Daniel Holgado heads into 2022 as the 2021 FIM CEV Junior Moto3 World Champion.
Daniel Holgado is hot property in the Moto3 world, because of this, it’s no surprise that he will graduate straight into the 2021 championship-winning Red Bull KTM Ajo squad, providing him with a pathway right through to MotoGP with KTM. He was originally hired to race for the Tech3 squad however after some internal rotation to hand Adrian Fernandez a Moto3 seat, Holgado received a promotion to replace Pedro Acosta in the most prized seat on the grid.
There’s no doubt that the ride is deserved after a stellar 2021 season that saw him win the Junior Moto3 World Championship and place in P3 overall in the Red Bull Rookies Cup, the 16-year-old showing bucketloads of talent and promise as he arrives on the world stage.
Starting his career in 2011 after following his father’s footsteps the #96 quickly adapted to the way of life on two wheels and became a regular top three in every championship he raced after linking up with the Cuna de Campeones academy in Spain, year on year he worked his way up the classes in the Spanish and European championships finishing in P3 then P2 in 2015 and 2016 in the Moto4 series, graduating to the PreMoto3 series for 2017 and placing in P6.
Holgado celebrating victory at Aragon in the rookies, 2021.
In 2018 he was picked up by the Monlau Academy which is renowned for finding young talent and promoting these riders into the world championship, the team selected him for the European Talent Cup that season and he had a strong year despite being the minimum age of 13 years old for the series, he finished on the podium at Valencia early on in the season and came home in P11 overall, granting him a promotion into the Junior Moto3 World Championship with Monlau when he turned 14 years old, the minimum age for this series.
Holgado is part of the newest generation of Spanish riders who no doubt will be reaching for MotoGP in the coming years, fellow riders in this category include David Alonso, David Muñoz, Daniel Muñoz, Ivan Ortola, Xavier Artigas, Izan Guevara and of course Pedro Acosta, this new breed of ‘super rider’ have been racing on Grand Prix circuits since they were incredibly young and have all come through the fairly newly organised Moto4 > PreMoto3 > European Talent Cup > Junior World Championship system. This has been proven to be extremely affective as shown in their results with all the riders able to do spectacular things at incredibly young ages including finishing in the top 5 of championships as rookies, setting the standard for the future.
In 2019 in the Junior Moto3 World Championship at just 14 years old Holgado took two podiums and P6 overall in the championship standings for the Monlau team, an incredible achievement for such a young rider who missed the season opener due to being too young, this speed caught the eye of the Aspar team who signed him for 2020 to pair with Izan Guevara who went on to become the champion that year, not only that but he was scouted by the Red Bull Rookies and competed in both the Rookies and Junior World Championship in both 2020 and 2021.
Tech3 chose Holgado as their replacement rider for Deniz Oncu at Misano and Algarve.
2020 was a strong year, in the CEV Holgado took home P5 overall with a worst result of P5 and two podium finishes showing incredible consistency finishing in P4 for 6 of the 11 races that year. Over in the rookies he would also come home in P5 overall in an extremely compacted top 6 of the championship with P6 and P2 separated by just 26 points. Holgado’s Rookies cup debut season exceeded expectations with an introductory double podium and 6 podiums in 12 races, winning Race 1 at Valencia, 2021 was surely going to be his year.
His year it absolutely was, Daniel Holgado was crowned the 2021 Moto3 Junior World Champion with 5 wins and 8 podiums to his name in 12 races, destroying the competition and remaining untouchable throughout the season, only suffering one DNF at Misano when chasing Ortola and Kelso down for the victory. Back in the Rookies Holgado finished in P3 overall with 2 wins and 4 podiums, his consistency once again shining through, he suffered one DNF at Sachsenring which wasn’t his fault and has earnt himself a reputation as a rider who is consistent and doesn’t crash often, a characteristic that is highly demanded by teams.
He was rewarded for his performances with some replacement rides in the world championship riding for the CIP Team at Catalunya and earning his first point, then the Tech3 Moto3 Team at Misano and Algarve, recording his best result of P13 at Portugal.
There’s no doubt this young superstar holds a lot of promise, with his talent being nurtured by Aki Ajo and his team there’s no doubt they will extract the best from him.
Featured images – Dorna – JuniorGP / Red Bull Content Pool – Gold & Goose