Alonso Lopez races his Husqvarna Motorcycles FR 250 GP to a top-five finish around the fast, sweeping Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya for the ninth round of 2020 Moto3 as Fenati takes 6th.
The thrill of Romano Fenati’s victory in Italy lasted a few days before Husqvarna Motorcycles and the Sterilgarda Max Racing Team had to focus on the ninth race of the season around the challenging Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya. The MotoGP series arrived in northern Spain to be greeted by cooler temperatures and some strong winds.
Romano Fenati showed his buoyed confidence through Free Practice and his 2nd place in the third session ensured a high-profile entry to Q2. Alonso Lopez also made the cut thanks to being 1st in Q1. Qualification was close and the pair took positions on the fifth and sixth row on the grid for Sunday’s 21-lap sprint.
Fenati pushed straight onto the edge of the leading group from the first few circulations. He hovered around the top-ten and moved up from 15th to eventually put his motorcycle into positions outside the first five. The Italian was passed by a flying Lopez late-on. The young Spaniard delivered his best race on the FR 250 GP yet. At one stage Lopez was down in 22nd place but focussed on his braking markers, sector times and carefully picked his overtaking opportunities to rise through the field.
Lopez gained enough ground to latch onto the dispute for the podium and crossed the finish line with a well-earned and confidence-boosting 5th; only three tenths of a second behind the winner. Fenati passed the chequered flag in 8th but was promoted to 6th place after penalties for other riders and the team were satisfied with their first double top-ten run of the year.
After three back-to-back weekends MotoGP will take a small hiatus before assembling again at the historic circuit of Le Mans for the Shark Helmets Grand Prix de France on October 11th.
Alonso Lopez: “I’m very happy about today because we’re working well and improving, and this is important as we attempt the second part of the season. I am very confident with the bike and we can still make a few steps. I want to dedicate this race to the team for all their effort and for all the sponsors who have supported me so far.”
Romano Fenati: “We had a few problems at the start but stayed near the front. Towards the end of the race there were some close moves that disturbed me a bit, but I pushed and I’m quite happy in the end. Now we have to focus on Le Mans and do our best there.”
Max Biaggi, Team Principal: “This was the best team result for us so far and it was especially good for Alonso and his confidence. Romano tried his best could not make a better pace. Step-by-step still, and hopefully in France we can repeat these kinds results or hope for better.”
Results – 2020 Moto3 FIM World Championship, Round 9
1. Darryn Binder (KTM) 38:32.507, 2. Tony Arbolino (Honda) +0.103, 3. Dennis Foggia (Honda) +0.157, 5. Alonso Lopez (Husqvarna) +0.386, 6. Romano Fenati (Husqvarna) +1.436
Championship standings – After round 9
1. Ai Ogura (Honda) 122pts; 2. Albert Arenas (KTM) 119pts; 3. John McPhee (Honda) 98; 12. Romano Fenati (Husqvarna) 57; 20. Alonso Lopez (Husqvarna) 16