Moto3: Austrian GP Preview

The second half of the 2022 Moto3 season began in style with a thrilling British Grand Prix barely a fortnight ago. Now that the dust has settled, our attention turns to the Red Bull Ring in Austria for Round 13 of the championship this coming weekend (19/20/21 August).

Moto3 Sergio Garcia Picture courtesy of Aspar Team

The GASGAS Aspar duo of Sergio Garcia and Izan Guevara were unstoppable during the first half of the season, they sit first and second in the championship standings respectively, despite both crashing out in the latter stages at Silverstone. The chequered flag was taken by title rival Dennis Foggia, who masterfully guided his Leopard Racing Honda to victory, capitalising on the Spanish riders misfortune. The Italian is now just 42 points behind Garcia in the race for the Moto3 crown.

Perhaps the biggest talking point ahead of the Austrian GP is the new chicane which has been installed to reduce speeds on the approach to turn 3. The alteration was prompted after an incident in the 2020 MotoGP race, where Franco Morbidelli and Johann Zarco came together at high speed, nearly collecting the Yamaha duo of Valentino Rossi and Maverick Viñales in the process.

The revised layout has divided opinions, with some riders suggesting that the new chicane itself is dangerous. How the racing will be affected remains to be seen, but the hope of course is that the changes will lead to more overtaking as well as improved safety.

Moto3 Izan Guevara Picture courtesy of Aspar Team

As is often the case in this class, there are a number of contenders for victory. Last year’s podium finishers will all be in the hunt this weekend. 2021’s race was won by the aforementioned Garcia, with 3 wins already this season, he is probably the favourite. Turkish rider Deniz Öncü is still searching for his maiden Moto3 win, he was last year’s runner up and has the added motivation of Austria being both KTM and Red Bull’s home race. Foggia, who was third, has shown steady improvements in his results of late, though he knows as well as anyone that more victories will be required if he is to win the championship.

British fan’s hopes will once again rest upon the shoulders of Sterilgarda Husqvarna Max rider, John McPhee. The Scotsman rode well at Silverstone and almost led at one stage, though a chaotic final lap saw him shuffled back to 7th place. Visiontrack Racing Team’s Scott Ogden made progress through the field after a poor showing in qualifying, finishing 12th. He and teammate Josh Whatley will be hoping for better fortunes this weekend.

Moto3 Dennis Foggia Picture courtesy of Le0pard Racing

Weather was an infamous factor at the Red Bull Ring in 2021, and the forecast suggests it will be again this year. Thunderstorms are predicted for Friday, with showers anticipated on both Saturday and Sunday. The race is scheduled to start at 11:00am local time (10:00am GMT).

Moto3: Masia wins Chaotic Clash in COTA

Jaume Masia has come out on top, winning in COTA, ahead of a seven-way battle that rumbled on for much of the race. He was joined on the podium by Dennis Foggia and Andrea Migno.

It was the experienced Moto3 riders who came out on top at the Grand Prix of the Americas today. The chaotic race saw seven riders battling for only three podium positions for most of the race. Eventually, it was Jaume Masia who came out on top, taking the lead on the final lap.

Masia hasn’t won a race since the first round of the 2021 season, making it an emotional return to the top step of the podium for the Spanish rider. Having spent last year in the shadow of his teammate and eventual 2021 Moto3 champion, Pedro Acosta, this win will provide him with some much-needed confidence.

On the podium were fellow Italian riders Dennis Foggia, in second, and pole-sitter Andrea Migno, in third.

As the race commenced, it was Deniz Oncu who took an early lead, passing Migno at the first corner. He took rookie Diogo Moreira with him as he leapt from his starting position of sixth up to second. Oncu and Moreira were then battling for the lead and came to be side-by-side on the long straight. As they crossed the line to start the second lap, Moreira swerves across in to Oncu’s path. Oncu was forced to back off and Moreira stole the lead.

Further back, Kaito Toba enjoyed a good start as he leapt up from eighth to fifth. However, Scott Ogden had a more difficult start as he was shuffled back to 17th, despite claiming his best qualifying result and starting the race in 12th.

Foggia and Masia also struggled and, by lap 4, they were quickly shuffled back to 10th and 11th despite starting second and fifth respectively.

On the same lap, Oncu took the lead back from Moreira. Shortly after, Xavier Artigas got the best of both of them and flew his way up in to the lead. Two laps later and Moreira was back in the lead of the race, only to be overtaken by Oncu shortly after.

At this point, a number of other riders joined the leading pack, stating their intentions for the win. Championship leader Sergio Garcia closed up to the leading three but then clashed with Daniel Holgado, who crashed in to him on the final corner. Both riders were able to rejoin the race but Garcia eventually retired on lap 13 and Holgado crashed again on the final lap of the race. Holgado will be disappointed with his race result today, as he makes his return from injury.

Lap 8 saw Ayumu Sasaki and Masia join the leading group, taking second and third respectively behind Oncu.

