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2023 Italian Moto3 RACE | Holgado denies hapless Oncu in Mugello dash for victory

Gold and Goose

Daniel Holgado has extended his lead in the 2023 Moto3 World Championship standings with victory in the Italian Moto3, denying Deniz Oncu a deserved maiden victory on the run to the line at Mugello.

The Turkish rider led coming onto the home straight for the final time but - as so often happens at Mugello - the long drag to the finish line was just a couple of metres too far as Holgado hauled the KTM in at the death to get the nod.

Oncu held onto second in a photo-finish with Ayumu Sasaki, while David Alonso and Jaume Masia completed the top five, mere hundredths off the win themselves.


In an enthralling encounter typical of the fast, flowing Tuscany venue, the fight for victory would come down to a tight-knit group of five, the momentum ebbing and flowing over the course of 17 laps.

Indeed, after breaking away from the chasing group early on, the quintet circulated in close quarters throughout, with no one rider able to break the tow to those behind each time they came onto the 1.1km home stretch.

While the lead would change hands repeatedly each time the riders came down into the Turn 1 right-hander, of the five it was arguably Oncu that was showing the most impressive hustle.

Dominant in Practice and Qualifying, Oncu’s aggressive riding style made him superior versus his rivals in the edgier sections of the lap, demonstrated by multiple breathtaking passes into the fearsome Arrabiata 2.

However, each time Oncu - whose larger frame puts him at a disadvantage in terms of acceleration on the light 250cc machines - led out of the final corner, he would be reeled by the group behind with even a 0.5s advantage at the top still not enough to resist by the time they’d reached the bottom.

With Holgado, Oncu, Masia and Sasaki each making stints in the lead in the final two laps alone, a conduct warning issued to all five riders - motivated by stewards taking a dim view of Holgado easing up so as ‘not’ to lead coming onto the straight - was a stern reminder for the youngsters to play nice in the dash for the line.

Sasaki led coming across the line to start the final lap, an advantage he held through Turn 1, only for Oncu to swing an unconventional but effective overtake through Turn 3. Checking his momentum on the exit, the concertina effect led to the extraordinary sight of all five diving into the braking point for Turn 4 almost line-astern, with Holgado this time shaking out in front.

Undeterred, Oncu struck back with another beautiful overtake through Arrabiata 2 for what he hoped would be a decisive moment. Clearly flinging the KTM through the final few corners in an attempt to build enough of a margin to keep Holgado at bay, Oncu started the home straight with around three bike lengths in hand.

However, Holgado would steadily creep up on the KTM Ajo, ducking out to creep ahead by a mere 0.051s at the flag, much to Oncu’s desperate disappointment as he watched another shot at a maiden Moto3 win go begging.


He was lucky to keep hold of second too, with Sasaki missing out by just 0.005s himself, while Alonso - who spent much of the race in a close fifth without making an impression on the lead - got the reward of a fourth place finish in his maiden Italian Moto3, ahead of Masia.

There was a similar sight some 13s further back as a group of ten riders blanketed across the line with just two seconds covering sixth down to 15th.

Coming out on top in the sprint to the line was the surprise figure of Colin Veijer, the Husqvarna Intact GP rookie sneaking through to claim a fine sixth place finish, ahead of Diogo Moreira, who was the best placed of the riders forced to start at the back of the grid and take a long lap penalty as punishment for touring while looking for a tow in Practice.

Riccardo Rossi picked up eighth, ahead of Stefano Napa and Kaito Toba, who competed the top ten.


Like Moreira, fellow title contender Ivan Ortola and six other riders spent his morning fighting back from a penalty, the two-time race winner recovering to 11th.

Despite being mere moments from a top six finish, Matteo Bertelle, Scott Ogden, Jose Antonio Rueda and Ryusei Yamanaka had to make do with the scraps of the points from 12th down to 15th.

2023 Italian Moto3, Mugello | RACE Results

Sunday | Conditions - Sunny, Dry, Warm
2023 Italian Moto3 | Mugello, Italy | RACE Results | Round 6 of 20
1Daniel HolgadoESPRed Bull KTM Tech3KTM17 Laps
2Deniz OncuTURRed Bull KTM AjoKTM+0.051
3Ayumu SasakiJPNHusqvarna IntactGPHusqvarna+0.056
4David AlonsoCOLGASGAS Aspar M3GasGas+0.172
5Jaume MasiaESPLeopard RacingHonda+0.487
6Colin VeijerNEDHusqvarna IntactGPHusqvarna+13.321
7Diogo MoreiraBRZMT Helmets - MSIKTM+13.332
8Riccardo RossiITASIC58 Squadra CorseHonda+13.360
9Stefano NepaITAAngeluss MTA TeamKTM+13.429
10Kaito TobaJPNSIC58 Squadra CorseHonda+13.460
11Ivan OrtolaESPAngeluss MTA TeamKTM+14.146
12Matteo BertelleITARivacold Snipers TeamHonda+14.243
13Scott OgdenGBRVisionTrack RacingHonda+15.023
14Jose Antonio RuedaESPRed Bull KTM AjoKTM+15.701
15Ryusei YamanakaJPNGASGAS Aspar M3GasGas+15.744
16Andrea MignoITACIP Green PowerKTM+20.945
17Romano FenatiITARivacold Snipers TeamHonda+23.062
18David SalvadorESPCIP Green PowerKTM+38.743
19Luca LunettaITAMT Helmets - MSIKTM+38.783
20Mario Suryo AjiINAHonda Team AsiaHonda+38.981
21Joshua WhatleyGBRVisionTrack RacingHonda+39.002
22Ana CarrascoESPBOE MotorsportsKTM+40.085
DNFTaiyo FurusatoJPNHonda Team AsiaHonda
DNFTatsuki SuzukiJPNLeopard RacingHonda
DNFVicente PerezESPBOE MotorsportsKTM
DNFJoel KelsoAUSCFMoto PruestelGPCFMoto
DNFFilippo FarioliITARed Bull KTM Tech3KTM
DNFXavier ArtigasESPCFMoto PruestelGPCFMoto
WSyarifuddin AzmanMALMT Helmets - MSIKTM

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