Jaume Masia won the Moto3 World Championship race Sunday at Lusail International Circuit, in Doha, Qatar. Riding his Leopard Racing Honda, Masia won the 16-lap race by a scant 0.068 second. It was Masia’s fourth win of the season and with it the 23-year-old Spaniard clinched the 2023 Moto3 World Championship.
Gaviota GASGAS Aspar Team’s David Alonso was the runner-up, and Deniz Oncu finished 0.095 second behind Alonso in third on his Red Bull KTM Ajo machine.
More, from a press release issued by Dorna:
#MAS1A: Jaume Masia is the 2023 FIM Moto3™ World Champion!
The Leopard Racing rider wraps it up with a win at the Qatar GP
Sunday, 19 November 2023
It’s official: Jaume Masia (Leopard Racing) is the 2023 Moto3™ World Champion! A victory in a tense Qatar Airways Grand Prix of Qatar secured the Spaniard a maiden Grand Prix title, with the win at Lusail adding to three further victories across a season that has seen the Spaniard take 10 podiums so far and run at the front from the off.
Born in Algemesi, Valencia, Masia competed in the Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup and for three seasons in what is now the JuniorGP™ paddock before making his Grand Prix debut in 2017. He then became a full time Grand Prix rider in 2018 and having finished 13th in his rookie campaign, came out of the blocks flying in 2019. A maiden victory arrived at the Argentina GP, which he then backed up with a P2 at the following race in America.
Two more wins were claimed by Masia in 2020 as he moved to Leopard Racing, before a switch to Red Bull KTM Ajo came for the 2021 and 2022 seasons. In his second KTM stint, Masia won three times in two seasons – finishing P4 and P6 in the overall standings – before then making a move back to Leopard Racing for 2023.
Three podiums in the first five outings was a good start to the year for the #5, but he had to wait until the Dutch GP to pocket a first win back in Leopard colours. Two no scores at Silverstone and the Red Bull Ring then put a significant dent into his title charge, but Masia responded superbly by finishing P2 in Barcelona, P2 in Misano, winning in India and then again in Japan. The title dream was back on track.
Three non-podium finishes in a row didn’t halt Masia’s charge to World Championship leader status either, and having finished P3 in Malaysia, his first match point arrived in Qatar. The showdown was tense. Fighting at the front and with some seriously close exchanges between him and key rival Ayumu Sasaki (Liqui Moly Husqvarna Intact GP) throughout, it all went down to the final lap. But Masia was able to stay ahead and take that fourth win of the year, securing the crown with another 25-point haul.
#MAS1A IN STATS
Aged 23 years 19 days old on race day at the Qatar GP, Jaume Masia is the second-oldest rider to clinch the Moto3™ title after Albert Arenas (23 years and 347 days old in 2020). In addition, he is the first rider to clinch the title after having made more than 100 Moto3™ starts.
This is the sixth time that a Honda rider has won the Moto3™ title, adding to the Championships won by Alex Marquez (2014), Danny Kent (2015), Joan Mir (2017), Jorge Martin (2018) and Lorenzo Dalla Porta (2019).
Masia has won 10 times in Moto3™, and he is tied with Dennis Foggia third place on the list of riders with most wins in Moto3™ since 2012, behind Romano Fenati (13) and Joan Mir (11).
Masia has stood on the podium 27 times in the class, and he is the rider with second most Moto3™ podiums behind Romano Fenati (29).
Masia is the eighth Spanish rider to win the Moto3™ title since the introduction of the class in 2012.