The Animoca Brands Australian Grand Prix was the scene for round eighteen of twenty in 2022 MotoGP™ and the KTM GP Academy toasted podium results in Moto3™ for Red Bull KTM Tech3’s Deniz Öncü and in Moto2™ for Red Bull KTM Ajo’s Pedro Acosta around a sunny, windy and chilly Phillip Island.
A slew of KTM RC4s found room in three groups at the front of Moto3 and the opening race of the day at Phillip Island. Many of the young rookies and hopefuls were competing at the Victorian site for the first time after the forced hiatus of three years since the world championship last rolled into town.
Red Bull KTM Tech3’s Deniz Öncü was one of the riders in the quartet edging for the race win and provided fantastic entertainment in the second half of the 23-lap distance. The Turk was defeated in the run to the flag by slender three tenths of a second but was still able to toast his second walk of the podium this year.
Deniz Öncü: “We had a really good race today and I was glad that we quickly became a leading group of just four riders so we could fight properly without losing too many positions. On the final lap, two riders went wide and I told myself that I needed to accelerate and go for it. I am happy to finish second today and get back on the podium after my different injuries over the last couple of weeks.”
Red Bull KTM Ajo’s Jaume Masia picked up the final point for 15th in Australia while Adrian Fernandez took 15th. Daniel Holgado crashed out after tangling with another rider.
Red Bull KTM Ajo’s Pedro Acosta circulated Phillip Island for the first time in Grand Prix competition. The outgoing Moto3 world champion was able to finish 2nd behind Alonso Lopez for his fourth rostrum appearance of the year.
The team are still chasing their second successive Moto2 championship title despite Augusto Fernandez crashing out of 3rd place in Australia. The Majorcan defended a slender 1.5 point margin heading to Phillip Island and started the 25-lap fare from 2nd place on the grid. Fernandez battled with his teammate until he lost the front end into Turn 2 and tumbled into the grass.
By the time of the checkered flag Fernandez lost a small amount of ground in the standings to Ai Ogura. The gap is now 3.5 points.
Pedro Acosta: “I think for many people this was the hardest race of our lives! With the wind and the cold it was not easy. The team did very well and I felt very comfortable, so I have to thank them for the effort they always put in. We took another podium, which in the end is important, and we are already thinking about Malaysia and the next race.”
MotoGP™ immediately moves to the Sepang International Circuit this week for the penultimate date on the schedule with the Petronas Grand Prix of Malaysia.
Results Moto3 Animoca Brands Australian Grand Prix
1. Izan Guevara (ESP), GASGAS 37:38.762
2. Deniz Öncü (TUR), Red Bull KTM Tech3 +0.345
3. Sergio Garcia (ESP), GASGAS +0.460
4. Ayumu Sasaki, (JPN), Husqvarna +0.560
5. Stefano Nepa (ITA), KTM +7.428
15. Jaume Masia (ESP) Red Bull KTM Ajo +22.414
18. Adrian Fernandez (ESP) Red Bull KTM Ajo +41.826
DNF. Daniel Holgado (ESP) Red Bull KTM Ajo
Results Moto2 Animoca Brands Australian Grand Prix
1. Alonso Lopez (ESP) 39:14.947
2. Pedro Acosta (ESP) Red Bull KTM Ajo +3.556
3. Jake Dixon (GBR) +9.583
DNF. Augusto Fernandez (ESP) Red Bull KTM Ajo