MotoGP 2022: The two-time champion who beat Acosta ‘a la Lorenzo’

PFew pilots can say they have Won the Moto3 Junior World Championshipeither in the JuniorGP or in the FIM CEV, its previous name, for example Marc

PFew pilots can say they have Won the Junior World Championshipeither in the JuniorGP or in the FIM CEV, its previous name, for example Marc Márquez or Pedro Acosta did not do it; and few who prevailed in the Red Bull Rookies Cupthey didn’t Toprak Razgatlioglu or Izan Guevara to say only other ‘cracks’. But there is one the only onewho has succeeded in both: Jose Antonio Rueda, who achieved this feat in 2022, his magical year. “It has been incredible, the best way to close a great stage in my life,” he tells MARCA.

East sevillan it is the new world phenomenon that launches Spanish motorcycling. From a humble family, the son of a civil servant and an operator of a quinoa factory and with four other brothers – the youngest is 13 years younger than him. Because of the motorcycles, he even moved a little over a year ago. to the CAR of Sant Cugat (Barcelona). There is only one other motorcycle rider there, Xavi Artigas And of course they became friends. “At first it was difficult being away from your family, but then you get used to it,” he says shyly, as he is off the track. “we made many sacrifices. For example, instead of clothes for my brothers, everything went to my motorcycles. That’s why I dedicate it to him,” he adds.

He moved because that way he has been closer to the Monlau school, because with them and Estrella Galicia he won in Moto3 in the JuniorGP. In addition, he did it devastatingly. “I was able to do races in which I escaped alone, which is very difficult in this category, and apart from that, I appreciate winning so many races early. Also, I hadn’t won a championship in a long time. This is for my family, the equipment and my friend Hugo Milln“He says, remembering the deceased competitor.

Rueda wears a number on his fairing that evokes a five-time champion from the Balearic Islands, but his tastes also look to Australia. “For me, My all-time idol is Casey Stoner, but I’m wearing ’99’ because when I was little I really liked Jorge Lorenzo and for him I have always worn the ’99’. If I had to choose one of the two, Stoner would say. In terms of riding style, I am more of a Lorenzo type.more of passing through the curve”, he releases with resolution. He also loves to lead the races, set the pace, as the man from Palma did.

Of course, to ‘please’ the Mallorcan against Stoner, José Antonio imitated him in what he considers his best victory, when he beat Dani Holgadothen champion of the Moto3 Junior World Championship in 2021, and Pedro Acosta, Red Bull Rookies Cup champion in 2020 and Moto3 world champion in 2021. “In 2016in the Spanish championship of Moto4 of the RFME in Valencia, in the penultimate race, won the championship. It was incredible because the three of us escaped and if I was ahead of Holgado, I was champion. It was a fight the whole time. He put me first, Acosta overtook me and stopped me so that we wouldn’t both leave and be with Holgado. In the last lap, I got third, overtook Holgado, and in the ‘curvé’ I put Acosta ahead on the outside and I was able to win the championship, finishing first“, he evokes with a big smile.

And that only this course, between the two contests, the Andalusian has managed eight wins -five in JuniorGP and three in the Red Bull Rookies Cup- and 16 podiums -nine in the JuniorGP and seven in the Rookies Cup-.

Wheel is an exception in everything. By regulation, in Moto3 in 2023 participants can no longer run until they are 18 years old, but he was champion in the JuniorGP still with 16 when I tied it on the Misano circuit and arrive at 17because he becomes of legal age on October 28 next.

Making the leap to the World Cup no less than with Garlic KTMthe squad with which Acosta triumphed – and before Marc Mrquez or Brad Binder– and after having battled many years with Izan Guevara, David Muoz… “It motivates you to know that the ones you’ve been running with are right there in front of you. and that you can too”, he launches. And about his squad, he already had the first contact in Cheste. “It is a great motivation to be with them. I am very happy, I was very comfortable in the Valencia test, I have already learned a lot in these first three days. The trainings went very well. I really want 2023 to start “, he assures. And the fans from all over the world, too. Perhaps not so much their rivals. A double champion has come to beat them.

Golden brooch at 25 years of Monlau

Rueda’s title in the JuniorGP was the best finishing touch to the celebrations for 25 years of the Monlau Schoolthe initiative that saw the light of day in 1997, led by po ventura, to create a training center for engineers, mechanics… and pilots. Competitors of the stature of Marc Mrquez, Jorge Lorenzo or Quartararo have passed through its ranks. “It has ended up becoming a pioneering and unique project in the world”, says Iban Ventura, son of the founder, who continues his legacy as general manager, together with Jaime Serrano.