Deniz Oncu banned for two races for triggering terrifying Moto3 Austin pile-up

Deniz Oncu is suspended from competition for the next two Moto3 grands prix as punishment for causing a shocking accident at Circuit of The Americas

Deniz Oncu

Deniz Oncu has been disqualified from competing in the next two Moto3 Grand Prix events as punishment for his role in causing a huge and terrifying incident during this weekend’s race at Circuit of The Americas in Austin.

The Turkish rider triggered a shocking pile-up behind him when he clipped the rear of Jeremy Alcoba’s bike at high-speed while attempting to tuck tight into his slipstream, causing him to come off into the path of the field behind.

That led to Andrea Migno hitting the stricken bike head-on and launching him into an airborne trajectory before coming down heavily, while Pedro Acosta also fell at high-speed in avoiding action, glancing the barrier.


With the FIM under pressure to uphold riding standards in a year that has seen the Moto3 competitors scrutinised for their on-track conduct, the punishment was subsequently firm. 

In its ruling, the FIM said the incident was caused ‘by swerving into the line of another rider’, which ‘contravenes the specific instructions given to all team/competitors by email and is considered irresponsible riding causing danger to other competitors’.

With the race red flagged, Oncu got to keep his fifth place finish despite his impending ban.

The incident could have had major implications for KTM in its bid to win the Moto3 title with Acosta, but the Spaniard too was allowed to restart with an eighth place finish his reward, though his lead in the championship has been reduced to 20 points wth three races remaining.

FIM lays down the law on Moto3 riders

There is no good moment for an accident of his nature but in a week where rider standards and safety has been on everyone’s lips following the death of Dean Berta Vinales in a WorldSSP 300 race a weekend earlier, it’s hard to ignore.

For Oncu the accident should have been avoided, but it was symptomatic of the fine margins Moto3 riders seemingly feel compelled to risk in a bid to stay competitive.

What has been less defined has been the stewards’ role in ensuring it doesn’t happen, so it’s no surprise a hefty ruling had to be made this time. 

Indeed, Migno in particular was very lucky not to be more seriously hurt in the smash after getting some serious air under his bike, but next time the luck may run out.

You can’t prevent all accidents but this was a litmus test for the FIM to show riders that judging their on track conduct in the moment won’t be explained away by being simply in the heat of battle...