Moto3 2023
Round 3

Masia Denied COTA Moto3 Win By Sasaki Crash

us Circuit Of The Americas

Jaume Masia (Leopard Racing Honda NSF250RW) started today’s Americas Moto3 Grand Prix from pole position and rode a perfect race, shadowing leader Ayumu Sasaki for much of the 14 laps, biding his time.

Masia Denied COTA Moto3 Win By Sasaki Crash

With two and a half laps remaining Masia finally moved into the lead, out-braking Sasaki at the end of COTA’s super-long back straight. However, Sasaki came back at him the following lap to regain the first place, only to crash a few corners later, with Masia just metres behind him. Masia took dramatic avoiding action, running off track and dropping to the very back of the leading five riders.

With just over two laps remaining it seemed Masia’s hopes of victory were entirely over, but the 22-year-old Spaniard did not give up. The NSF250RW rider quickly caught the leading four and started making some superb moves. Victory did not seem out of question.

At the final corner he snatched second place, to chase 18-year-old winner Ivan Ortola over the finish line, less than half a second behind. The result puts Masia fourth overall in the Moto3 World Championship, with 18 of 21 races completed.

Masia’s team-mate Tatsuki Suzuki (Leopard Racing Honda NSF250RW), who won the Argentine GP two weeks ago. was also in the hunt for another great result until he tumbled out on the ?? lap.

That left Kaito Toba (Sic58 Squadra Corse Honda NSF250RW) Honda’s next-best placed rider in 11th place.

Mario Aji (Honda Team Asia Honda NSF250RW) had a superb ride, charging through from 25th on the grid after a complicated Saturday. The 19-year-old Indonesian made astonishing progress through the pack to finish 12th, his best-ever GP result. The performance was a huge morale boost for the teenager, who is in the early stages of his second World Championship season.

Team-mate Taiyo Furusato (Honda Team Asia Honda NSF250RW) qualified 19th and finished 20th. He learning plenty during the 14 laps, but his hopes of a better result were ruined by a mistake at Turn One, which lost him many places.

After these two races in the Americas the MotoGP circus returns to Europe for the Spanish, French, Italian, German and Netherlands rounds.

Jaume Masia 5
Leopard Racing
Finally I can say I had some luck in not crashing into Ayumu’s bike when he crashed. In the end I managed to recover today but it was a very difficult race with the wind because if you were in first place it was so difficult. It’s good to be back in the championship points and back 

Mario Suryo Aji
Mario Suryo Aji 64
Honda Team Asia
One of the best races of my career. We were waiting until the race, not thinking about the result, just concentrating on staying in the group, fighting to be there until the end. This result gives me incredible motivation. I'm happy but never satisfied enough; I keep hunting for more points this year. There are still 18 options to get points. I want to thank all the people around me who are supporting me. My team, my family. A good weekend has finished; it's time to enjoy, but soon to think in Jerez. 

Taiyo Furusato
Taiyo Furusato 72
Honda Team Asia
I’m disappointed because I was waiting for a better result. Although this, the global balance is positive because we changed how to manage the weekend, and I felt much better. Everything was going well until Saturday, but today in the race, I made a mistake in Turn 1, losing positions and the option to follow the big group. I tried to catch them, but it was impossible. I'm not satisfied with the race, but I got more experience, which is vital in thinking about the next races. 

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