Sunshine bored down on the Circuito de Jerez – Angel Nieto for the Gran Premio Red Bull de España and the sixth round of 2022 MotoGP and the compact and demanding venue in southern Spain was the site for Red Bull KTM Ajo’s Jaume Masia to take his third podium finish in a row.
A tight qualification period for the Moto3 class on Saturday saw Red Bull KTM Ajo’s Jaume Masia and Red Bull KTM Tech3’s Deniz Öncü take their KTM RC4 to slots on the first two rows of the grid and help slide the Spaniard and Turk straight into the 6-rider front running group for the Grand Prix. The race itself was hammered out through 22 addictive laps and with the customary sight of numerous position changes for the podium spots.
Öncü, who had signaled his intent in the morning with the fastest lap in Warm-up, was in the heart of the battle with Masia in tow. He pushed to the limit on the final circulation and led into the crucial Turn 13 but the five riders created epic scenes with varying lines and approaches. Masia was able to squeeze past with slight contact and Izan Guevara and Sergio Garcia went 1-2 to the flag. Öncü was 4th and missed P1 by just three tenths of a second.
Rookie Daniel Holgado was 9th and less than six seconds from the winner and Adrian Fernandez failed to finish but the youngster was still dealing with his hand injury picked up in Portugal the previous weekend.
Masia is now 4th in the Riders standings and is the highest placed KTM runner.
Jaume Masia: “I’m happy but a bit frustrated because I was planning the last lap and managing the race well. I was the only one to use the hard tire so I was a bit nervous at the start but in the end we held the pace Izan was making and we did what we could. Thanks to everybody for the support; taking a podium here in Spain in front of these amazing fans.”
Red Bull KTM Ajo’s Augusto Fernandez powered to 4th place in the Moto2 race that was back to second billing in the Grand Prix timetable and laid down copious Dunlop rubber for the MotoGP event that followed. Fernandez, in his first home outing for the championship-winning team, put his title objective back on track with a solid top-four outing. In 20th was teammate Pedro Acosta, who used the same degree of Jerez track knowledge and familiarity to look fast and then recover from an early, slow crash at Turn 6.
Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup
Jose Rueda continues to be the early pacesetter in the 2022 Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup and the Spanish teenager ruled the first race of round two of seven in the current contest on Saturday. The Pole Position holder was part of another entertaining scrap on Sunday afternoon but it was Maximo Quiles who prevailed on the KTM RC 250 R used by all participants. The Rookies will next join MotoGP when the championship moves to Italy and the spectacular curves of Mugello on May 28-29.
After another back-to-back double, MotoGP now rests for a week and prior to the trip to northern France and the historic Le Mans circuit for the Shark Grand Prix de France on May 14-15.
Results Moto3 Gran Premio Red Bull de España 2022
1. Izan Guevara, (ESP), GASGAS 39:19.873
2. Sergio Garcia, (ESP), GASGAS +0.061
3. Jaume Masia (ESP) Red Bull KTM Ajo +0.208
4. Deniz Öncü, (TUR), Red Bull KTM Tech3 +0.319
5. Xavier Artigas, (ESP), CFMOTO +0.417
9. Daniel Holgado (ESP) Red Bull KTM Ajo +5.811
DNF. Adrian Fernandez (ESP) Red Bull KTM Tech3
Results Moto2 Gran Premio Red Bull de España 2022
1. Ai Ogura (JPN) 39:16.357
2. Aron Canet (ESP) +2.509
3. Tony Arbolino (ITA) +3.669
4. Augusto Fernandez (ESP) Red Bull KTM Ajo +5.358
20. Pedro Acosta (ESP) Red Bull KTM Ajo +46.441