Moto3: Alonso Lethal in Lusail!

Feature Image Credit: @PolarityPhoto on X

With a glorious sunset in Doha, the opening race of the season was upon us in Moto3. With both Jaume Masia and Deniz Oncu now in Moto2, only David Alonso (CFMOTO Aspar Team) remained from last year’s podium in today’s race. Alonso started from the middle of the 3rd row in 8th.

Pole sitter Daniel Holgado (Red Bull GASGAS Tech3) who finished 9th here last season, was desperate to finish off a perfect weekend converting the pole position to victory this afternoon.

AS IT HAPPENED

David Munoz (BOE Motorsports) not allowed to start and told to get off the grid after stalling off the line. Disaster for Munoz and had to be moved to the pits before we got going.

A great start from Holgado off the line when we finally got under way. Ivan Ortola (MT Helmets MSI) and Jose Antonio Rueda (Red Bull KTM Ajo) hot on the heels of Holgado as they went through the first sector. Rueda up the inside of Ortola into turn 10. Rueda looked to go further ahead and pass Holgado into turn 12 but Holgado managed to shut the door on the Spaniard.

Adrian Fernandez (Leopard Racing) dived up the inside of Ortola as the riders completed the first lap. Into lap 2 and Fernandez was ready to fight today, dicing with Ortola in the first few corners.

Alonso up 4 places into 4th in the middle of lap 2 of 16 here in Doha. Alonso the pre season favourite by many will be keen to get to the front as quickly as possible. Rueda and Holgado already into an epic battle here switching places as Rueda headed into the final corner in the lead of the race to complete lap 2.

Sector 1 lit up in yellow as Rueda and Ortola collided at turn 1. 2 of the race favourites both crashing out of the race early on. Rueda looked to of lost the rear and went into Ortola. Clearly a racing incident and both riders ok. No further action was taken by the stewards.

Lap 4 of 16 and Alonso right up behind race leader Holgado into turn 1. Tatsuki Suzuki (Liqui Moly Husqvarna Intact GP) set the fastest lap of the race at this point and going well running in 11th having started the race in 19th.

We had a lead group of 11 riders at this early stage in the race and it was anyone’s guess as to who could take command of the Grand Prix. Taiyo Furusato (Honda Team Asia) had a disaster in qualifying but not today, going from 18th to 7th in the race at this point.

Through the first 3rd of the race, Holgado lead from Alonso 2nd and Fernandez in 3rd. We still had a lead group of 11 riders all not letting Holgado pull away in this one. Holgado set the pace but with itchy riders behind it was shaping up to be another Moto3 classic. With the length of the start straight being a kilometre long it’s always difficult for a leader to pull away.

Both Matteo Bertelle (Rivacold Snipers Team) and Filippo Farioli (SIC58 Squadra Corse) went down at turn 13 with Farioli having a big high side in the incident. Farioli clearly hurt after that impact.

Furusato now up to 6th place with 11 laps to go and continued to climb to the front. Yellow flags in sector 3 and 4 would keep Furusato at bay at least for the next few corners.

Towards half race distance now and Furusato looked on another level and took the lead for the first time of the race from 18th on the grid. Holgado took back the lead from Furusato at turn 10 and Furusato lead the Grand Prix for just 4 corners. Into the final corner of lap 8, Riccardo Rossi (CIP Green Power) dove up the inside of Fernandez into the podium position only for Fernandez to get him back into turn 1.

7 laps to go and the battle was no where near finished as every rider behind the leader were fighting in an overtaking melee. We were all set for another Moto3 classic.

Furusato lost the rear and 2 places and dropped back to 4th. Swapped places with Fernandez and outside of the podium places as we headed into turn 1 with 5 laps to go.

3 laps to go and Holgado still lead from Alonso 2nd, Fernandez 3rd and Furusato in 4th. It was still anyone’s guess as to who was going to win this race. Furusato up the inside of both Alonso and Fernandez up into 2nd at turn 1.

With the slipstream not having much of an impact on the leader on the start straight, the race was all hanging on who would lead out of turn 16 on the last lap. At this stage we still had a lead group of 10 riders.

2 laps to go, Furusato and Alonso went by Holgado into turn 1, only for Holgado to squeeze through the pair of them into turn 2. As Ryusei Yamanaka (MT Helmets MSI) crashed out in sector 2, Holgado hung onto the lead from Furusato 2nd and Alonso in 3rd.

Alonso towards the end of lap 15 went from 3rd to 6th with Rossi, Fernandez and Vicente Perez (Red Bull KTM Ajo) getting by the Columbian in the last sector of the lap.

THE LAST LAP

Into turn 1 and Holgado clung onto the lead with Furusato 2nd and Rossi in 3rd. Alonso started his charge back to the front moving up to 4th as disaster struck for Perez and Fernandez crashing out on the last lap of the race.

Turn 10 and Alonso picked his spot perfectly to get by Rossi. With the momentum into turn 11,  Alonso was in full attack mode blasting his way up the inside of Furusato. Alonso into 2nd now gunning for Holgado and the race victory.

Towards the final corner into turn 16, Alonso made his move and went by Holgado to take the first win of the 2024 season. Incredible from David Alonso and the Aspar team garage went bonkers and rightly so. To start the lap in 6th place and to go onto win it in the last corner was outstanding.

What a start to the 2024 Moto3 championship! What a win for David Alonso!

Image Credit: @AsparTeam on X

Image Credit: @AsparTeam on X

Race Classification

Image Credit: MotoGP
Image Credit: MotoGP

Feature Image Credit: MotoGP

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