Results and summary of qualifying for the Moto3 class in Valencia:
Saturday morning was a more welcoming proposition for the lightweight class, with a fully dry track surface, although the cool conditions saw pretty slow progress on the timesheets. Only a handful of riders had managed to go any quicker than Friday until the final handful of minutes, when the shootout for the top 14 got underway. Back from a two-race suspension, Deniz Öncü returned in style, taking top spot in FP3 by a tenth of a second from newly crowned champion Pedro Acosta.
After the surprise rainfall for FP1 in Valencia, conditions improved for FP2, although the damp track made for a slow start, with only a dozen riders on the timing screens with 10 minutes left of the session. The track got a lot busies in the end and although slick tyres made their appearance, times were way off the pace and Izan Guevara’s FP1 time remained the fastest of the day. Dennis Foggia did speed up for his final flying lap to grab top spot in the session from replacement rider Joel Kelso, dropping Filip Salac to third.
The circus returned to Valencia after another challenging season and the crowd got a first opportunity to celebrate their compatriot as the brand-new champion in the lightweight class. Despite the achievement, Pedro Acosta did not feature as heavily in FP1 as the very dark cloud cover that shed a few drops towards the end of the session. The rain started with Izan Guevara at the top of the timesheets, half a tenth ahead of the much-talked-about Darryn Binder and Andrea Migno. Filip Salac in fourth was two tenths of a second behind the leader and another tenth ahead of Acosta.
Another dramatic day of Moto2 and Moto3 action at the Algarve GP saw one world champ crowned, while another man took a monumental step toward his.
Acosta champ despite growing pains
There was something approaching skepticism with regards to Pedro Acosta in the autumn of this year. The Tiburon de Mazarron’s incredible start to life in the Moto3 world championship had raised expectations to such an extent that a recent run of results in which he scored 7th, 8th and 3rd places in just his 14th, 15th and 16th GPs could be considered something of a crisis.
But this showing demonstrated he had lost none of that spark as he swept to his sixth win of the season to become the second youngest GP world champion in history at 17 years of 166 days old, just one day older than record holder Loris Capirossi, when he swept to the 1990 125cc title in Australia. When it really mattered, Acosta showed the mentality and the brass of a champion.
Seventeen down and one to go. Also, two down, one to go. That is the story of Portimão, in a nutshell. But the raw numbers are not what matters. The most interesting part is how we got there, and the stories that we found along the way.
But before we return to the fripperies of motorcycle racing, something that really matters. On Saturday evening, on the road which runs from the circuit to the harbor town of Portimão, a horrific accident happened. On a section of road which had traffic measure in place to control the flow of traffic leaving and coming to the track, a police motorcycle hit a taxi head on.
It was a massive impact. The police officer died as a result of the collision, and the occupants of the taxi, the driver and a journalist, Lucio Lopez of MotoRaceNation, were badly injured. Journalist Simon Patterson, who saw the crash in his van, and photographer David Goldman, who was driving back to his hotel with passengers in his car, both stopped and immediately rushed to the taxi, which had caught fire. They pulled Lucio Lopez and the taxi driver from the car, just before it exploded.
The right stuff
Moto3 standings after a thrilling race at Portimão:
Results and summary of the Moto3 race at Portimão:
Results and summary of qualifying for the Moto3 class at Portimão: