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Penalty punts Kelso from points in Austria

Monday, 21 August 2023

The Australian Moto3™ rider finishes a frustrating 16th for the second race running, a late-race long-lap penalty for track limits infringements undoing a top-10 qualifying result.

Joel Kelso has fallen agonisingly short of points for a second consecutive Moto3™ weekend, the Australian finishing 16th at the Austrian Grand Prix on Sunday after a late-race long-lap penalty.

Kelso finished just seven-hundredths of a second behind 15th-placed Spanish rider David Salvador (KTM) after 20 laps of the Red Bull Ring, with the race won by KTM's Deniz Oncu (Turkey) by five-thousandths of a second from fellow KTM rider and championship leader, Dani Holgado (Spain).


Kelso's result comes after the CFMOTO Racing PruestelGP rider also finished 16th at Silverstone last time out, that race a mass pack battle that saw the 20-year-old fail to score despite finishing just 2.2secs from victory.

Sunday's Austrian Moto3™ race, the 10th of 20 this season, was a more spread-out affair. Kelso started from ninth place, his third consecutive top-10 result in qualifying, and he ran inside the top seven for the opening six laps at the front of a second group of riders trailing the leading pack.

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Kelso's points chances began to dim when he was given a track limits warning on lap seven, and he was shuffled down the pack to 14th by lap nine. A long-lap penalty for repeated track limits infringements was served on lap 14, which dropped him out of the points to 18th place.

Kelso pushed on and crossed the line in 17th, and gained a further position when British rider Scott Ogden (Honda) failed to serve his own long-lap penalty before the chequered flag and was demoted from 16th to 22nd in the final classification after having three seconds added to his race time.

Kelso finished 19.415secs behind Oncu, who led a four-bike pack across the line to win his second race of the season, the leading quartet separated by just 0.136secs.

"That was a difficult one today," Kelso conceded after the race.

"Qualifying, our lap times put us straight into Q2 and P9 on the grid after a difficult first day.

"The race was going OK until I got the long-lap penalty, that made me lose contact with the middle group that was for the top 10 so that was definitely unfortunate. All we can do is keep working as a team and try to make sure we come back stronger for the next race."

The second half of Kelso's second full Moto3 season begins in Barcelona for the Grand Prix of Catalunya in two weeks' time.

Joel's Austrian Grand Prix by the numbers

  • Qualified: 9th
  • Race (20 laps): 16th
  • Fastest lap: 1min 42.030secs (17th), lap 10
  • Points this event: 0
  • Points this season: 19 (20th in world championship)