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Valencia Moto3, RACE: Sasaki holds on for first win of 2023 in Moto3 season finale

Gold & Goose
Ayumu Sasaki, Husqvarna Intact GP, 2023 Moto3, Valencia Moto3, Circuit Ricardo Tormo, action [Gold & Goose]

Ayumu Sasaki ensured he wouldn’t end a career-making 2023 Moto3 World Championship campaign without at least one win to his name after holding on for victory in the Valencia Moto3 finale at Circuit Ricardo Tormo.

In a year that has seen Sasaki end a number of Moto3 races on the wrong side of a tight winning margin, the Husqvarna Intact GP rider finally got his moment in the spotlight at the final time of asking in Spain, in so doing officially confirming him as runner-up in the overall standings.

Leading a pack of five riders split by less than four tenths of a second across the finish line, Sasaki held off David Alonso and Ivan Ortola on the final lap to secure victory - his third in Moto3 - a result that sees him officially confirmed as runner-up in the final Moto3 standings.


A week on from seeing his 2023 Moto3 title aspirations dashed by new World Champion Jaume Masia, Sasaki was finally rewarded for his efforts this season, his smooth riding style well-suited to the flowing Ricardo Tormo venue.

Indeed, at no stage was there a moment across the entire 18 laps where a Husqvarna Intact GP machine wasn’t leading, with Sasaki’s team-mate and pole man Collin Veijer controlling the pace out front for much of the race.

Behind him, the chasing pack eventually fractured into a lead quintet with Veijer - leading from lap two - chased by Sasaki, Alonso, Ortola and Deniz Oncu in variable top five configurations right up to the final stages of the race.

A fairly calm encounter by Moto3 standards, Alonso and Oncu livened things up with eight laps remaining when the Colombian shoved his way through at the final corner, before an off-line moment at Turn 10 with five laps remaining opened the door for Sasaki to move to the front.

It meant Sasaki held the advantage coming into the final revolution, with Alonso, Veijer and Ortola in hot pursuit and jostling to find a way through on the Japanese rider.

In a season that has seen Sasaki denied victory just corners from the flag on more than one occasion in 2023, while Alonso loomed large in his shadow coming through the final bends as he primed an attack into the last corner, the Japanese rebuffed the GasGas Aspar man through the long left-hander to sprint clear to take the flag.

Just +0.082s off the win, Alonso held on for second to secure third overall at the end of his rookie Moto3 campaign, while Ortola held third for his first podium since winning in Jerez earlier in the year.

Unable to muscle his way back into the lead battle once he’d relinquished it, Veijer completed an otherwise impressive rookie campaign with fourth place, holding off Oncu, who ran out of time to make an impression on the victory battle after his run in with Alonso.

Behind them, Jose Antonio Rueda enjoyed positive end to his maiden Moto3 campaign with sixth on the second of the Red Bull KTM Ajos, while Joel Kelso also ended his season on an encouraging note with seventh at the flag.


In eighth, Daniel Holgado produced a fine fight-back from the back of the field after getting caught up in an incident on the opening lap that eliminated Vicente Perez and Diogo Moreira. Triggered by Xavier Artigas swiping both out at Turn 2, Holgado was forced wide in avoidance, before clawing his way back up into the top ten by the finish.

David Munoz and Ryusei Yamanaka saw out their seasons with top ten results, while Taiyo Furusato and Filippo Farioli were trailed by new champion Masia in 13th, the Spaniard struggling for pace en route to a low key end to an otherwise stellar title-winning campaign.

2023 Valencia Moto3, Circuit Ricardo Tormo - RACE Results

Sunday - Conditions: Dry, Sunny
2023 Valencia Moto3 - Circuit Ricardo Tormo - RACE Results - Round 20 of 20
1Ayumu Sasaki🇯🇵Husqvarna Intact GPHusqvarna20 Laps
2David Alonso🇨🇴GASGAS Aspar M3GasGas+0.082
3Ivan Ortola🇪🇦Angeluss MTA TeamKTM+0.128
4Collin Veijer🇳🇱Husqvarna Intact GPHusqvarna+0.266
5Deniz Oncu🇹🇷Red Bull KTM AjoKTM+0.384
6Jose Antonio Rueda🇪🇦Red Bull KTM AjoKTM+3.589
7Joel Kelso🇦🇺CFMoto PruestelGPCFMoto+4.623
8Daniel Holgado🇪🇦Red Bull KTM Tech3KTM+6.105
9David Munoz🇪🇦BOE MotorsportsKTM+6.305
10Ryusei Yamanaka🇯🇵GASGAS Aspar M3GasGas+6.907
11Taiyo Furusato🇯🇵Honda Team AsiaHonda+9.166
12Filippo Farioli🇮🇹Finetwork Intact GPKTM+9.663
13Jaume Masia🇪🇦Leopard RacingHonda+10.446
14Adrian Fernandez🇪🇦Leopard RacingHonda+10.556
15Stefano Nepa🇮🇹Angeluss MTA TeamKTM+11.462
16Romano Fenati🇮🇹Rivacold Snipers TeamHonda+13.966
17Riccardo Rossi🇮🇹SIC58 Squadra CorseHonda+14.000
18Matteo Bertelle🇮🇹Rivacold Snipers TeamHonda+25.472
19Xavier Artigas🇪🇦CFMoto PruestelGPCFMoto+28.354
20Kaito Toba🇯🇵SIC58 Squadra CorseHonda+28.420
21David Salvador🇪🇦CIP Green PowerCFMoto+33.908
22Marcos Ruda🇪🇦VisionTrack RacingHusqvarna+36.632
23Mario Suryo Aji🇮🇩Honda Team AsiaHonda+36.785
DNFLorenzo Fellon🇫🇷CIP Green PowerKTM
DNFVicente Perez🇪🇦BOE MotorsportsKTM
DNFDiogo Moreira🇧🇷MT Helmets - MSIKTM
DNSScott Ogden🇬🇧VisionTrack RacingHonda
DNSSyarifuddin Azman🇲🇾MT Helmets - MSIKTM

CLICK HERE for full results from each Valencia Moto3 session

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