Sergio Garcia locked a first podium of the year in Moto3™ while Izan Guevara takes 8th. In Moto2™ Jake Dixon and Albert Arenas put in a gritty ride to finish 11th and 13th. All told, an edge-of-the-seat 2022 season awaits!
It’s the moment we have all been waiting for - under the dazzling lights of the Lusail International Circuit in Qatar, the GASGAS Aspar Team opened their 2022 accounts with blistering performances in Moto3 and Moto2 scoring podiums and championship points across both classes.
Lights out, more red, and full gas at Qatar! After 112 days since the last season ended, it has been a long wait for racing to resume. The Gaviota GASGAS Aspar Team came out of the box fighting with a double hit on both the Moto3 and Moto2 championship classes. The exciting Spanish duo of Sergio Garcia and Izan Guevara led the way on their GASGAS RC 250 GP machines in Moto3, while 2020 Moto3 Champion Albert Arenas and rising star Jake Dixon brought a big dash of speed and talent for an assault on the Moto2 crown.
The weekend’s action in Qatar raced off the line with Moto3, and there was heartbreak and drama before even the first lap. Izan Guevara recorded a stunning pole position lap in qualifying, but was sent to the back of the grid and given at least one long-lap penalty for slowing on the racing line after leaving the pits. Meanwhile teammate, and four-time Moto3 Grand Prix winner Sergio Garcia posted P6 on the grid.
Putting the dramas of qualifying behind them, Guevara rocketed through the pack to find a good rhythm and chase down the leaders. Guevara managed to fight his way up to 8th, finishing a mere 2.5 seconds behind the podium trio. Garcia handled the race in true championship-seeking style, despite also having to serve a long lap penalty after contact with rival Carlos Tatay on lap one. Fighting for the top podium spot for the majority of the 18 lap race, Garcia nearly snatched the win on the final run to the line, finishing 0.037 behind rival Migno.
In Moto2, as the track temperatures cooled, Jake Dixon and Albert Arenas started their championship campaigns in P7 and P11 respectively. Both riders battled the heavy headwinds and dusty conditions, touching nearly 290km/h down the pit straight at Lusail. While Dixon unfortunately dropped down the order to 18th after contact at the start, Arenas held strong in 12th in the mid pack. By lap 20 the dust had settled; and both riders brought their Moto2 machines home in 11th and 13th, scoring a combined eight championship points.
#11 - Sergio Garcia: “We did everything we could today! What an amazing race it was. It was very difficult for me because the race was running at a very fast pace. I felt really good with the bike - I pushed hard despite the long lap penalty. I felt like my pace which I was able to build up through the race was incredible. To start the year off with a podium is fantastic, obviously we need to keep pushing now and carry this speed over into the next round. A big thankyou to the team for their hard work over the winter. For me, at this moment now, I’m just really happy!”
#28 - Izan Guevara: “Happy for the race we made and the race rhythm was pretty good, especially with the consistency. I was attacking to stay with the lead group but our race was obviously conditioned from the start. I hope we can be at the front again in Indonesia because we really should have been fighting for the podium today. Thanks to the team for all their work this weekend. Onto Mandalika.”
#75 - Albert Arenas: “It’s good to get the first race out of the way, even if I’m not totally happy with how it went. I was pretty much on-the-limit for the full race distance, so naturally I was hoping for a better result. We got some good data for set up which will help us for the next couple of races. Now we will focus now on making improvements so we can step forward in Indonesia and keep making fast laps to improve.”
#96 - Jake Dixon: “Turn one and two were a disaster! Being that far back – outside the top twenty – on the first lap meant it was so hard to try and fight back. I had to pass 10-11 riders, and it took a long time. I think I lost around ten seconds and if you take that away from the final race time then we would have been battling for the podium. So, we had the pace but the first lap held me back. It’s a long season and this is just the start!”
Results - 2022 Moto3 World Championship, Round 1:
1. Andrea Migno (Honda) 18 Laps; 2. Sergio García (Gaviota GASGAS Aspar Team) +0.037, 3. Kaito Toba (KTM) +0.573, 8. Izan Guevara (Gaviota GASGAS Aspar Team) +2.545,
Championship Standings - After Round 1:
Andrea Migno (Honda) 25pts; 2. Sergio García (Gaviota GASGAS Aspar Team) 20pts; 3. Kaito Toba (KTM) 16pts; 8. Izan Guevara (Gaviota GASGAS Aspar Team) 8pts
Results - 2022 Moto2 World Championship, Round 1:
1. Celestino Vietti (Kalex) 20 Laps; 2. Aron Canet (Kalex) +6.154, 3. Sam Lowes (Kalex) +10.181, 11. Jake Dixon (Inde GASGAS Aspar Team) +18.958, 13. Albert Arenas (Inde GASGAS Aspar Team) +26.139
Championship Standings - After Round 1:
1. Celestino Vietti (Kalex) 25pts; 2. Aron Canet (Kalex) 20pts, 3. Sam Lowes (Kalex) 16pts, 11. Jake Dixon (Inde GASGAS Aspar Team) 5pts, 13. Albert Arenas (Inde GASGAS Aspar Team) 3pts