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.
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.
Jaume Masia: "I still don't believe it. It’s something so big I can't explain it right now at the moment. I feel like I am dreaming I don't know if this is true or what because I've struggled all my life to achieve something like this. One can never imagine the feeling until you are close to it, until you take it with your hands. It's still very fresh, so I don't know what to say."
How does that feel knowing you had doubts about your future after this season?
"In the end, to be world champion is one world. I still can't comprehend how big it is.In the history books, I will always be the 2023 Moto3 World Champion with Leopard Racing. I think this is a dream come true. I would pay a lot to be world champion with this team. I think I’m the luckiest guy in the world right now. I only want to spend these days and these weeks with my family and enjoy this moment with everyone. I also want to enjoy the smell in my team, who deserve it even more than me."
How big a part of it has the team been this season?
"Yeah, I don’t think of them as crew chiefs or mechanics or whatever. I see them as good people and I see them like family I chose, so at the end to share this moment with them is amazing. I have had obviously some bad moments where we’ve had to be positive, but I’ve enjoyed it a lot. I’ve been smiling a lot and there’s been lots of happiness and making jokes so for me it’s incredible to share this with them and to share with everyone. They appreciate me a lot I know every single one of them would lose their arm or their finger, or even their leg for me and to be world champion with me, so this is a really special moment."