2015 Valencia Moto3 Results
Just as in MotoGP, the 2015 Moto3 title came down to the season finale at Valencia Ricardo Circuit. Heading into Valencia, only two riders were capable of earning the title – Leopard Racing’s Danny Kent and Red Bull KTM Ajo’s Miguel Oliveira. Kent had a 24-point lead over Oliveria ahead of Valencia Moto3, and had to finish 14th or better if Oliveira could pull off the win.
Oliveira did pull off that win, but Kent rode smartly to finish ninth and claim the 2015 Moto3 title. He became the first British World Champion since Barry Sheene back in 1977 (500cc class). When the championship wrapped up, Kent earned the title by a mere seven points.
Danny Kent says: “You know it wasn’t a big problem with Ono. The main thing was I was controlling the gap behind us as we needed to finish inside the top 14. I wasn’t too worried about Hiroki being there, I just let him sit in front and then he let me go in front. It’s a massive relief as we’ve gone into the last four races knowing in the back of our minds that we could have been champion and we got our hopes up and then we weren’t able to do it. But now we’ve finally done it. A massive thank you to my family and my team, to sponsors and the fans.”
As for Oliveria, he was joined on the Valencia Moto3 podium by Estrella Galicia 0,0’s Jorge Navarro and Drive M7 SIC’s Jakub Kornfiel, repsectively.
Miguel Oliveira says: “Whoever has the most points wins the championship, and we came very close, but I’m happy with the season we’ve had especially the last three races. Winning all three has been very good. We have proven to be a great team and the results we have obtained make me optimistic about the new challenges to come in the future. Throughout the year I have not had hardly any head-to-head battles with Kent. It has been a fight at a distance, because we haven’t really coincided at the front much. I have had ups and downs this year, but to end up winning the last three races is a great feat. I’m happy with today’s win, in a race that was very competitive. I want to thank the whole team, KTM, Red Bull and all the partners for this wonderful season.”
2015 Valencia Moto3 Recap
Starting from fourth, Oliveira took the lead at the very first corner and rode superbly in the leading pack to control the race and win by 0.198 of a second from Navarro after Niccolo Antonelli (Ongetta-Rivacold) crashed at the last corner, taking out podium challengers Efren Vazquez (Leopard Racing) and Romano Fenati (Sky Racing Team VR46) in the process.
Due to the crash, Kornfeil completed the podium. But Sunday belonged to Kent as he finished in ninth to secure the title at his fourth attempt. The British rider had to start from 18th on the grid, but by the end of lap one he was already in 15th. Slowly but surely he made his way through the field up to 11th, before being embroiled in a battle with his teammate Hiroki Ono over the last couple of laps. Kent dropped down to 12th on the last lap as Ono made his move, but with the three riders falling ahead of him on that last corner; it meant Kent finished in ninth, secured seven points and ended the 38-year wait for a British World Champion. Kent (260 points) secured the title from Oliveira (254 points) by six points to become the first British lightweight champion since Dave Simmonds in 1969.
It was Navarro’s fourth podium in the last five races, as the Spaniard took seventh in the standings at the expense of the unlucky Vazquez. Kornfeil returned to the podium for only the second time in his career, after his second placed finish at Silverstone earlier in the year.
Red Bull KTM Ajo’s Brad Binder crossed the line in fourth after starting from ninth and working his way through the pack during the race, ahead of Enea Bastianini on the Gresini Racing Team Moto3 Honda in fifth.
RBA Racing Team’s Isaac Viñales recorded his 11th top ten finish of the season in sixth, in front of pole man John McPhee (SAXOPRINT RTG) who faded during the race to finish in seventh.
Kent’s teammate Ono beat him to the line to secure eighth, with Kent ninth and Phillip Oettl (Schedl GP Racing) completing the top 10.
Karel Hanika (Red Bull KTM Ajo) crashed out on lap 11 at the Mick Doohan corner and was taken to the Medical Centre for checks after feeling dizzy. There were also DNF’s for Alessandro Tonucci, Juanfran Guevara, Tatsuki Suzuki and Remy Gardner while Fabio Quartararo was forced to retire on his return from injury.