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Gonzalez Rockets to Second Place and Maiden Moto2 Podium in Moonlit Qatar Race

Gonzalez Rockets to Second Place and Maiden Moto2 Podium in Moonlit Qatar Race

The Correos Prepago Yamaha VR46 Master Camp squad celebrated their maiden Moto2 World Championship podium after Manuel Gonzalez‘ superb ride from P9 on the grid to P2 across the finish line. Kohta Nozane was less fortunate. A crash in Turn 13 ended his race prematurely.

The Correos Prepago Yamaha VR46 Master Camp team secured their first Moto2 World Championship podium in style. Manuel Gonzalez‘ smart riding allowed him to take second place at the chequered flag by just 0.009s from Aron Canet. Kohta Nozane also had a lightning start, but his fortunes weren‘t as favourable. A crash in Turn 13 ended his race prematurely.

Gonzalez had a rocket launch from P9 and showed some clever riding on the first lap that allowed him to make up three places and attach himself onto the back of the leading rider group. The Spaniard wasn‘t shy to get into the mix and picked up two more positions. He then closed a small gap to Jake Dixon and was showing the Briton the front of his Correos Prepago Yamaha VR46 Master Camp bike at every opportunity, but without much luck. Soon chasing riders closed in. Fermín Aldeguer made his pass stick on lap 7, but Manugasss was not out for the count. He followed Aldeguer as he cut through the pack.

Gonzalez was in third place with nine laps to go, but it tasted like more. He was flashing red sectors in the live timing and overtook Canet four laps later, but his fellow Spaniard wasn‘t going to let the number-18 achieve his first Moto2 podium that easily. It all came down to the final lap: the two duked it out with multiple overtakes, but ultimately it was Gonzalez‘ perfect strategy coming out of the final corner that earned him second place by 0.009s over his rival.

Nozane had a good start from P30 and was up to P25 in the opening stages. Over the next few laps, he engaged in battles with various other riders. He ended up being relegated to 27th place but was still part of the rider group fighting for 23rd position. The Japanese rider was unable to make strides in terms of ranking and lost touch with the group, but he aimed to keep learning whilst on the job. He was still pushing and set a personal best time in Sector 1 on lap 12 before disaster struck. A crash in Turn 13 ended his challenge early. Though unhurt, he was unable to rejoin the race.

Today‘s result means Gonzalez has 142.5 points and moves up to 7th in the championship standings. Correos Prepago Yamaha VR46 Master Camp stay in 8th in the team championship, also with 142.5 points.

The teammates will be back in action next week for the final round of the 2023 Moto2 season. The Gran Premio de la Comunitat Valenciana will be held at the Circuit Ricardo Tormo from 24th - 26th November.

Manuel Gonzalez

Correos Prepago Yamaha VR46 Master Camp

"I have no words! I lost my voice as well because I was screaming a lot inside my helmet and saying “Finally! Finally!” after that last lap. Today I was so, so strong, almost as strong as Fermín. I didn‘t have the confidence to overtake on the first laps, but then I improved a lot and was overtaking. Canet and I had an amazing fight at the end. I want to say “Thank you!” to the team, because we had two amazing seasons together, and today we got the job done, and I can go home to Spain feeling so, so happy. Also “Thank you” to all the people who are supporting me!"

Kohta Nozane

Correos Prepago Yamaha VR46 Master Camp

"It was a difficult race, and unfortunately I crashed in a high-speed corner. I don‘t understand exactly what happened, but I‘m OK. Now we have three days to recharge, and we‘re going to Valencia next. I‘ll do my best in this last race weekend with the team."

Gelete Nieto

Correos Prepago Yamaha VR46 Master Camp, Sports Director

"What a birthday present! We are all extremely happy, it‘s been a great emotion. After almost two years, we finally got our first podium with a superb second place from Manu. He did an amazing race. He was riding superfast. I really thank all the team for the great job, and Yamaha and VR46 for their support. We go to Valencia for the last round feeling more motivated than ever!

"Kohta unfortunately crashed in a high-speed corner. It‘s a pity, but luckily he is OK."