Öncü and Sasaki score decent points in dramatic season finale
The Red Bull KTM Tech3 duo was in the middle of the fight for the last dance of 2020 at the Autodromo Internacional do Algarve today. While Deniz Öncü crossed the line in a strong 10th position, Ayumu Sasaki finished in P13.
Starting from 11th on the grid, Öncü had a strong launch off the line and was seventh by the end of the first lap. The Turkish Moto3 World Championship rookie was performing well inside the second group, fighting for the podium. From halfway through the race, he lost a bit of ground, but caught up again towards the end, showing his spirit one more time to eventually finish well inside the top 10.
At the same time, Sasaki was lining up in the front row of the grid for the first time in 2020. He was in the mix on the first 10 laps, reaching for the podium together with his teammate. Yet, the Japanese youngster had to go smooth in the final laps in order to finish the race, struggling with his grip. Sasaki eventually came home 13th at the Portuguese GP.
“Actually, it was a quite emotional race. I don’t really want to end this season and go home these four months, because for sure it’s going to be boring and I will miss this paddock, honestly. Still, we can’t change it. We did a big improvement from the first to the last race. There were some rounds, where we struggled a lot like in Le Mans, but we always found a way to come back again. We were so strong. This weekend we were strong as well, apart from the Qualifying, where we did a mistake. Finally, I did P10 and I enjoyed this race a lot. The last lap mistake cost me a lot, because there I lost P5. Finally, I want to thank all my crew for this fantastic year and I can’t wait to start 2021!”
“It was a harder race than I expected. In the beginning of the race, I was well in the group. I was trying to save the tyres, because I knew in the end of the race, it will drop. So, I tried to control the throttle and everything, but then it started to drop a lot and I couldn’t even push anymore the last 10 laps, so I needed to ride smooth. I wanted to finish the race, but it has been hard final laps. We learned many things this season. We are still far away from the front, but hopefully we can catch up next year and trying to fight for the championship.”