For much of the rest of the race, seven riders were battling at the front of the pack – these riders were Masia, Sasaki, Oncu, Moreira, Foggia, Artigas, and Migno.

As the grid started their final lap, Migno was leading ahead of Masia in second and Foggia in third. Moreira crashed at the first corner of the lap – he was trying to hard to make his way through the leading pack and showed his inexperience with a rookie error that ruined his hard work.

Due to a number of incidents around the circuit, yellow flags were hampering the progress of most riders and left it difficult to find a way past Migno. However, down the long straight, Masia made his move and took the lead. He went out wide and found himself on the rumble strips, giving some hope to Migno. However, as Migno tried to make his way around the outside of Masia at turn 19, giving it everything he had in an attempt to win, he ran wide and let Foggia through the inside to take second. Masia remained unbeatable out in front and crossed the line in first.

Just missing out on a podium finish was Sasaki in fourth, Oncu in fifth and Artigas in sixth.

Izan Guevara was deemed to have jumped the start and was given a double long lap penalty. As this wasn’t served quickly enough, the penalty then went up to three long laps. This should have ruined his race but he was able to climb back up the field and ended the day in seventh.

The top ten was rounded out by Carlos Tatay, Ricciardo Rossi and Tatsuki Suzuki in eighth, ninth and tenth respectively.

Championship Standings

Thanks to Foggia’s second-place finish today, he has now jumped to the top of the championship standings. He leads Garcia, in second, by 16 points. Migno is in third ahead of Guevara in fourth. Oncu is sitting in fifth ahead of today’s winner, Masia, in sixth.

Feature Image Credit: MotoGP

Moto3: Migno Claims Pole for the Grand Prix of the Americas

Andrea Migno has claimed pole position for tomorrow’s race in COTA. He will be joined on the front row by fellow-Italian, Dennis Foggia, and Xavier Artigas. Our championship leader, Sergio Garcia, had to settle for 11th.

Today’s qualifying session was dominated by Italian riders, Dennis Foggia and Andrea Migno – the latter rider was able to come out on top as he set a time of 2:15.814 to secure pole position ahead of tomorrow’s race.

Foggia was bested by only 0.067s, forcing him to settle for second for tomorrow’s race start. The front row will be rounded out by Xavier Artigas, who made his way through Q1 before posting an impressive time that was just 0.242s off pole.

The early pace setter was Izan Guevara, who eventually settled for 10th, before Migno jumped to the top of the timing sheets. Despite not opting for fresh tires part way through the session, Foggia was next to top the timing sheets.

It wasn’t until the final flying lap when Migno was able to lay down his pole-clinching lap – a time which simply couldn’t be bested by Foggia or Artigas.

Image Credit: MotoGP

Deniz Oncu, on the KTM Tech3 machine, and Jaume Masia, on the KTM Ajo machine, took fourth and fifth respectively. Rookie Diogo Moreira claimed sixth, ahead of Daniel Holgado who is returning from injury. The top ten is rounded out by Kaito Toba, Ayumu Sasaki and Izan Guevara in eighth, ninth and tenth respectively.

Three riders who made their way through from Q1 line up just outside the top 10 – Stefano Nepa, Scott Ogden, and Elia Bartolini took 11th, 12th and 13th respectively. This is Ogden’s best qualifying result in his rookie Moto3 year.

Our championship leader, Sergio Garcia, had a shocking day and was only able to claim 15th. He certainly seems to be off the pace after winning the last race in Argentina.

The grid will be in action at 2.30pm local time, and Crew on Two will have all the action for you.

Feature Image Credit: MotoGP

Moto3: Dominant Foggia Wins in Indonesia

Dennis Foggia took a dominant win at the Indonesian GP, putting him at the top of the championship standings after two races. Izan Guevara took second with Carlos Tatay in third after Andrea Migno crashed on the final lap.

Having taken the lead on the third lap of the race, Dennis Foggia on the Leopard Racing machine enjoyed a very dominant race as he quickly put clean air between himself and the rest of the field. After taking the race win in Indonesia he has also now put himself at the top of the Moto3 championship standings.

He was joined on the podium by Gaviota GASGAS rider, Izan Guevara, in second and CFMoto rider, Carlos Tatay, in third. Tatay also enjoyed a positive day as he recovered from a long lap penalty, incurred for taking a shortcut at turn nine. Our winner in Qatar, Andrea Migno was on track for a podium finish before crashing on the final lap of the race.

Image Credit: MotoGP

Before the race started, Diogo Moreira suffered a mechanical issue that forced him to give up second place on the grid and, instead, start at the back of the field. His day went from bad to worse as he then retired on lap eight.

As the race started, Sergio Garcia and his Gaviota GASGAS bike flew from seventh place on the grid to take an early lead. He took Foggia and Migno with him, as they also enjoyed strong race starts. Soon, Garcia had the lead stolen from him by Foggia on lap three.

Foggia was now leading Migno, Garcia and Guevara, as the four broke away from the rest of the pack. By lap seven, Foggia had put a gap of 1.5s between himself and Migno in second – this then increased to a 3.2s gap by lap nine and a 5.1s gap by lap ten. This consistent increase in pace was unsurprising after the times Foggia had posted in the warm-up session.

