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No 'home' comforts for Kelso at the Sachsenring

Monday, 19 June 2023

At a home Grand Prix for his German CFMOTO Racing PruestelGP team, Australia's Joel Kelso found the going tough in Moto3™, finishing outside the points.

Australia's Joel Kelso has endured his toughest Moto3™ event of the season at the Sachsenring, the 20-year-old finishing in 22nd position in Sunday's 23-lap German Grand Prix to wrap up a weekend he'll be keen to put in the rear-view mirror.

Kelso, who celebrated his 20th birthday on the Monday prior to the Sachsenring race, rode with a special German flag-coloured livery for his CFMOTO Racing PruestelGP team, the local squad based adjacent to the circuit.


From the outset, Kelso's weekend was one of being consistently on the back foot; he was over six seconds off the front-running pace on a rain-interrupted Friday for the Moto3™ class, and qualified 19th after finishing fifth in Q1, just missing out on a Q2 berth by 0.053 seconds to Italian Filippo Farioli (KTM) after what he called "another tough day in the office".

Starting from 18th, Kelso set his fastest lap of the race (1min 27.262secs) on lap 2 and was embroiled in a fight with Farioli and Honda duo Romano Fenati and Mario Aji before running wide in the first sector on lap 12, falling to 23rd.

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Kelso's race petered out from there, gaining a place on the penultimate lap when Matteo Bertelle (Honda) crashed out of 10th.

He finished 45.306secs behind race-winner Deniz Oncu (KTM), the Turk taking his maiden Moto3 victory after dive-bombing Ayumu Sasaki (Husqvarna) at the final corner after the Japanese rider had led the entire race from pole position.

"Overall it was a disappointing weekend, but not a weekend to forget because it's a weekend where we can learn more about the bike and where we can improve," Kelso said.

"At the moment it's a difficult point for us. Last weekend (in Italy) we started to struggle a bit more … after my crash (in Portugal) when I came back at Jerez and Le Mans, things just didn't feel quite right with the bike.

"We're struggling to find what the problem is, but we just need to keep working in this direction to find a solution. I have a lot of trust in the team, so there'll be better times to come soon."

With 12 points for the season, Kelso sits in 19th place in the championship standings ahead of next weekend's Dutch TT at Assen (June 23-25), where he qualified 10th before failing to finish last year.

Joel's German Grand Prix by the numbers

  • Qualified: 19th
  • Race (27 laps): 22nd
  • Fastest lap: 1min 27.262secs (23rd), lap 2
  • Points this event: 0
  • Points this season: 12 (19th in world championship)