#VALENCIAGP – MOTO3, Guevara beats Öncü in a final-lap thriller
Izan Guevara has shown why he is the Moto3™ World Champion by snatching victory in the Gran Premio Motul de la Comunitat Valenciana from Deniz Öncü despite trailing the Turk into the final corner. Guevara led all the way until midway through the last lap of the season at the Circuit Ricardo Tormo, but then got the run off Turn 14 and powered his Valresa GASGAS Aspar Team entry to a triumph of just 0.062 seconds. Four from four on his home soil of Spain, then, for the man who wrapped up the title in Australia, while Öncü (Red Bull KTM Tech3) was visibly disappointed with himself at missing out. Sergio Garcia (Valresa GASGAS Aspar Team) clinched second in the Championship by finishing a lonely third on the day.
As you were at the start
Guevara had qualified on pole position and headed the field to the first corner, from fellow front row starters Öncü and Garcia. Ivan Ortola (Angeluss MTA Team) took up fourth and Diogo Moreira (MT Helmets – MSI) fifth, which was how they ran until the latter served a Long Lap Penalty for crashing under a yellow flag in Free Practice.
He dropped from the back of the lead group to seventh, just behind Ayumu Sasaki (Sterilgarda Husqvarna Max) and David Muñoz (BOE Motorsports), and just ahead of Leopard Racing teammates Tatsuki Suzuki and Dennis Foggia. It meant Garcia was in the box seat for runner-up in the World Championship, given his rivals for those honours were Sasaki, as the firm outsider in the scenario, and Foggia.
As Sasaki and Muñoz battled over fifth, and Foggia made his way back ahead of Suzuki, it was Guevara and Öncü continuing to gap Garcia and Ortola, their margin over third place growing beyond a full second on Lap 6 of 23. It was two seconds after three laps more, by which time both Foggia and Xavier Artigas (CFMoto Racing PruestelGP) had overtaken Moreira for seventh and eighth, respectively.
Up the front, Guevara still could not shake Öncü, despite the Turk feeling the need to throw something away from his bike on Lap 10, but Garcia had finally put a second on Ortola on Lap 12, then two seconds on Lap 13, and four seconds on Lap 15. Meanwhile, the battle for fifth was being contested between at least eight riders, namely Sasaki, Muñoz, Artigas, Foggia, Moreira, Daniel Holgado (Red Bull KTM Ajo), Ryusei Yamanaka (MT Helmets – MSI), and John McPhee (Sterilgarda Husqvarna Max) – and they were catching Ortola.
Öncü makes his move but Guevara prevails
In fact, Sasaki and Muñoz both passed Ortola at the start of Lap 18, and Artigas was the next to set his sights on the #48 machine – until he crashed while running seventh on Lap 18 at Turn 6. Artigas remounted, but was out of what had become a battle for fourth – which had been joined by then by Adrian Fernandez (Red Bull KTM Tech3) and Carlos Tatay (CFMoto Racing PruestelGP).
With one lap to go, Guevara and Öncü were six seconds ahead of the rest, but not much more than hundredths of a second apart from each other. The KTM pilot looked at the GASGAS machine in front of him and sent it down the inside at Turn 8, then just managed to complete the pass as they ran through Turn 9. However, Guevara was not done, getting a better exit off the final corner and passing Öncü for victory number seven of the season – a perfect way to sign off before he moves up to Moto2™ with Aspar in 2023.
Garcia got home in third and Foggia claimed fourth, after a final lap in which he, Ortola, and Muñoz swarmed over each other. However, it would be Sasaki taking the chequered flag in fifth, ahead of Fernandez, Muñoz in seventh, then Moreira – the rookie of the year – Yamanaka, Holgado, McPhee, and Ortola in 12th. Tatay finished 13th, with Suzuki and Andrea Migno (Rivacold Snipers Team) rounding out the points-paying positions, while Artigas was classified 23rd.
Moto3™ Race Top 10:
1. Izan Guevara (Valresa GASGAS Aspar Team)
2. Deniz Öncü (Red Bull KTM Tech3) + 0.062
3. Sergio Garcia (Valresa GASGAS Aspar Team) + 6.557
4. Dennis Foggia (Leopard Racing) + 14.133
5. Ayumu Sasaki (Sterilgarda Husqvarna Max) + 14.574
6. Adrian Fernandez (Red Bull KTM Tech3) + 14.676
7. David Muñoz (BOE Motorsports) + 14.889
8. Diogo Moreira (MT Helmets – MSI) + 15.048
9. Ryusei Yamanaka (MT Helmets – MSI) + 15.288
10. Daniel Holgado (Red Bull KTM Ajo) + 15.440
“It’s been a tough race and despite struggling at the beginning we’ve managed to get the 4th position and this way I’ve finished 3rd on the final standings. Many thanks to my team! A nice way to finish these three seasons together”.
Dennis Foggia P4
“I’m happy with the pace I set. I lacked a bit of speed at the beginning of the race but afterwards the pace was good and I tried to stay focused. I want to thank the team, as we could have fought for fourth place for sure. In the end, these things happen and I will learn from the mistake.”
Jaume Masia P22
“The result of today isn’t good, but it’s the moment to do a resume of the season. And I feel proud about what we’ve done and about what I learned. I enjoyed it, and I increased my maturity during the season. Today’s race was tough; I had a problem with my arm after lap nine. I was catching the group, but with the arm pump problem, I suffered a lot on every left corner. The season is over, and it’s time to start thinking about next year.”
Mario Aji P27
“Thus ends a year full of emotions for me. A year with difficult moments, but also many beautiful moments. From 4th place in Argentina, in Jerez the comeback with Long Lap, to the podium in Thailand .. The last two races ended like this, but the speed is there. We need to improve a bit on Saturday, a special thanks to the whole team, for supporting me but above all enduring me all year. With the desire to start the first winter tests, we will have fun next year. IT’S A PROMISE”
Riccardo Rossi NC
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