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.


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.


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

Moto3: Holgado Smashes Qatar Qualifying

Feature Image Credit: @PolarityPhoto on X

MotoGP is back! After the long winter break we are finally at the Lusail International Circuit for round 1 of the 2024 season.

New faces and stars are all ready to take on the 21 rounds of 2024, and it was a familiar face of Daniel Holgado (Red Bull GASGAS Tech3) who delivered the first Moto3 pole position of the season.

An incredible lap time set by Holgado with a new all time lap record here in Doha. It’s all set for another epic Moto3 race tomorrow in Qatar!

Image Credit: @Tech3Racing on X
Image Credit: @Tech3Racing on X


Qualifying 1

Scott Ogden (Mlav Racing) lead the field out onto the circuit for the first 15 minute qualifying  session of the season.

As the first set of flying lap times were set, it was Angel Piqueras (Leopard Racing) on the Joan Mir inspired #36 to top the timings with a 2:03.892.

The first runs were complete with several riders back in the garages for some changes. It was Filippo Farioli (SIC58 Squadra Corse) a few tenths clear of Piqueras at the front. The top 4 heading through to Q2 at this point were Farioli, Piqueras, Luca Lunetta (SIC58 Squadra Corse) and Taiyo Furusato (Honda Team Asia).

With the sun setting in Qatar and as newbie Joel Esteban (CFMOTO Aspar Team) was called back to the pits, it was still all to play for to get through to Q2.

With 1 minute left of the session, a Moto3 familiar sight of all riders dawdling on track, looking for someone to follow on their last flying lap attempts.

Farioli went by two riders but ran too deep in sector 3. Farioli lit up the sectors on his final flying lap attempt but failed to beat his quickest time.

That didn’t matter though as the top 4 order remained the same. Farioli quickest with Piqueras, Lunetta and Furusato all through into Q2.

Qualifying 2

The battle for pole position was on and the flood lights were switched on trackside.

As the swarm of riders crossed the line on their first flying laps,  it was a brief Honda 1-2 with Adrian Fernandez (Leopard Racing) and Lunetta at the top of the timings. This was short lived as Ivan Ortola (MT Helmets MSI) smashed the provisional pole time set by over a second. What a lap from Ortola and a new all time lap record time set with a blistering 2:02.541. Could anyone beat this time set by Ortola with 9minutes left of the session?

With the first run at pole position completed, all of the riders headed into the pits and most would of been baffled by Ortola’s incredible lap time. At this stage in Q2, Ortola was on provisional pole with Jose Antonio Rueda (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 2nd and David Alonso (CFMOTO Aspar Team) 3rd rounding off the provisional front row of the grid.

Just under 4 minutes of the session remained as all of the riders headed back out onto the circuit to fight for pole position.

With only 2 minutes left of the session, Alonso’s team communicated with him to come into the pits to box. Alonso aware of the time left continued on in the session ignoring the call to the pits.

Daniel Holgado was up through sectors 1 & 2 half way around his last flying lap. Personal bests for David Munoz (BOE Motorsports) and Matteo Bertelle (Rivacold Snipers Team) also on their last attempts at pole position. Holgado was still estimated P1 as he headed into the final corner.

Holgado crossed the line with an incredible lap of 2:02.276. After we thought nobody was stopping Ortola marching to pole position, Daniel Holgado set a new all time lap record and now has his 3rd pole position of his career.

Starting Grid

Image Credit: MotoGP


Qatar completes 2021 F1 calendar

The F1 paddock this season have been known for keeping the worst secrets, like George Russell’s move to Mercedes that took a while to be confirmed. It’s been touted for a while now that the Losail International Circuit in Qatar will host an event this year, as F1 has been reviewing options to replace the Australian Grand Prix since mid-August.

The FIA has officially confirmed the 20th round of the 2021 season will be held at this track on the weekend of 19-21 November, a part of the Middle East finale as F1 then travels to the new Jeddah street track in Saudi Arabia, before concluding at the updated Yas Marina track in Abu Dhabi. The other interesting news is that Qatar will join the F1 calendar for 10 years from 2023 onwards as it has the FIFA World Cup to focus on in 2022, which suggests either F1 will either lose a race or is aiming for a 24-race calendar.

The Losail Circuit is 22 miles north of Doha, the capital of Qatar, and has a single stand of around 8,000 capacity, which they could expand for the F1 event. It holds an FIA grade 1 license and is 5.38km in length with a 1.06km start/finish straight which would be perfect for a DRS zone very similar to Bahrain. Since 2008 it has been known for night racing. The fastest time set at Losail by any motorsport is 1:35:741 set by Nico Hulkenburg in GP2 Asia qualifying in 2009.

Francesco Bagnaia at Qatar 2021 MotoGP. Image Courtesy of Ducati

Losail has been on the MotoGP calendar since 2004 and has been its season opener since 2007. World Superbikes have also raced throughout the years as the track favours two wheels compared to four, especially if you look at the twisty nature of sector two. The last four wheel action on the track was the World Touring Car Championship action in 2017.

The closest Losail has come to Formula 1 was the GP2 Asia series in the 2008-09 calendar, when it was a part of the six track championship. A worthy note is that Sergio Perez competed in that season of racing, finishing second in race one and winning race two, thus being the only driver on the current F1 grid to ever to compete there.

Will Lewis Hamilton make this his 30th different track to win on? Hamilton has done well at first time attempts in 2020 as he won at Mugello, Portimao and Imola, but 2021 is very much a different season for him and Mercedes.

The 2021 calendar is now complete, still with a record-breaking 22 events if not the 23 they wished. But sure that number will more than likely come next year with the Miami International Autodrome in May.

2021 Season Conclusion

10 Oct – Turkey (Istanbul Park) 🇹🇷

24 Oct – USA (COTA) 🇺🇸

7 Nov – Mexico (Mexico City) 🇲🇽

14 Nov – Brazil (Interlagos) 🇧🇷

21 Nov – Qatar (Losail) 🇶🇦

5 Dec – Saudi Arabia (Jeddah) 🇸🇦

12 Dec – Abu Dhabi (Yas Marina) 🇦🇪

©2014-2024 ThePitCrewOnline