Fenati rides to 13th place at first Valencian Moto3™ Grand Prix

An eventful day for Husqvarna Motorcycles at the thirteen round of 2020 Moto3 as Romano Fenati circulates Valencia for three championship points.

MotoGP assembled for rounds 13 and 14 of 2020 at the Circuito Ricardo Tormo in Valencia. The latest ‘back-to-back’ episode of the world championship is part of the final triple header that will take the series up to 15 races and end with a debut outing at the demanding Autodromo Internacional do Algarve circuit in Portimao, Portugal. The combination of tight, closed and sweeping corners in Spain was the first test for the Sterilgarda Max Racing Team as Husqvarna Motorcycles chased its second set of silverware this season.

The weekend began on a challenging note. Rain and heavy showers meant the majority of Moto3 sessions were wet. Romano Fenati was able to use his skill and sensitivity with the FR 250 GP in the damp to qualify in 5th position and for a spot on the second row of the grid. The Italian had been a regular at the top of the time sheets throughout both days. Teammate Alonso Lopez entered the Q2 chrono and the young Spaniard managed 16th.

Sunshine and a dry asphalt on Sunday meant the team and both riders had to use Warm-Up to dial-in the race settings for the 23 laps. Moto3 then began in distinctive style with a large pack exchanging positions at the front. Fenati hovered in mid-pack contention, bouncing around the periphery of a top ten position. Lopez started excellently and was vying for the lead on the opening two laps until Celestino Vietti fell in front of him exiting Turn 4. He had nowhere to go and crashed out of the race. Fenati moved up to the head of the third group and despite needing to make a Long Lap penalty for exceeding track limits was able to finish 13th.

The Grand Prix paddock will remain near the Spanish city this week. The Gran Premio Motul de la Comunitat Valenciana represents the second date at the complex.

Romano Fenati: “Not our best results today. The bike was really fast but at the start of the race we got stuck behind the first group. I had a great feeling and our pace was similar to the leaders but we have to be further forward from the start. We have to fix this for the race next week. Our position should be further forward.”

Alonso Lopez: “I’m pretty sad about today because I started very fast in the Warm-Up and also in the race. I felt great with the bike. We’d changed the set-up a little and it worked really well because I felt so comfortable. Bad luck to have Vietti crashing in Turn 4. I couldn’t do anything. We’ll aim to do our best in the next race and I want to thank the team for their great work. We’ll try again!”

Max Biaggi, Team Principal: “The weekend started well, especially for Alonso this time and the race as well. He was very unlucky. Romano had to recover positions but then the Long Lap penalty was a problem. I’m more optimistic about the GP than our results show. We should have got much more but we need to keep positive.”

Results – 2020 Moto3 FIM World Championship, Round 13

1. Raul Fernandez (KTM) 38:29.140, 2. Sergio Garcia (Honda) +0.703, 3. Ai Ogura (Honda) +1.005, 13. Romano Fenati (Husqvarna) +17.589, DNF. Alonso Lopez (Husqvarna)

Championship standings – After round 13

1. Albert Arenas (KTM) 157pts; 2. Ai Ogura (Honda) 154pts; 3. Celestino Vietti (KTM) 137pts; 11. Romano Fenati (Husqvarna) 73 pts; 23. Alonso Lopez (Husqvarna) 21