In the latter stages of the races, Foggia had flown off in to the distance and left a large group of riders all battling hard for a second-place finish. This group included Guevara who was 0.9s ahead in second, followed by Migno, Deniz Oncu, Jaume Masia, Daniel Holgado, Ayumu Sasaki and, as he eventually found his rhythm and caught up to the pack, Garcia.

Image Credit: MotoGP

However, disaster struck as Sasaki hit Migno in to turn 10 on the final lap of the race. The pair were both down and out, whilst Tatay also struggled with last lap nerves. As a result of Tatay going wide at turn 10, and Sasaki and Migno’s crash, Garcia was temporarily gifted the final podium position. That was until the penultimate corner when Tatay struck back to reclaim third.

Next to cross the line was Oncu followed by Xavier Artigas and Masia. The top ten was completed by Elia Bartolini, Holgado and Tatsuki Suzuki, all within a few tenths of each other.

Home hero Mario Aji on the Honda Team Asia bike eventually came home in 14th and was cheered through every corner.

Feature Image Credit: MotoGP

Moto3: Tatay secures maiden pole ahead of Indonesian GP

Ahead of tomorrow’s race, qualifying was topped by Carlos Tatay as he clinched his maiden pole. Lining up alongside him on the front row will be Diogo Moreira and Mario Aji.

As MotoGP returns to Indonesia for the first time in 25 years, qualifying saw the uprising of the rookies with two securing a front row start for tomorrow. One of these rookies is Indonesian rider, and home hero, Mario Aji.

However the honours of the day when to Carlos Tatay, who has secured his maiden pole position in his fourth year in Moto3. It is also the first pole position for the new CFMoto Racing team. The Spanish rider set a time of 1:41.232s with six minutes left of Q2.

Just 0.083s behind Tatay was the top rookie of the day, Diogo Moreira. The Brazilian also took the top rookie award when the chequered flag fell in Qatar last weekend, finishing the race in sixth.

Rounding out the front row for the start of tomorrow’s race will be Indonesian rider and home hero, Aji. The Honda Team Asia rider came through from Q1 to set the early pace in Q2.

Mario Aji; Image Credit: MotoGP

Xavier Artigas is in fourth thanks to excellent teamwork with Tatay. Andrea Migno, who set the fastest times in FP2 and FP3, will start the race in fifth. Having won the race in Qatar, he will be looking for a similar result this weekend.

The top six riders were covered by less than half a second, with Dennis Foggia just 0.442s off the polesitter. He claimed sixth despite crashing at turn two.

Sergio Garcia also took a tumble, crashing in Q1. However, he managed to make it in to Q2 and secured seventh place. This comes a week after his podium finish in Qatar.

Garcia’s teammate took eighth with Deniz Oncu and Ayumu Sasaki rounding out the top ten.

John McPhee isn’t in action this weekend after fracturing two vertebrae in a training accident.

Moto3’s race will commence at 12pm (GMT+8) and you can stay up to date with all the action here at Crew On Two.

Feature Image Credit: MotoGP

Pedro Acosta – A star is born

Acosta

There aren’t many riders who enter their rookie season in Moto3 and blow both the fans and opposition away. But Pedro Acosta has done just that.

The young Moto3 rookie entered the category this year with an already impressive resume, winning the Red Bull Rookies Cup in 2020 and finishing as runner-up in the FIM CEV Moto3 Junior Championship in the same year.

At the tender age of 16, Acosta made his Moto3 debut in March with a strong and heavily experienced team of Red Bull KTM Ajo, meaning he had the equipment to run at the front.

It usually takes riders a few races to get up to pace with the close nature of Moto3; it can even take some a year and very often riders find themselves struggling to get up to speed at all.

It took Acosta just one race.

The Spaniard impressed everyone when he topped both FP1 and FP2 of the Grand Prix of Qatar and went one step further as he battled his way through the pack to finish second in the race, just 0.042s behind race winner Jaume Masia.

The paddock already knew he was the real deal, with Jack Miller even making what then seemed like a bold prediction that Acosta would win the championship.

Acosta
Credit: Rob Gray (Polarity Photo)/KTM Media Library

The now 17-year-old couldn’t stop impressing as he stunned everyone with a victory in the second round of the year, this time starting from the pit-lane and charging his way up the field to the front – something no Moto3 rider had accomplished beforehand.

Another two wins in Portugal and Spain saw Acosta become the first rider in Grand Prix history to achieve a podium in his first four races.

Acosta remained a regular front-runner from then on but only achieved a further four podiums, with his last coming in the Algarve GP, the race where he was crowned champion.

Ending off the season with 259 points – 43 points ahead of his nearest rival Dennis Foggia – Acosta has cemented himself as one of MotoGP’s future stars.

Moving into Moto2 for the 2022 campaign and already being linked to a MotoGP ride, the Spaniard will be looking to continue the already incredible form he has shown this season.

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