Friday, April 19, 2024

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Magic Alonso, milestones for Furusato & Veijer

Magic Alonso, Milestones For Furusato & VeijerMagic Alonso, milestones for Furusato & Veijer, an increased lead for Masia and heartbreak for Sasaki.

The incredible Moto3™ action defies character limits in Buriram as the title fight takes another twist.

David Alonso (Gaviota GASGAS Aspar Team) is now a four-time Grand Prix winner, the Moto3™ Rookie of the Year AND a serious contender for the 2023 Championship after the Colombian came out on top in an awesome showdown at the OR Thailand Grand Prix. The number 80 was able to just stay ahead of a three-way drag to the line to decide the podium positions behind him, with Taiyo Furusato (Honda Team Asia) and Collin Veijer (Liqui Moly Husqvarna Intact GP) taking second and third, respectively – awesome maiden podiums for both.

Championship leader Jaume Masia (Leopard Racing) may not have taken a podium but he did increase his lead as disaster struck for Ayumu Sasaki (Liqui Moly Husqvarna Intact GP) through no fault of his own, unable to avoid contact with David Muñoz (BOE Motorsports) after an apparent mechanical for the Spaniard – and Sasaki rejoining before later retiring and taking home nil points.

As the lights went out, polesitter Deniz Öncü (Red Bull KTM Ajo) took the holeshot before Sasaki sliced through, but Masia was the early big mover as he grabbed a handful of places off the line to take over in second. It was early doors though, with a huge group at the front – and big drama right around the corner.

What seemed to be a mechanical issue for Muñoz saw the BOE machine drop like a stone round Turn 4, and right on the racing line… with Sasaki the first rider who couldn’t avoid contact, along with Daniel Holgado (Red Bull KTM Tech3) as the Spaniard was forced wide. Riders all ok, but Holgado rejoined in P27 and set off on an almighty charge, Muñoz later headed back out but was forced in, and Sasaki first carried on before being forced to retire in a huge title twist.

Back at the front, the gloves were off in a classic big leading group. But lap by lap it became a battle of five by the final five laps – until the elbows came out again, allowing those behind to close back in. Meanwhile on Holgado watch, the Spaniard was on an absolute charge up into P8 by two to go, as at the very front Veijer led Masia, Alonso and Furusato.

Onto the final lap, a bobble between Öncü and Holgado at the final corner created a small gap behind the leading four of Veijer, Alonso, Masia and Furusato, but soon they had closed back in.

Most of the front quartet headed a little wide with few moves, only Masia able to move through. Then it suddenly looked like Veijer was out of the fight for the win after a huge moment out the seat at the exit of Turn 4, leaving Alonso leading Furusato – with Masia shadowing the Japanese rider. But it wasn’t over. By the braking zone into the final corner, the Dutchman was right back into it.

Alonso retained the lead into that final corner, with Masia attacking Furusato just behind. The Championship leader got it done but then found Alonso on the apex and overcooked it, and that allowed Furusato to cut back up the inside – as did Veijer.

As Alonso took that magical fourth win of the year and confirmed himself the 2023 Rookie of the Year as well as a serious title threat, the fight for second became a drag to the line. And Furusato won it, taking his first Grand Prix podium in incredible style – the exact same phrase that can be said of Veijer as both hit a milestone.

Masia was forced to settle for fourth but with the disaster for Sasaki still increases his lead – now 17 points ahead of the Japanese rider. Alonso is now third, 25 points back and equal on points with Holgado in fourth after the Tech3 rider’s incredible comeback charge. Öncü took fifth in the race and is fifth in the Championship, now 39 off the top.

Behind Holgado in that impressive P6, Matteo Bertelle (Rivacold Snipers Team) beat Riccardo Rossi (SIC58 Squadra Corse), Ryusei Yamanaka (Gaviota GASGAS Aspar Team) and Kaito Toba (SIC58 Squadra Corse) as they completed the top ten just ahead of Ivan Ortola (Angeluss MTA Team), the final rider in that front group.

Now it’s destination Sepang for the final triple header of a blockbuster 2023. 25 points cover four riders, with Masia back ahead of the game by some margin. What awaits in Malaysia? Join us for more Moto3™ in two weeks to find out!

For more Moto3 info checkout our dedicated Moto3 News page

Or visit the official MotoGP website motogp.comMagic Alonso, Milestones For Furusato & Veijer

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