Bittersweet San Marino GP for Toba and Fernandez
The seventh round of the Moto3 World Championship concluded on Sunday with a 23-lap race, in which Red Bull KTM Ajo suffered misfortune. Despite being one of the strongest riders all the weekend, Raul Fernandez was unable to finish the contest after being taken out by another competitor on the opening lap. Kaito Toba completed a tough Grand Prix with a 17th place on Sunday.
Raul Fernandez had a great start from the second row of the grid, maintaining his position off the line. The Spaniard had shown a superior pace in the warm-up session, which he had topped by nearly 5 tenths. Unfortunately, the Red Bull KTM Ajo Moto3 talent was unable to carry that over to the race, as contact from another rider at Turn 4 forced him to retire.
Kaito Toba, who took off from the ninth row of the grid, pushed hard from the start and gained eight places in just one corner. The Japanese kept up with the lead group throughout the race, chasing a spot in the points. After some very hard-fought final laps, in which he gave up several positions due to a long lap penalty, the Red Bull KTM Ajo Moto3 rider crossed the finish line 17th.
After the San Marino Grand Prix, Fernandez is 8th in the overall standings with 51 points, whilst Toba is 21st with 12. The Red Bull KTM Ajo Moto3 duo will return to the Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli next week for the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, from September 18-20th.
“Today we made a good start, climbing several positions on the first lap. During the race I fought in the large leading group, which allowed me to learn a lot. Unfortunately, I had to serve a long lap penalty in the final part of the contest. It was a tough Sunday, but the important thing is that we took big steps forward. Next week we have another opportunity at Misano, so we are going to work hard to keep progressing then.”
“It’s a real shame, because due to the contact with another competitor we were not even able to complete the first lap. But that’s racing and we have to accept that these things happen. From yesterday to today we found something with the bike that allowed me to feel more comfortable and ride faster. I felt I had a very strong chance to fight for the victory today, but we will try again with the same enthusiasm next week. Both the team and I will do our best.”