News 13 Jun 2023

Penalty shadows Kelso P2 qualifying breakout

Australian in parc ferme on Saturday once again at Mugello.

Image: Supplied.

Australia’s Joel Kelso delivered a standout qualifying performance in the Moto3 World Championship at Mugello but a penalty received earlier in the weekend prevented him from lining up second on the grid.

Kelso was one of eight riders awarded a back of the grid plus long lap penalty for irresponsible riding in P3, and the number 66 also had his best lap from practice three cancelled due to yellow flags.

The CFMOTO rider didn’t let that deter him as he stormed into Q2 by setting the pace in the qualifying one, later posting the second-fastest Moto3 qualifying time behind Red Bull KTM Ajo’s Deniz Oncu. It was the second time Kelso has qualified inside the top three this season, notably starting third in Portugal, but he was forced to line up in 21st at Mugello after the penalty was applied.

The race was a challenging one for Kelso unfortunately, crashing while pushing to make up for the penalty and close the gap to the riders ahead. Nonetheless, he will be able to draw confidence from the further potential shown in Italy as he looks ahead to the upcoming round at the Sachsenring this weekend.

“Disappointed, definitely not how I wanted the weekend to end at all…crashing while pushing to try and close the gap to the group in front,” Kelso shared. “Next up is the team’s home GP at Sachsenring. I’ll continue to work hard and give that front-row start another crack!”