Pedro Acosta starred for the KTM GP Academy at the second Grand Prix of 2021 to take place at a windy and challenging Losail International Circuit. The 16-year old 2020 Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup Champion recorded his first win in just his second GP start and after beginning the race from the pitlane. In Moto2 Remy Gardner was runner-up for the second Sunday in a row and rookie teammate Raul Fernandez made the box as well in 3rd.
– Full Qatar ‘double’ win for Red Bull KTM Ajo in Moto3
– Acosta wins second GP from a pitlane start and now leads the championship
– Gardner and Fernandez fill 2nd and 3rd positions on Moto2 podium
Fresh from his first victory for the Red Bull KTM Ajo team in the season-opening event the previous weekend, Jaume Masia rode strongly with his KTM RC4 to seal Pole Position on Saturday for the Tissot Grand Prix of Doha and third significant fixture at Losail after the official IRTA test and the Barwa Grand Prix of Qatar. The Spaniard was then part of a relentless fifteen-rider chase for podium places and only two incidents in the pack on the final lap dropped him to 9th.
Rookie Pedro Acosta faced the handicap of starting the Grand Prix from pitlane after receiving a penalty during Free Practice 2 on Friday. The teenager launched away with Red Bull KTM Tech3’s Deniz Öncü for company. He squashed a seven-second deficit by mid-race distance and then scythed through the field to sensationally take the lead on the last circulation and claim the checkered flag in exceptional circumstances. Elsewhere Öncü recovered to 18th as Red Bull Tech3 teammate Ayumu Sasaki captured 7th place.
In total six KTM RC4s filled positions in the top ten with Niccolo Antonelli making the podium in 3rd. Acosta now has a 9-point advantage in the championship standings with Masia in 3rd spot.
Pedro Acosta: “I don’t know how I did it! When you work with the best guys then it counts. Yesterday I saw everything a bit dark with the penalty but this morning I said to my assistant ‘I think we can do it’. With the lap-times I thought I could be in the group and finally we made it. I can only say thanks to my family, assistant and the team.”
For the second weekend in succession Red Bull KTM Ajo duo Remy Gardner and Raul Fernandez were among the pacesetters in Free Practice and Qualification and through difficult conditions that saw Losail blasted by strong winds and swirling clouds of dust. By the end of Q2 on Saturday Gardner had set the 2nd fastest lap to sit in the middle of the front row and Fernandez had notched the quickest Moto2 effort for the entire weekend in FP2 before going on to post 4th during qualifying.
In the race the Australian hunted the rear wheel of leader Sam Lowes and came desperately close to seizing first position on the final lap. The gap was less than two tenths of a second at the checkered flag. Despite suffering some tire wear, Fernandez was able to slide into 3rd place ahead of Marco Bezzecchi for his maiden podium in the category and wrap an astonishing two weeks of results for the Red Bull KTM Ajo crew.
Remy Gardner: “Sam rode an incredible race especially with this wind; it was hard not to make a mistake and our pace was ridiculous. I got really close on the last lap but anyway I’m super-happy with the work we have done in these two races.”
Raul Fernandez: “I’m really happy, and to have a podium in my second race is incredible. I want to thank to the team because we worked so well. We’ve had two hard races and in hard conditions. I had a problem with the front tire today from about nine laps to go and I pushed to be with Marco. This last year and moving from Moto3 to Moto2 has been incredible for me.”
The Grande Premio 888 de Portugal at the Algarve International Circuit will bring MotoGP together again for round three on April 17-18.
Results Moto3 Tissot Grand Prix of Doha 2021
1. Pedro Acosta (ESP) Red Bull KTM Ajo 38:22.430
2. Darryn Binder (RSA) Honda +0.039
3. Niccolo Antonelli (ITA) KTM +0.482
7. Ayumu Sasaki (JPN) Red Bull KTM Tech3 +1.805
9. Jaume Masia (ESP) Red Bull KTM Ajo +1.875
18. Deniz Öncü (TUR) Red Bull KTM Tech3 +11.085
Results Moto2 Tissot Grand Prix of Doha 2021
1. Sam Lowes (GBR) 39:52.702
2. Remy Gardner (AUS) Red Bull KTM Ajo +0.190
5. Raul Fernandez (ESP) Red Bull KTM Ajo +3.371