Thursday, May 23, 2024

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0.044 in it: Holgado & Rueda stage a duel to remember

0.044 In It: Holgado & Rueda Stage A Duel To RememberDaniel Holgado (Red Bull GASGAS Tech3) won a classic drag to the line finish at the stunning Autodromo Internacional do Algarve, staying ahead of Jose Antonio Rueda (Red Bull KTM Ajo) by just 0.044 as the two battled it out on the last lap.

Ivan Ortola (MT Helmets – MSI) completed the podium as the lead trio turned up the wick in the final few laps to escape former race leader David Alonso (CFMoto Gaviota Aspar Team).

Rueda took the holeshot and had his turn making a gap, managing to stay ahead of the group until 10 to go. Then Alonso made his move and looked to be trying to make a break as the gap extended. But not so, as Holgado and Rueda duo closed the CFMoto Aspar rider down, got past, and in a handful of laps had been able to make their own gap.

Onto the last lap, it seemed likely it would remain a duel. Holgado led over the line with Rueda for close company, with Ortola just off the back but forced to wait in the wings for any possible drama. Rueda went for a move at Turn 14 and was briefly ahead taking a tighter line, but the number 99 couldn’t keep it as Holgado pinned it and swept back into the lead. It all came down to the final corner and again, the Red Bull GASGAS Tech3 was able to stay ahead and gas it towards the line with just enough metres in hand to take his first Grand Prix win of the year – and the Championship lead.

Rueda may not have taken the win but it’s his best Grand Prix result yet, as well as only his second podium. Ortola completed the rostrum another seven tenths back, but managing to keep more than a second in hand over those on the chase: Alonso, Joel Kelso (BOE Motorsports) and Collin Veijer (Liqui Moly Husqvarna Intact GP) in that order.

Stefano Nepa (LEVELUP – MTA) took P7 ahead of top rookie Joel Esteban (CFMoto Gaviota Aspar Team), with David Muñoz (BOE Motorsports) beating Adrian Fernandez (Leopard Racing) and rookie Jacob Roulstone (Red Bull GASGAS Tech3) in a close finish for P9.

After another classic Moto3™ encounter, the field now heads for Austin, TX for the Red Bull Grand Prix of the Americas in a few weeks.0.044 In It: Holgado & Rueda Stage A Duel To Remember

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