Red Bull KTM Ajo’s Remy Gardner excelled for KTM’s GP Academy at the Gran Premio D’Italia and the sixth round of 2021 MotoGP by scorching to his first win of the season. Jaume Masia took 2nd place in Moto3 with two KTM RC4s in the top four.
Pedro Acosta adapted quickly to the demands of the Mugello circuit by posting the 2nd fastest lap-time in Q2 qualification on Saturday. The world championship leader set-off from the middle of the front row of the grid with teammate Jaume Masia just behind. A large group of 12 riders circulated close together for the majority of the 20 laps with Red Bull KTM Tech3’s Ayumu Sasaki was also in the pack. Teammate Deniz Öncü crashed out on the first lap.
A thrilling final two circulations saw Masia just miss out on victory by just three hundredths of a second with Sasaki in 4th and only two tenths from 1st! Acosta was less than a second away from the triumph but was docked one position for exceeding track limits and classified 8th.
Acosta (111), Masia (59) and Sasaki (57) now head the Moto3 standings with their KTM RC4s.
Moto2 rookie Raul Fernandez set off from Pole Position for the second time in a row and for the second time in his short stint in the category. The Spaniard had been looking very competitive during the sessions at Mugello and duly settled into the lead and with a narrow margin through the 21-lap chase. Red Bull KTM Ajo teammate Remy Gardner was quick off the line and 4th on the grid and was also one of the contenders.
Fernandez, in only his second GP appearance at Mugello, led almost the entire distance until he experienced some front-end grip problems and started to be caught by Gardner; the Australian also adjusting his style and enacting a sharp race strategy to cope with the physicality of Mugello. Gardner timed his move on the final lap to perfection, and Fernandez’ retaliation meant the second closest finish in the history of the Moto2 class as Gardner triumphed for the first time in Red Bull KTM Ajo colors by one hundredth of a second.
Gardner and Fernandez have appeared on the podium together four times from the six rounds to-date and have three victories between them. Gardner leads his teammate by 6 points at the top of the championship.
Remy Gardner: “I knew I was strong today. But the set-up was a bit strange with the front end: I had many, many ‘moments’ and I changed my riding style halfway through to combat that. In the end I was coming back hard as well as managing my fitness because it is a physical track. It worked out well and I’m so happy to get another win.”
Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup
The sixth round of the 2021 Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup brought the Gran Premio D’Italia to a close. Taiyo Furusato caused a stir on Saturday for the fifth race when the debutant clinched victory by several thousandths of a second. The Japanese was again in the mix Sunday afternoon but the 15-lap contest was won by David Muñoz for his second ’25 points’ of the season. The ‘Rookies’ are next in action at the Sachsenring in Germany on June 19-20.
MotoGP heads directly from Italy to Spain this week for the Gran Premi Monster Energy de Catalunya and the seventh date on the schedule.
KTM and the entire MotoGP community were incredibly sad to lose Moto3 racer Jason Dupasquier as a consequence of the Swiss’ accident on Saturday during Q2. The company’s deepest thoughts and condolences go to his family and close friends as well as the PrüstelGP team.
Results Moto3 Gran Premio Oakley D’Italia 2021
1. Dennis Foggia (ITA) Honda 39:37.497
2. Jaume Masia (ESP) Red Bull KTM Ajo +0.036
2. Gabriel Rodrigo (ARG) Honda +0.145
4. Ayumu Sasaki (JPN) Red Bull KTM Tech3 +0.240
5. Darryn Binder (RSA) Honda +0.499
8. Pedro Acosta (ESP) Red Bull KTM Ajo +0.745
DNF. Deniz Öncü (TUR) Red Bull KTM Tech3
Results Moto2 Gran Premio Oakley D’Italia 2021
1. Remy Gardner (AUS) Red Bull KTM Ajo 39:17.667
2. Raul Fernandez (ESP) Red Bull KTM Ajo +0.014
3. Marco Bezzecchi (ITA) +8.021