MADRID, Nov. 19. (.) –
The Spanish rider Jaume Masià (Honda) has been proclaimed Moto3 world champion after winning this Sunday in the small class race of the Qatar Grand Prix, the nineteenth and penultimate round of the Motorcycle World Championship, and his rival for the title, the Japanese Ayumu Sasaki (Husqvarna), came sixth.
With a display of grit and with his teammate Adrián Fernández as a faithful squire, the one from Algemesí did his part and fought to take the victory in Lusail, which makes him the eighth Spanish champion in the history of Moto3 and the 25th rider of Spain to win a title in the motorcycle World Championship.
With night falling in Losail, Masià reviewed his accounts: he would be champion if he won the race and Sasaki was fourth or worse; if he were second and his rival, at most eighth; third and twelfth; or fourth and fifteenth. Ahead, a lot of work, since the Valencian started tenth and his opponent for the title, fourth.
The Spaniard started aggressively as soon as the traffic lights went out and rose to fourth place with only three laps completed. Just one lap later, he caught up with the Japanese, who had taken the lead, and a contact between the two in a corner weighed them down several positions. For the first time, he was ahead of his rival.
The fierce fight between the two championship contenders then began, with overtaking exchanged in the middle of a large group of drivers who did not give up victory on the Qatari track. Dani Holgado (KTM) rose to the lead, and behind him Masià complained about the Japanese overtaking, raising his hand in protest.
With four laps to go before the checkered flag, the man from Algemesí took the lead of the race, and just one lap later, for the first time, the scores were clear: Masià first and Sasaki fourth. Masià’s Leopard Racing teammate, Adrián Fernández, reached the Japanese, who surpassed him to lend a hand to his compatriot.
The action disrupted the second overall, who fell to eighth place, although he reacted by recovering two places before saying goodbye to his options due to a small touch, when he was coming back, that took him out of the leading group. Masià, for his part, resisted Holgado’s harassment and saw the checkered flag first.
With this, he joins the Murcian Pedro Acosta (Kalex), Moto2 world champion, as the Spanish winner in the 2023 World Championship. The Colombian David Alonso (GasGas) and the Turkish Deniz Öncü (KTM) completed the podium this Sunday in Qatar .
Furthermore, Vicente Pérez (KTM), substitute for Ana Carrasco, achieved the best result of his life by being fifth, just ahead of Sasaki. Holgado was finally ninth; David Muñoz (KTM) finished twelfth; Iván Ortolá (KTM) finished fifteenth, ahead of José Antonio Rueda (KTM) and Adrián Fernández; Xavi Artigas (CFMoto) finished twentieth; and David Salvador (KTM), twenty-third.