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22/08/2023 News

First points for Pol Espargaro

Spielberg, Austria, August 22th 2023 - Pol Espargaro took his first points of the season in Austria, finishing sixth in the Sprint. Although his physical condition is not yet perfect, the Elf rider was reassured by his ability to perform.


Pol Espargaro was back racing in England at the beginning of August and is gradually returning to form. Absent from competition for four long months, after his terrible crash at Portimao, during testing for the first Grand Prix of the season, the GASGAS Tech 3 rider showed at the Spielberg circuit that he has lost none of his talent. Espargaro fought like a lion on Saturday afternoon to take sixth place in the Sprint race. Unsurprisingly, with twice as many kilometres to cover, the Grand Prix was trickier. “With my current physical condition, we expected today's race to be difficult," said the Spaniard after the Austrian GP. “It was harder than I thought it was going to be because of the heat. We fought hard, I gave it everything I had, the pace wasn't bad and on the last lap I managed to overtake Jack Miller to finish in fourteenth place. However, I didn't see the long-lap penalty I was given for overshooting the track, so I took a three-second penalty, which meant I was classified behind Miller and Fernandez. The important thing is to have gained experience with the bike while working on my physical condition. I'm already looking forward to the next race.” After finishing 17th in the Sprint, Augusto Fernandez finished 14th in the Grand Prix. He is one of only two riders, along with Morbidelli, to have scored points in every race so far this season.


Seventh on the grid, Tony Arbolino made a good start to find himself in fourth position coming out of the first corner. After long time thinking he could get on the podium, the Italian finally took the chequered flag in sixth place. “I didn't have a bad pace but I knew that this circuit would be difficult for me," admitted Arbolino. “Sometimes you have to accept that you can't do any better.” By qualifying fourteenth at a circuit where the first few corners are always complicated, Sam Lowes didn't put himself in the best possible position for the Austrian Grand Prix. The Elf Marc VDS Racing rider was unable to avoid crashing when a rider in front of him came off shortly after the start. “I was in the wrong place at the wrong time," explained the Briton. “The crash was inevitable. Our problems in qualifying cost us dearly.”


Dani Holgado rode another magnificent race on the Spielberg circuit. Battling for victory with Deniz Öncü, Ayumu Sazaki and Colin Veijer, the KTM Tech 3 rider wisely bided his time before going on the attack. Taking the lead into the final corner, Holgado was unfortunately robbed of victory by Öncü by 0.005 seconds, just a few centimetres short of the finish line. “It was a really incredible race," said the Spaniard. “I remained solid and fast throughout the twenty laps. As in every Moto3 race, the last lap was very eventful, and this time Deniz Oncu got the better of me, so well done to him. But I'm happy because we scored some very important points for the championship. Being in KTM's backyard, the pressure was very high, but with P2 in qualifying and P2 today, I think we did a good job." Less prominent was Filippo Farioli, who finished 21st. As at Silverstone, Joël Kelso crossed the line in 16th position. His CFMoto Racing team-mate Xavier Artigas finished 19th.


The two Tech3 E-Racing riders scored important points at the Austrian Grand Prix. Poorly placed on the grid, Alesandro Zaccone managed a fine seventh place in the first race before finishing eleventh in the second. “I'm happy because we found a good base with the bike and my race pace was interesting," confided the Italian. “Unfortunately, the difficulties we encountered in qualifying didn't help me.” Starting from the second row, Hikari Okubo crashed in the first race and finished eighth in the second. As a result, he lost one position in the overall standings. "I'm not happy with myself because I didn't ride as well as I should have," said the Japanese rider.


Pol Espargaro

6th and 16th

24th (8 points)

Augusto Fernandez

17th and 14th

13th (51 points)


Sam Lowes


10th (67 points)

Tony Arbolino


2nd (164 points)


Dani Holgado


1st (161 points)

Filippo Farioli


26th (2 points)

Xavier Artigas


9th (57 points)

Joel Kelso


20th (19 points)


Alessandro Zaccone

7th and 11th

11th (74 points)

Hikari Okubo

DNF and 8th

13th (62 points)