Niklas Ajo and Danny Kent hope to improve upon results from Moto3 season opener at round two: The Red Bull Grand Prix of the Americas in Austin, Texas.
This weekend the Moto3 World Championship heads to the unique Circuit of The Americas in Austin, Texas. This will be the first US round of the season and a first chance for Husqvarna riders Niklas Ajo and Danny Kent to put round one behind them. Despite having taken 3 points in Qatar, the Briton wants to fight for the podium, whilst Ajo is looking for a trouble-free race to allow him to place as high up the order as possible.
A crash at Losail impeded Niklas Ajo taking a better placing in the opening race of 2014. However, three weeks of intense training have got the Avant Tecno Husqvarna Ajo rider raring to go at Austin. Last year he started from seventh on the grid and fought for a podium, before contact with another rider on the penultimate corner dropped him down to fifteenth.
A steep climb of 41 metres at the end of the home straight is just one of the unique characteristics of the circuit. A complete track, consisting of fast chicanes, slow corners and hard braking, Austin has it all. Kent will be riding a Moto3 bike there for the first time, but is unfazed. Last year, in his second ever Moto2 race, the Red Bull Husqvarna Ajo rider began from the fifth row of the grid and placed eighteenth.
The second race for the Husqvarna FR 250 GP in the Moto3 World Championship begins at 11am local time on Sunday. Before that, there will be three practice sessions and a qualifying session for the riders.
Circuit information – Austin
Length: 5.513 m / 3.426 miles
Width: 15 metres
Left corners: 11
Right corners: 9
Longest straight: 1.200 m / 0.746 miles
Niklas Ajo – Avant Tecno Husqvarna Ajo
”For the last three weeks I have been training hard for this second Grand Prix of the season, going to the gym, riding dirttrack and training on all kinds of surfaces. I wasn’t happy with the first race in Qatar, because it didn’t go as expected, so we thoroughly analysed our work and found many areas for improvement for finishing in the points -and as close as possible to the front. The Circuit of the Americas is very special, with long straights and heavy braking. The first sector also features some very fast chicanes. I really enjoy riding there and it is one of my favourite tracks. I think it is better suited to my riding style than Losail. However, we must be fast at all tracks if we want success. Last year in Austin things went very well until the penultimate corner, when another rider knocked me off the track. This weekend I will try to keep in the first group, but I think it will be more difficult to make a repeat showing this season because the level is even higher now.”
Danny Kent – Red Bull Husqvarna Ajo
”It is true that the first race did not go as we had expected, so we hope to improve this weekend in Austin. I want to improve my feeling in general, but especially in the race. In Qatar I think we had a good qualifying session, but fell short in the race. I have to start stronger on Sunday and be aggressive from the opening laps, which are key to latching onto the leading group. If we do that, then we can fight for the podium; that should be our goal. We must be stronger, right from the first practice session. After three weeks without racing I’m in good shape heading to Austin. After Qatar I was sick for a few days, but after recovering I set about improving my fitness and rode with Husqvarna for two days in Almeria . This will be the second time riding in Austin for me, but the first with a Moto3 bike. However, this is not something that worries me because I know the track and I really like it. I really enjoy riding there and last year I got a good spot on the grid. It is a very special circuit, different from the rest of the tracks on the calendar. It has one of the longest straights in the World Championship, some very slow corners and some really fast sections.”