto the last lap and its Holgado leading across the line to start the last lap only for Sasaki to get by into turn 1. Holgado is not giving this up without a fight coning from way back to get by Sasaki into turn 3. Holgado in too hot though as Öncü gets by into the lead.

Sasaki, Holgado and Öncü side by side now as they fly down to turn 4. Sasaki getting back to the front, only for Holgado to pounce immediately leaning on Sasaki through turn 5, Sasaki clinging onto the lead into turn 6. Still anyone’s guess as to who would be on the top step of the podium on the final lap of the race.

Coming into the final corners now of the Grand Prix, and into the final corner in 3rd place, Öncü takes a photo finish on the finish line with Holgado taking second. A stunning victory here in the Styria mountains for Öncü taking his second win in Moto3.

Holgado takes a 26 point lead in the championship to Barcelona at the beginning of September. Holgado didn’t mange to finish the race last season and will be hoping for a better result to continue his charge for championship glory.

Image Credit: MotoGP





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