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Qatar Moto3, Lusail RACE | Alonso mugs Holgado to win in sixth to first charge on last lap

Gold & Goose

David Alonso underlined his status as the rider to beat in the 2024 Moto3 World Championship after using all of his aggressive nous during a thrilling final lap battle to win the Qatar Moto3 season opener.

The Colombian saved his best until the very last lap to claw his way back into contention having entered the final revolution down in sixth place following a mistake on the penultimate lap.

However, after just avoiding getting wrapped up in a nasty incident that felled Adrian Fernandez and Vicente Perez at the final time of asking, Alonso used his momentum to pick off Riccardo Rossi and Taiyo Furusato in the ensuing corners before mounting a lunge into the Turn 16 right-hander on Holgado to emerge out front.


Representing his fifth Moto3 win, coming right at the top of a championship he is expected to fight for in 2024, Alonso won the sprint to the finish line over Holgado by +0.041 points, with Furusato taking a satisfying third having started down in 18th.

In a pulsating encounter typical of the quarter-litre class, it appeared for long stretches that Holgado would be the rider to hold firm to the chequered flag by leading for the vast majority of the race.

Indeed, having held his position from pole with the hole-shot, though a small handful of riders would nose ahead at times, Holgado would repeatedly overtake them back a few corners later.

Despite this, Holgado never looked safe out front, the GasGas Tech3 rider unable to establish anything more than a tenth or two in terms of a lead, with a ten-strong deck of riders repeatedly shuffling in his train.

While this may well have been down to riders preferring to let Holgado do the work out front and make the pace, it meant those behind didn’t have it particularly easy either as they repeatedly ducked and weaved among one another hoping to be in the right position during the critical final laps.

Crucially for Holgado, however, two of his main rivals - who started alongside him on the front row - were eliminated early on when Jose Antonio Rueda lost the front of his KTM at Turn 1 on lap three and clattered into Ivan Ortola on his direct outside.

It left Holgado being chased - in various configurations - by Alonso, Fernandez, Collin Veijer, Vicente Perez, Rossi and Joel Kelso, plus Japanese pair Furusato and Tatsuki Suzuki, the Japanese pair up from 18th and 19th respectively from the grid.

Of these it was Furusato making an impression though, his momentum carrying the Honda Team Asia rider all the way into the podium positions, where he’d repeatedly attempt passes on Holgado.

As for Alonso, the CFMoto Aspar Team rider looked initially out-of-sorts among an aggressive peloton with mistakes occasionally dropping him into the middle of the pack.


Indeed, it seemed Alonso’s chance for victory was all-but-gone during the penultimate lap when - having nosed into the lead at Turn 1 after Furusato and Holgado ran wide, was then bullied back down by the latter, which kick-started a chain reaction that wrong-footed him down to sixth coming into the final lap.

However, Alonso kept his nerve to pick off both Fernandez and Perez - the Red Bull KTM Ajo stand-in showing impressively late - through the first turns. It would prove crucial too after Fernandez, having tried to stay with Alonso around the outside of Turn 3, lost the rear of his Leopard Honda on the kerbs and was flicked into a high-side, taking both himself and Perez out of the race.

Unruffled, Alonso then picked off Rossi - enjoying a career-best performance on his debut with the CIP Green Power team - at Turn 6 and immediately set upon Furusato for Turn 10 to move into second place.

Keeping Holgado honest through the fast Turn 13/14/15 complex, Alonso pulled out of the slipstream and despite a wiggle on the brakes, got it stopped on the apex to snatch the lead from his hapless rival and pull clear to the flag.


A perfect score on a day when his anticipated title rival Rueda failed to score, it will go a long way to strengthening Alonso’s reputation as a rider to rely on in busy final lap battles.

Despite losing victory within metres of the line, Holgado still gets his title bid off to a solid start in second, while Furusato will allay pre-season fears about Honda’s competitiveness versus KTM/Pierer with his second career Moto3 podium in third.

In fourth, Rossi matched his career-best Moto3 result - also achieved in Qatar during November’s 2023 round - while Collin Veijer capitalised on the late drama for Fernandez and Perez ahead to secure good points in fifth despite never making in-roads on the podium positions.

Another rider to fight back into the lead group from a low starting position, Stefano Nepa picked up sixth from 16th on the grid, ahead of Suzuki and Joel Kelso, the latter two riders also fortunate to benefit from Ryusei Yamanaka’s crash out of ninth on the penultimate revolution in an incident similar to that which befell Fernandez and Perez a lap later.

Despite being wiped out on lap three and falling way off the back of the field, Ivan Ortola produced a mighty fight-back to ninth place, with Jacob Roulstone having the honour of finishing as the top rookie in a distant tenth.

Fellow newcomers Joel Esteban and Angel Piqueras trailed in 11th and 12th, while Scott Ogden got off the mark with three points for 13th. Nicola Carraro and Luca Lunetta rounded out the points with Josh Whatley in 18th.

🇶🇦 🏁 2024 Qatar Moto3, Lusail | RACE Results

Sunday | Conditions - Dry
🇶🇦 🏁 2024 Qatar Moto3 Results | Lusail International Circuit, Qatar | RACE Results
1David Alonso🇨🇴CFMoto Aspar TeamCFMoto16 Laps
2Daniel Holgado🇪🇦Red Bull GasGas Tech3GasGas+0.041
3Taiyo Furusato🇯🇵Honda Team AsiaHonda+0.143
4Riccardo Rossi🇮🇹CIP Green PowerKTM+0.186
5Collin Veijer🇳🇱Liqui Moly Husqvarna Inatact GPHusqvarna+0.338
6Stefano Nepa🇮🇹LevelUp-MTAKTM+0.416
7Tatsuki Suzuki🇯🇵Liqui Moly Husqvarna Inatact GPHusqvarna+1.144
8Joel Kelso🇦🇺BOE MotorsportKTM+9.465
9Ivan Ortola🇪🇦MT Helmets - MSIKTM+10.019
10Jacob Roulstone🇦🇺Red Bull GasGas Tech3GasGas+10.626
11Joel Esteban🇪🇦CFMoto Aspar TeamCFMoto+10.827
12Angel Piqueras🇪🇦Leopard RacingHonda+10.933
13Scott Ogden🇬🇧MLav RacingHonda+12.928
14Nicola Carraro🇮🇹LevelUp-MTAKTM+12.946
15Luca Lunetta🇮🇹SIC 58 Squadra CorseHonda+13.527
16David Munoz🇪🇦BOE MotorsportKTM+15.953
17Noah Dettweiler🇨🇭CIP Green PowerKTM+28.926
18Joshua Whatley🇬🇧MLav RacingHonda+29.126
19Tatchakorn Busari🇹🇭Honda Team AsiaHonda+34.620
DNFVicente Perez🇪🇦Red Bull KTM AjoKTM-
DNFAdrian Fernandez🇪🇦Leopard RacingHonda-
DNFRyusei Yamanaka🇯🇵MT Helmets - MSIKTM-
DNFMatteo Bertelle🇮🇹Rivacold Snipers TeamHonda-
DNFFilippo Farioli🇮🇹SIC 58 Squadra CorseHonda-
DNFJose Antonio Rueda🇪🇦Red Bull KTM AjoKTM-
WDavid Almansa🇪🇦Rivacold Snipers TeamHonda-

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