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Austrian Moto3, RACE | Öncü mugs squabbling Holgado, Sasaki to pinch victory by +0.005s

Gold and Goose
Deniz Oncu, Red Bull KTM Ajo, 2023 Moto3, Austrian Moto3, Spielberg, action [credit - Gold & Goose]

Deniz Öncü has secured his second win of the 2023 Moto3 World Championship season after prevailing in a thrilling dash to the flag to edge out Daniel Holgado for victory in the Austrian Moto3.

Yet another pulsating Moto3 race that steadily simmered towards a explosive three-way fight for victory on the final lap, while it was Ayumu Sasaki and Daniel Holgado that dipped into the final corner with the lead, their squabbling would scrub off just enough momentum to allow a patient Oncu to capitalise in the dash to the line.

A second career Moto3 win to go with his German Moto3 victory at the Sachsenring before the summer break, Oncu led home Holgado, who extends his championship lead with a sixth podium of the season, by just +0.005s with Sasaki forced to settle for third, himself just +0.119secs off the win.


Indeed, in a season that has seen the entry-level class of Grand Prix racing deliver a series of down-to-the-wire thrillers already this year, it was clear from early on that the Austrian edition wouldn't be deviating too far from the same drama-filled script.

It didn't take long for the lead fight to take shape as a closely-matched group of seven riders quickly established an advantage out front over the rest of field.

Holgado led the way for much of the opening half of the race, the Spaniard holding firm to stay just out of reach from a shuffling deck of six behind him comprising pole sitter Colin Veijer, Oncu, Sasaki, Jaume Masia, David Alonso and Riccardo Rossi.

Seven became six on lap four though when Masia's Leopard Honda puffed out as he rounded Turn 8, prompting an unexpectedly sudden deceleration that resulted in the close-following Sasaki to strike his rear-wheel. Despite the heart-stopping moment, both Sasaki and Masia stayed upright, though for the latter it was only to park up against the barriers as he descended into a second straight zero-score weekend.

Though the moment served to put air between the top three and the trio caught up in Masia's fracas, it would only take a few laps for the lead group to swell back to a quintet, spurred on by a charging Alonso dragging himself and Sasaki back into the hunt.

It was momentum the Colombian would sustain as he hauled himself back onto the tail of the riders ahead, picking Veijer, Oncu and Holgado off one-by-one to nose into the lead for the first time on lap 11.

However, no sooner had he gotten in front, Alonso was quickly down and out of the race, the GasGas Aspar laying down on the entry to Ta2 after clouting the kerb.

His exit left a group of four tussling it out for victory, the outcome of which remained unpredictable right into the final laps.

Of the quartet, Holgado had been the most steadfast leader, the Spaniard repeatedly responding to frequent attacks on his position over the course of the race to come into the final stages having led the majority of laps.


Into the final stages, however, he sized up to a stern test from Sasaki, the Japanese rider having bided his time at the back of the lead pack before making a push for victory late on.

It was a charge that would see him attempt the break with a pass on Holgado into Turn 1 at the start of the penultimate lap, only to be found napping into Turn 3 as the Spaniard wedged his KTM Ajo up the inside around the hairpin.

Undeterred, Sasaki - despite briefly dipping to third behind Oncu too - quickly regained his composure to mount an identical attack into Turn 1 coming into the final lap.

Nevertheless, despite having had his preview of what to expect from Holgado as they came back round to Turn 3, once again Sasaki would find himself caught out as his rival slithered up the inside. Taking both out wide, the ponderous exit allowed Oncu back into the fray too, the trio running three-abreast into Turn 4, leaving nothing to separate them coming through the second and third sectors.


With the flag looming, Sasaki's superior exit from Turn 8 got him back in front over Holgado as they skated through Turn 9. However, Holgado wasn't done just yet, flinging his KTM back to the inside of the Husqvarna into Turn 10 in an untidy, albeit effective, attempt at passing.

