Red Bull KTM Ajo locked out both categories for the KTM GP Academy at the Grande Premio 888 de Portugal and the third round of the 2021 world championship. Pedro Acosta won in Moto3 and Raul Fernandez in Moto2™ for the first chapter of the MotoGP™ season on European soil.
- Thrilling and wild performance by Acosta for second win in just three GP outings
- Acosta leads the early championship standings by 31 points. Sasaki finishes 4th in Portugal
- Raul Fernandez leads teammate Remy Gardner on the podium for debut Moto2 success
Red Bull KTM Ajo entered the Grand Prix at the spectacular and technical Autódromo Internacional do Algarve as undefeated in 2021 Moto3 thanks to the opening round victories by Jaume Masia and Pedro Acosta In Qatar. The two Spaniards were in the hunt for the top lap-times during Free Practice and Qualification that hinted at their competitiveness for the race on Sunday morning.
It was actually Red Bull KTM Tech3’s Deniz Öncü who was highest placed on the grid as the Turk lined up in 7th place but a Q2 penalty meant a pitlane start and he recovered to earn the last GP point. Acosta and Masia were joined by Ayumu Sasaki in the intense position-swapping gaggle of ten riders. Acosta was roaming at the front of the field but Masia was in close proximity until a mistake by the Spaniard entering Turn 5 on the last lap. Masia was able to remount to score 9th. Acosta snatched the lead with three corners to go and pushed the KTM RC4 to extremes of traction and power on the last Turn 15 to celebrate the win by less than a tenth of a second. The 16-year-old is the youngest rider in GP history to start his career with three podium appearances.
In total five KTM RC4s occupied spaces in the top ten. Acosta leads the championship standings by 31 points from Masia.
Pedro Acosta: “An amazing race after a difficult weekend that started in wet conditions. My team did amazing job. My race strategy was to have fun for 25 minutes and then take the trophy. It is fantastic to be here again.”
Remy Gardner made another strong statement for the Red Bull KTM Ajo team on Saturday by missing out on Pole Position by just two-hundredths of a second. The Australian lined-up in 2nd place on the grid and just eight slots ahead of rookie teammate Raul Fernandez. In the 23 laps of the Moto2 affair both were part of an unusually close and unpredictable contest.
It was Fernandez, who had won the Moto3 Grand Prix in Portimao the previous November, who excelled and found a new streak of pace in the closing laps. He pulled clear of the tussle for the podium, of which Gardner was charging. The Australian passed the flag in 3rd place less than two seconds behind his teammate. Gardner now leads the Moto2 championship by 4 points from Fernandez.
Raul Fernandez: “Unbelievable! Thanks to the team for giving me best bike of the weekend. I had bad luck with the yellow flags in qualifying but I knew I had great bike for whole race. In Qatar I didn’t have too much tire left but we managed it better today. Overall this victory is incredible, and at one of my favorite tracks! We will see now for Jerez.”
Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup
On Saturday David Alonso was a clear victor in the first date of the 2021 Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup. The teenager aced the race on Saturday afternoon for what is the fifteenth season of the exciting seven-round feeder series, showcasing the best young talent primed for the step to Grand Prix. On Sunday and the second outing at Portimao it was Alonson again who took the checkered flag after a thrilling last corner decider. The Red Bull MotoGP Rookies will resume at round four of MotoGP.
The Circuito de Jerez – Angel Nieto will stage the Gran Premio Red Bull de España in two weeks time. Free Practice will get underway on April 30th with the races set for Sunday May 2nd.
Results Moto3 Grande Premio 888 de Portugal 2021
1. Pedro Acosta (ESP) Red Bull KTM Ajo 38:01.773
2. Dennis Foggia (ITA) Honda +0.051
3. Andrea Migno (ITA) Honda +0.584
4. Ayumu Sasaki (JPN) Red Bull KTM Tech3 +0.615
9. Jaume Masia (ESP) Red Bull KTM Ajo +12.487
15. Deniz Öncü (TUR) Red Bull KTM Tech3 +13.788
Results Moto2 Grande Premio 888 de Portugal 2021
1. Raul Fernandez (ESP) Red Bull KTM Ajo 39.47.377
2. Aron Canet (ESP) +1.600
3. Remy Gardner (AUS) Red Bull KTM Ajo +1.968