Fernandez signs off for 2020 with peerless victory, Toba 15th
Red Bull KTM Ajo Moto3 and Raul Fernandez capped an excellent second part of the season with a win at the Portuguese Grand Prix, the final round of the year. The Spanish rider dominating from start to finish and taking the chequered flag more than 5 seconds ahead of his nearest rival. The 20-year-old talent thus closes 2020 with two victories and a further two podiums to his name, all of them achieved in the last five rounds. His teammate, Kaito Toba, rounded off a solid campaign in the points, with a 15th place finish.
For the sixth time this season, Raul Fernandez started from the pole position, and he held the holeshot when the lights went out. Half a second ahead of the rest of the field, the Spaniard began a breakaway on Lap 2 that proved definitive, eventually coming home with a lead of 5.8 seconds. The Red Bull KTM Ajo talent will move up to the Moto2 class next year with the team, off the back of his second victory of the 2020 campaign and of his Grand Prix career.
Kaito Toba took off from the sixth row of the grid and had a tough start as he dropped down to 20th by the end of Lap 1. However, the Japanese managed to fight back, chasing down, and overtaking other competitors progressively. The Red Bull KTM Ajo Moto3 rider finished the Portuguese Grand Prix in 15th position, earning points from a solid race that rounded off the year.
Following the last round, Raul Fernandez ends the 2020 season in the 4th place in the Moto3 World Championship with 159 points. His teammate, Kaito Toba, is 18th with 41.
“There could not have been a better ending. We took the victory and I’m very happy. I felt that I was part of a family rather than a team this year, and this has helped me a lot after a tough 2019. If we had had two more races, then we would have been able to fight for the title. However, now is not the time to think about that, but instead to enjoy the great work we did. We showed that we were the strongest competitors in the final stretch of 2020. It has been a year for learning that started out difficult and ended with a lot of joy.
I have no words to thank all the people who never stopped believing in me. We are saying goodbye to the class in style, and now we move on to a new challenge.”
“It wasn’t a perfect Sunday, but we can take away some positives from this round and, in general, from the season. I’m not entirely satisfied with how the year ended, but I will take everything I learned during 2020 and apply it next campaign. It was a tough contest: at the beginning I made a mistake and I lacked the confidence to push hard, but in the middle of the race my feeling improved and my pace was strong too – which was good.
Following the last Grand Prix, I can only say that I’m happy to have been part of this team. It has been a great experience and I thank everyone.”