Masia and Acosta secure one-two finish in #QatarGP for a dream start to 2021
The 2021 Moto3 World Championship season started in an unbeatable way for the Red Bull KTM Ajo team, with a win and a second place for their riders at the Qatar Grand Prix. Jaume Masia took victory in a closely contested race, in which only 42 thousandths of a second separated him from nearest rival and teammate, Pedro Acosta. The win was Masia’s fourth in Moto3, and his eighth time on the podium. Acosta claimed a memorable second place on his World Championship debut.
Masia, who started from the second row of the grid, dropped down positions on the first corner, but swiftly recovered and imposed a strong pace. The Spaniard latched onto the leading group and moved to the front of the field, engaging in an intense series of overtaking moves with his rivals. The Red Bull KTM Ajo Moto3 talent needed to push on the final laps to withstand the challenge of his teammate and the rest of the riders in the chasing pack. Masia eventually took the chequered flag in first place.
In his debut race as a World Championship rider, Pedro Acosta made an excellent start, going from eleventh on the grid to fifth on the first lap. The Red Bull KTM Ajo rookie settled into the first group, keeping up the pace and even taking the lead on several occasions. Throughout the contest, the 16-year-old pitted his talents against some of the most experienced competitors in the class, catching them out with great overtaking moves. After some very tight final laps, in which he fought for the victory, Acosta came home second, completing a stellar first outing in Moto3.
Masia thus heads the overall standings with 25 points, with Acosta in second with 20. The Red Bull KTM Ajo team will remain in Qatar this week, as the Losail International Circuit hosts the second round of the year – the Doha Grand Prix – from April 2nd-4th.
“I’m very happy. It was a tough race to manage, as the wind was blowing strongly. Maintaining the lead was not an easy task, as the overtaking in the leading group was constant. I tried to keep calm and cool-headed to approach the last laps in the best possible way. I feel satisfied, and I want to congratulate the whole team – and my teammate. We did a great job and now we have to continue like this. I’m looking forward to next week and to racing here again.”
“We had a very good race. The team were able to calm me down and take the pressure off me. I started the race calmly and, once I managed to fight back, I focused all my efforts on staying relaxed. I made a small mistake on the last corner but getting onto the podium in my debut race is a fantastic thing. I feel happy and want to continue working to keep progressing.”