Moto3 Valencia: Outstanding Oncu takes historic win on debut

Wildcard Can Oncu made history by winning on his grand prix debut in the Moto3 race in Valencia.
Moto3 Valencia: Outstanding Oncu takes historic win on debut

Can Oncu took his chances and survived a few wobbles to live up to his hype and win in challenging damp conditions at Circuit Ricardo Tormo in the Moto3 Valencia Grand Prix.

The Red Bull KTM Ajo wildcard impressed by launching from fourth on the grid and keeping position in the top three.

Though the rain had stopped, the damp conditions on track made grip an issue and Oncu was lucky to hold on after a huge wobble early in the race, but the gap was big enough to allow for his recovery without challenge.

Tony Arbolino’s crash out of the lead with twelve laps to run saw Oncu promoted to the first, where he stayed despite one more out-of-the-seat moment on the final lap for a historic win.

The grand prix debutant becomes the first Turkish victor, and thanks to his the Red Bull Rookies title earning him his wildcard ride here he also becomes the youngest ever lightweight class winner - at 15 years and 115 days he takes the record from MotoGP’s Scott Redding on his final race weekend - Redding won the 125cc race at Donington in 2008.

Oncu also becomes the first rider to win on his first world championship outing since Noburu Ueda completed the same feat back in 1991 in the 125cc Japanese Grand Prix.

New world champion Jorge Martin was next to see the chequered flag, just over four seconds behind, he celebrated his superb championship run for Del Conca Gresini (Honda), who also won the inaugural team competition, by lighting fireworks trackside.

John McPhee felt uncomfortable with his tyres on the sighting lap so had his CIP - Green Power mechanics change them to the ones he used in the wet warm-up session. The move paid off as the Brit passed Fabio Di Giannantonio in the closing stages though he still struggled a little with grip to complete the podium.

‘Diggia’ still had plenty to celebrate himself as fourth was enough to take the runner-up spot in the championship after Marco Bezzecchi crashed twice during the race, leaving him out of the points in 20th - he was lapped by Oncu.

Enea Bastianini (Leopard Racing) qualified down in 14th, one place ahead of Di Giannantonio and he too cut through the field to rise to fifth at the finish.

Jaume Masia’s (Bester Capital Dubai) sixth saw him guaranteed rookie of the year, his main rival Dennis Foggia was one of many fallers.

Nakarin Atiratphuvapat (Honda Team Asia) lost places to drop to tenth over the opening laps but rallied for eighth, his best ever finish on his final Moto3 appearance.

Marcos Ramirez (Bester Capital Dubai) was next across the stripe in ninth, with Nicolo Bulega’s replacement at Sky Racing Team VR46, Celestino Vietti impressing again by completing the top ten, He finishes the season with more points than Bulega.

Ayumu Sasaki was a distant eleventh for Petronas Sprinta Racing, he was in turn clear of Stefano Nepa, who took his first points finish in twelfth on the second CIP entry.

Wildcard Raul Fernandez (Angel Nieto Team) took 13th despite his early tumble, Andrea Migno stayed upright for 14th on the second Sky entry. The final point went to another crasher, Jakub Kornfeil, who landed in the gravel with his Redox PruestelGP team-mate Bezzecchi during his second off on his way to 15th.

Valencian Aron Canet, Tatsuki Suzuki and Lorenzo Dalla Porta all fell at turn four on the first lap. They were swiftly joined by another local rider, Alonso Lopez.

Darryn Binder was next to exit. The South African rejoined and finished in 19th, he was also lapped by Oncu in the closing stages.

Kaito Toba and Adam Norrodin’s Petronas replacement; Izam Ikmal also failed to go the distance, Vincente Perez slid out of contention for points on the final lap.