Husqvarna Motorcycles will look back on a victory and two strong top five positions from the 2020 championship as the team end the season just outside the points at Portimao.
The MotoGP paddock encountered a brand new and thrilling challenge with the first ever visit to the Algarve International Circuit for the Grande Prémio MEO de Portugal. The fifteenth and final round of 2020 took place around the sweeping technical layout and where the teams lacked crucial data and set-up information. The first Free Practice sessions were therefore important to learn the demands and lines as well as the levels of grip and possibilities around the popular course.
Fenati showed fast adaptation to record the 2nd fastest lap-time in FP1 but as the chrono tumbled the Italian persevered to try and keep pace as Alonso Lopez also pushed hard. Saturday saw the white and blue FR 250 GP motorcycles in 23rd and 26th on the grid, so both riders had to get away from the 8th and 9th rows with a lot of traffic to pass for the 21 laps on Sunday.
The Moto3 pack were unusually dispersed during the race and it left both Fenati and Lopez trying to cut through to the points. Lopez also had to negotiate a Long Lap penalty but then crashed out at Turn 12 with five laps to go. Fenati, experiencing harsh rear tyre wear, could only manage 20th.
The highlight of 2020 for the Sterilgarda Max Racing Team was undoubtedly Fenati’s exciting home victory at the Misano World Circuit – Marco Simoncelli in September and he picked up points in a total of nine Grands Prix. Lopez’ 5th position in Barcelona hinted at the potential still to come.
Husqvarna Motorcycles will enter the 2021 Moto3 season with the same rider line-up and with further experience of the FR 250 GP. The fresh campaign will start on March 28th in Qatar.
Romano Fenati: “I’m not happy with the race because the rear tyre dropped immediately. It was difficult to push and stay competitive and it felt like the race was over as soon as it started. It has been a season with ups and downs but we know very well where we have to work for 2021.”
Alonso Lopez: “Sadly, I couldn’t find my way at this race. Overall, I learned a lot this year. I could have done more and on track I couldn’t always show it. I need to focus more on my weak points for next season. I want to thank the team for all their work this year. They have done a fantastic job. Thanks to my sponsors also for all their support.”
Max Biaggi, Team Principal: “Today both riders started far back on the grid and we had a crash and a result out of the points, so a tough day and not how we hoped to finish the championship but we took a victory this year, our first with Husqvarna Motorcycles, and that is the most important thing to remember from this season. We will focus on 2021 and aim for similar results.”
Results – 2020 Moto3 FIM World Championship, Round 15
1. Raul Fernandez (KTM)+1.297, 2. Dennis Foggia (Honda) 38:17.462, 3. Jeremy Alcoba (Honda) +1.142, 20. Romano Fenati (Husqvarna) +24.672, DNF. Alonso Lopez (Husqvarna)
Final World Championship standings
1. Albert Arenas (KTM) 174pts; 2. Tony Arbolino (Honda) 170pts; 3. Ai Ogura (Honda) 170pts; 14. Romano Fenati (Husqvarna) 77 pts; 23. Alonso Lopez (Husqvarna) 21