Ayumu Sasaki and Deniz Öncü gave their Red Bull KTM Tech3 team a pair of top ten results through a difficult mix of wet and dry conditions at Le Mans for the squad’s home Shark Grand Prix de France. Italian Riccardo Rossi was the top KTM RC4 racer in 3rd position. Red Bull KTM Ajo’s Raul Fernandez and Remy Gardner finished 1-2 in a sunny Moto2 race and both riders top the championship.
– Ayumu Sasaki makes the top 5 at Red Bull KTM Tech3’s home Grand Prix
– Riccardo Rossi celebrates first Moto3 podium with his KTM RC4
– Pedro Acosta recovers from 21st on the grid and a race crash to score 8th
– Raul Fernandez wins for the second time in Moto2 after starting from Pole Position. Remy Gardner finishes 2nd for a Red Bull KTM Ajo 1-2
After a soaking warm-up session, the Moto3 Grand Prix began under partially blue skies and a slowly drying circuit. The race was declared as ‘wet’ and big patches of the Le Mans layout held puddles but other areas were slick and eventually produced a dry line. There were half a dozen crashes within the first two circulations of the 22-lap distance. Red Bull KTM Ajo’s Jaume Masia was one of the fallers. The Spaniard lost rear wheel grip out of Turn 14 and tumbled into the gravel. Teammate and world championship leader Pedro Acosta also slid off the circuit at Turn 3 after a fantastic recovery from 21st on the grid to vie for the podium. The youngster was able to keep his KTM RC4 running and rejoined the fray to again work his way forward to 8th. Acosta now has more than 100 points in the Moto3 world championship standings and leads Sergio Garcia by 54.
Red Bull KTM Tech3’s Ayumu Sasaki rode consistently to finish 5th. The Japanese gave his crew, competing at their home Grand Prix, cause for contentment with an error-free and measured performance. Teammate Deniz Öncü was 9th after setting the fastest lap of the race in the final phases.
At the front of the field young Italian Riccardo Rossi held off the attentions of John McPhee in the last two laps to classify on the podium for the first time in his career.
Belated sunshine greeted the start of the Moto2 race where Raul Fernandez started from Pole Position for the first time. The Spaniard was able to avoid the damper parts of the French circuit to set the pace and collect his second victory in just five appearances so far in the category. Fernandez had to keep an eye on the closing profile of teammate Remy Gardner. The Australian had been baulked in the formative moments of the 25-laps but recovered from the mid-top ten for a pulsing 2nd place result and his fourth podium of 2021. Gardner heads Fernandez by just 1 point in the Moto2 standings.
Raul Fernandez: “I don’t like these conditions too much but they are the same for everyone. It was really difficult to ride out there, especially through the second sector but, anyway, I’m really happy. My team gave me the tools and the support I needed because I was nervous on the grid. A second victory in my first season: I don’t have many words!”
MotoGP will move south through Europe this week to fill the paddock at the Autodromo Internazionale del Mugello in preparation for the Gran Premio D’Italia Oakley on May 29-30.
Northern Talent Cup
Sunday entertained the second race of the 2021 Northern Talent Cup. After winning on Saturday Belgian youngster Lorenz Luciano classified 2nd this afternoon as his challenger Jakub Gurecky strode to victory throughout 15 action-packed laps. The Czech racer is now tied on points with his main rival. The Northern Talent Cup next joins MotoGP in Germany at the Sachsenring on 19-20 of June.
Results Moto3 Shark Grand Prix de France 2021
1. Sergio Garcia (ESP) GASGAS 42:21.172
2. Filip Salac (CZE) Honda +2.349
3. Riccardo Rossi (ITA) KTM +5.589
4. John McPhee (GBR) Honda +7.158
5. Ayumu Sasaki (JPN) Red Bull KTM Tech3 +14.882
8. Pedro Acosta (ESP) Red Bull KTM Ajo +29.880
9. Deniz Öncü (TUR) Red Bull KTM Tech3 +35.098
DNF. Jaume Masia (ESP) Red Bull KTM Ajo
Results Moto2 Shark Grand Prix de France 2021
1. Raul Fernandez (ESP) Red Bull KTM Ajo 40:46.101
2. Remy Gardner (AUS) Red Bull KTM Ajo +1.490
3. Marco Bezzecchi (ITA) +4.599
4. Tony Arbolino (ITA) +7.503
5. Bo Bendsneyder (NED) +11.887