Niklas Ajo’s Dramatic Finish at Assen
At the end of the Dutch Grand Prix’s Moto3 race, RBA Racing’s Niklas Ajo delivered a performance that is likely to make a few highlight reels. At the notoriously trick final chicane, the 20-year-old Finnish rider lost the seat of his KTM but not the handlebars and found himself dragging his feet as he fought to avoid a proper crash.
Still carrying momentum, he elected not to stop and remount, but rather to remain on the right side of the motorbike all the way to the finish line. Perhaps he thought he would reach the finish like more quickly this way, or perhaps he was thinking suddenly of Randy Mamola’s famous save back in 1985.
After passing the tire barriers and a gap in the safety wall, Ajo came very close to the concrete barrier.
The images suggest that his feet might actually touch the wall, but it’s difficult to tell for sure. He certainly comes very close.
As the IRTA officials look on, Ajo gives the throttle some more gas and pulls away from the wall slightly as he continues on to the finish line.
Several riders passed him but the crowd cheered more for Ajo than for the riders who rode by to demote him to 17th place.
Ajo continued on well past the finish line before stopping the bike to mount in a conventional fashion. It was a job well done to avoid dumping the bike and keeping his mechanics up late.