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Kelso misses Moto3™ points in Silverstone stoush

Monday, 7 August 2023

Australia's Joel Kelso finished just over two seconds from the winner in Sunday's lightweight class race at the British Grand Prix … and was outside of the points after the second-tightest top 15 in world championship history.

Joel Kelso was squeezed out of the points from a second-row starting position in a wild Moto3™ race at the British Grand Prix on Sunday, the Australian finishing just 2.270 seconds from victory but ending up in 16th place after a manic 15-lap dash around Silverstone.

The ninth race of the 2023 Moto3™ will go down as an instant classic after a 19-bike group swapped paint and traded elbows for the entire race, with GasGas rider David Alonso victorious from last place on the 28-bike grid to become the first Colombian rider to win a world championship Grand Prix.


On his maiden visit to Silverstone after missing last year's British Grand Prix with injury, the die was cast for Kelso when he pulled back the curtains to find no rain when he awoke on Sunday; in dry conditions, the CFMOTO Racing PruestelGP team rider and Spanish teammate Xavier Artigas struggled all weekend, but both starred on a sodden Saturday when rain lashed the former World War II airfield.

Kelso, just 17th and 24th in the two Friday practice sessions in the dry, was never out of the top 10 in the wet on Saturday, and came through Q1 to qualify in fifth place, Artigas right behind him in sixth.

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The 20-year-old Australian made a slow getaway on Sunday to drop to ninth after lap one, and was mostly on the defensive in the trailing pack as the lead chopped and changed ahead of him. Kelso fell out of the points on lap eight, then was shuffled back to 19th with seven laps left.

Kelso gained places when Honda pair Matteo Bertelle (Italy) and Tatsuki Suzuki (Japan) tangled ahead of him with two laps left, and came across the line in 17th place, gaining another spot when British rider Scott Ogden (Honda) was demoted one position for a track limits infringement on the final lap.

Teammate Artigas went backwards too, the Spaniard finishing in 22nd position after starting one place behind Kelso on the grid.

The top 15 points-paying positions – from Alonso to fellow GasGas rider Ryusei Yamanaka (Japan) – were separated by just 1.572secs after 15 heart-stopping laps, the second-closest top 15 in world championship history.

"A full weekend without the dry conditions here is definitely not easy," Kelso said afterwards as he looked ahead to the next round in Austria in two weeks' time.

"At the moment we're going through a difficult part with getting the correct feeling with the bike.

"We just need to keep moving forward and hopefully find the solution for that soon."

Joel's British Grand Prix by the numbers

  • Qualified: 5th
  • Race (15 laps): 16th
  • Fastest lap: 2mins 13.720 (16th), lap 2
  • Points this event: 0
  • Points this season: 19 (19th in world championship)