Aussie Joel Kelso put in a great ride after receiving a last-minute call from the CIP-GREEN POWER Moto3™ Team to replace Maximilian Kofler.
The odds were stacked up against Kelso, arriving only a couple of hours before the first practice session on Friday.
Despite these tricky circumstances, the Northern Territorian qualified in 19th place and worked his way up in the race to finish in 14th.
That was enough to earn Kelso two championship points, his first in the World Championship.
Congrats @joelkelso66 for his result today ! 🙌🏼 P14! Unfortunately @KaitoToba crashed in the 1st lap 😪 We’re looking forward to the last GP of this season in Valencia next week! Hope to have Maximilian Kofler #73 back for his last race with the team ! @MotoGP #AlgarveGP #Moto3 pic.twitter.com/94TLznIdff— CIP-GREEN POWER Moto3 Team (@CIPMOTO) November 7, 2021
Kelso commented after the race;
“Overall, it was a good weekend. What can I say? The team and I did a great job this weekend.
“We made a lot of progress with the bike, and that’s a very positive thing for the coming year.”
“Honestly, it gives me a lot more motivation.
“Everything went incredibly well in the opening 13 laps until I made a small mistake. In the end we finished 14th, so two points. I also set my best lap on this track.
“Overall, I am very happy. I know I could have done better, but anyway, we have to take the positive. We worked well. We’ll see what happens after that, but I’m looking forward to next season with this team.”
The Darwin teenager will be making his full-time Moto3™ debut with the same team next year and this performance should give him plenty of confidence heading into next season.
It still remains to be seen whether Kelso will be asked to step in for the final race of the season in Valencia.