Speedy Spaniard Iván Ortolá makes the step up to the Moto3 World Championship for 2022 with his eyes on the ultimate prize.
On a personal note it’s not often I get excited about a rider who is yet to prove themselves in the world championship, however Iván Ortolá is the real deal and has proven time and time again that being a rookie means absolutely nothing in regards to his speed and ability to be rapid on debut.
In his rookie season in three major championships Ortolá has been able to finish within the top 3 on all three occasions, these championships include the European Talent Cup, Red Bull Rookies and the Junior Moto3 World Championship. Ortolá has the outright speed and pace to be able to battle with any rider he is put against, regardless of their previous achievements or talent.
For most of his career the Spanish rider has ridden with the Aspar Team remaining under their wing from the CEV 85cc championship right through to now, he may have been donned in MTA colours for 2021 but he was contracted to Aspar, effectively on loan to the MTA squad who will now take him to the World Championship. The Aspar team have pushed him to improve and grow into the hugely fast rider we see today.
Ortolá chillin’ in pitlane before the Misano race outside the Repsol Honda garage.
Not much is known about his career pre-2016 however we can tell you that he has been riding from a young age, initially making his racing start on dirt in various MX series’ before stepping over onto tarmac, being crowned the 2016 CEV 85cc champion with the Aspar Squad as previously mentioned.
From here he moved to the Spanish championship in 2017 where he was nearly crowned champion as a rookie, he was forced to miss some races which cost him the final few points to be crowned champion however was able to move up to the European/Spanish PreMoto3 series which saw him take three podiums and once again opened the doors for a promotion into the extremely competitive European Talent Cup for 2019.
The European Talent Cup, or ETC as it is commonly known is one of the most competitive championships in Europe, it is a stepping stone into the Junior Moto3 World Championship (JWC) and a class that allows riders to prove themselves against the very best young riders that the world has to offer.
The class tests your speed, discipline and ability to be consistently strong to be able to battle for the title, Ortolá proved he had all of these qualities as a rookie in 2019 coming home as a runner up in the class on the Honda NSF250 including a double win on debut, he finished ahead of some huge names in the championship standings including Fermin Aldeguer, Jose Rueda, Lorenzo Fellon and Joel Kelso. It was clear he was a special talent and it was no surprise when he was picked by Red Bull to ride in their prestigious Rookies series which has bred many World Champions.
Victory celebrations in Aragon.
He remained in the ETC for 2020, albeit much taller at this point and barely able to fit on the bike. He also made his debut in the Red Bull Rookies and cooked up a storm, on paper he wasn’t meant to do well, he was a rookie in the series on the Moto3 bikes whilst riding a completely different machine in the ETC and was against some of the fastest riders from the Junior Moto3 World Championship including 2020 champion Izan Guevara. This meant absolutely nothing to Ortolá who went out and took home P3 overall in the series behind Pedro Acosta and David Muñoz, beating some huge talent including Daniel Holgado who was his teammate in the JWC.
At this point was proof that he was a future star, he came home in P4 overall in the ETC after somewhat struggling with his height and was handed the opportunity to ride in the Junior Moto3 World Championship for 2021 alongside his Rookies Cup duties.
Once again in 2021 being a rookie absolutely didn’t phase him at all coming home as the runner up in the JWC behind Daniel Holgado with 7 podiums in 12 races, missing out on a victory but proving to his team that he was worthy of promotion to the world stage, over in the rookies he scored 7 more points than 2020 but finished in P4 overall (repeating his ETC championship standings in 2019 and 2020) however had proved he has what it takes to battle with the best week in week out. It’s worth noting he did get a win in the final race of the season also that deservedly allowed him to step onto the top step of the podium at least once in 2021 after a terrific display in both the RBR and JWC.
This year he will race with the newly created MTA team alongside Stefano Nepa, the team proving to be the perfect grounds for him to prove himself, keep an eye on him because if history repeats itself then we could be looking at a rookie title contender.
Featured images – CEV Repsol / Gold & Goose – Red Bull Content Pool