However, while it was enough to get the measure of Sasaki, the scrubbed momentum left Holgado vulnerable to the close-following Oncu, the Turkish rider duly being rewarded for his patience by getting superior drive on the exit that would get him to the line just ahead of his KTM stablemate.

A reversal of fortunes from the Italian MotoGP when Holgado reeled in and mugged Oncu inches from the line at Mugello, the pair would be split by just five thousandths, with the frustrated Sasaki +0.119secs adrift in third.

Veijer completed his breakthrough weekend in fourth, the Dutchman enjoying stints in the lead and staying in the hunt for victory throughout, only to find himself run out by the pace at the business end of the race.

Ivan Ortola offered up a keen chase in the closing stages before eventually settling for fifth place, ahead of Riccardo Rossi, scoring his best finish of the season in sixth.

More than eight seconds off the front, Ryusei Yamanaka won a multi-rider fight for seventh place, ahead of Diogo Moreira and David Munoz, with Stefano Nepa completing the top ten.

Meanwhile, it was a disappointing morning for the two VisionTrack Honda riders with both Scott Ogden and Josh Whatley copping long lap penalties, leaving them a distant 22nd and 27th respectively at the flag.

Austrian Moto3, Spielberg | RACE Results

Sunday | Conditions - Dry, Sunny
2023 Austrian Moto3 | Red Bull Ring, Austria | RACE Results | Round 10 of 20
1Deniz Oncu🇹🇷Red Bull KTM AjoKTM20 Laps
2Daniel Holgado🇪🇦Red Bull KTM Tech3KTM+0.005
3Ayumu Sasaki🇯🇵Husqvarna IntactGPHusqvarna+0.119
4Colin Veijer🇳🇱Husqvarna IntactGPHusqvarna+0.136
4Ivan Ortola🇪🇦Angeluss MTA TeamKTM+3.135
5Riccardo Rossi🇮🇹SIC58 Squadra CorseHonda+5.270
7Ryusei Yamanaka🇯🇵GASGAS Aspar M3GasGas+8.137
8Diogo Moreira🇧🇷MT Helmets - MSIKTM+8.382
9David Munoz🇪🇦BOE MotorsportsKTM+8.453
10Stefano Nepa🇮🇹Angeluss MTA TeamKTM+8.615
11Jose Antonio Rueda🇪🇦Red Bull KTM AjoKTM+8.667
12Matteo Bertelle🇮🇹Rivacold Snipers TeamHonda+9.239
13Tetsuki Suzuki🇪🇦Leopard RacingHonda+9.516
14Kaito Toba🇯🇵SIC58 Squadra CorseHonda+14.741
15David Salvador🇪🇦CIP Green PowerKTM+19.343
16Joel Kelso🇦🇺CFMoto PruestelGPCFMoto+19.415
17Romano Fenati🇮🇹Rivacold Snipers TeamHonda+19.526
18Taiyo Furusato🇯🇵Honda Team AsiaHonda+20.346
19Xavier Artigas🇪🇦CFMoto PruestelGPCFMoto+21.524
20Noah Dettwiler🇨🇭CFMoto PruestelGPCFMoto+21.758
21Filippo Farioli🇮🇹Red Bull KTM Tech3KTM+21.850
22Scott Ogden🇬🇧VisionTrack RacingHonda+22.293
23Tatchakorn Buasri🇹🇭Honda Team AsiaHonda+29.684
24Lorenzo Fellon🇫🇷CIP Green PowerKTM+31.814
25Ana Carrasco🇪🇦BOE MotorsportsKTM+31.858
26Mario Suryo Aji🇮🇩Honda Team AsiaHonda+32.013
27Joshua Whatley🇬🇧VisionTrack RacingHonda+36.954
28Syarifuddin Azman🇲🇾MT Helmets - MSIKTM+45.512
DNFDavid Alonso🇨🇴GASGAS Aspar M3GasGas
DNFJaume Masia🇪🇦Leopard RacingHonda

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