Ten days, ten riders: this summer, GP Inside invites you to discover the riders who could make the good days of MotoGP in the coming years. Deniz Öncü is in the spotlight today, a regular in Moto3, the young Turk just needs a victory to gain confidence and fully launch his career.
Name: Deniz Oncu
Date of birth: 26/07/2003 (18 years old) in Alanya (Turkey)
Team: Red Bull KTM Tech3
Races: 47 (47 on Moto3)
Best rounds: 1
Best overall ranking:
– Moto3: 11th (2021)
Deniz Öncü was revealed in 2017. That year, at just 14 years old, he won the Idemitsu Asian Talent Cup by a very small point. A season that also saw him fight for the lead in the Red Bull Rookies Cup, with a fourth place overall and above all two big wins at Sachsenring and Brno. A category where Öncü’s youngest would finish second the following season behind his brother Can.
Deniz Öncü’s moment in Moto3 came at the end of 2019 when he finally reached the legal age of 16 to take part in a world championship test. Organizers awarded him two wildcards with the Red Bull KTM Ajo team at Sachsenring (18th) and Brno (17th). With the support of KTM, the very promising Turk found a place chosen with the Red Bull KTM Tech3 team for the 2020 season. His debut season was not very bad, scoring six times on points, with a sixth place in Valencia as the best result. .
The year 2021 was the first of the No. 53. Still at Tech3, the Turk climbed to his first podium at the Grand Prix of Catalonia. Third in Barcelona, he discovered second place in Austria and then in Aragon, before making his first pole in Styria. Eleventh in the championship with 95 points, the end of the season for the talented Turkish driver was hit by a major accident involving several drivers in Austin. After losing control, his bike would crash into some of his opponents. A maneuver that will make him win two suspension races.
Current season: 6th in the championship (98 points)
Deniz Öncü only needs one thing to have a good season: a podium. Often very well placed, the Turk has already entered the top-5 six times, never getting to the top of the table. Less efficient at the end of the race, where everything is decided in Moto3, the Red Bull KTM Tech3 rider has to better manage his last kilometers. If he managed to pick up the trophies, he would be a formidable competitor in the race for the final podium.
Maybe we’ll have to wait and see him get his first hit so he has a click and can play to victory every weekend. In order to win a race, Deniz Öncü can rely on one of his strengths: classification. The Turk has been shown several times to his advantage in the quick lap exercise. With his KTM, he came out of the top spot on the grid twice in Porto ao and Mugello. Deniz Öncü has to get his poles to finally win Moto3, his main goal for the second half of the season.
Why can you claim Moto2?
In line with the other riders supported by KTM (Fernandez, Acosta, Guevara), Deniz Öncü is a hope for the brand. Arriving at Moto3 at a very young age, the experience gained over the years allows him to improve his performance. The Turkish has achieved a certain regularity that translates into greater consistency in these results, important data to consider moving to a higher category.
Deniz Öncü’s other asset is also his entourage. Directed by Kenan Sofuoglu, five-time Supersport World Champion and an iconic figure in Turkish motorcycling, the 18-year-old rider relies heavily on his eldest to advise him on his career. An invaluable help in charting the path. His coach is already hoping to move him to Moto2 next year, and is currently looking for options for his protégé.
Öncü is looking for a place in Moto2