Niklas Ajo and Danny Kent get a feel for Andalusian track on first day of Spanish Grand Prix, placing eleventh and fifteenth, respectively.
The Moto3 World Championship has arrived in Europe to celebrate the fourth event of the season today, at the Spanish circuit of Jerez. Free practice began on Friday, with the Husqvarna riders returning to a track where they accumulated valuable miles in preseason and ending the day with Niklas Ajo and Danny Kent eleventh and fifteenth, respectively, in the combined standings.
It was a good start for Niklas Ajo at Jerez. The Avant Tecno Husqvarna Ajo rider finished the first session in a creditable seventh, thanks to a best lap in which he set his fastest partial times on every sector. It was his final attempt of the morning, and he stopped the clock at 1:48.477. With track temperatures reaching as high as 52ºC in the second session, Ajo set his best time on the seventh of fourteen laps completed. His 1:48.720 lap put him twelfth in the session and eleventh overall.
Danny Kent also began the Spanish round inside the Top 10, and like his colleague he set his best time on his final lap in the morning. This was the result of 5 consecutive laps at a strong pace. The Red Bull Husqvarna Ajo rider added another 17 laps to his tally in the second session and ended the day in sixteenth position, with a quickest time of 1:48.835.
Tomorrow, starting at 12:35pm local time, qualifying will decide the grid for Sunday’s race. Danny Kent will try to repeat the first row earnt in Argentina, whilst Niklas Ajo will aim to improve his grid placing for the fourth consecutive Grand Prix. He was seventh for the South American race.
Results (Combined practice time FP1-FP2)
1. Isaac Viñales (KTM) 1:47.388
2. Alex Marquez (Honda) 1:47.699 +0.311
3. Efren Vazquez (Honda) 1:47.725 +0.337
4. Romano Fenati (KTM) 1:47.799 +0.411
5. Jakub Kornfeil (KTM) 1:47.843 +0.455
11. Niklas Ajo (Avant Tecno Husqvarna Ajo) 1:48.477 +1.089
15. Danny Kent (Red Bull Husqvarna Ajo) 1:48.742 +1.354
Niklas Ajo – Avant Tecno Husqvarna Ajo >> Audio (only for radio use)
”Today didn’t go badly. In the first session I felt good. We set a good lap time, although we were more than 1.5 seconds off the times from preseason. Today it was very hot, so completely different to the test in March. Due to this, the track was very slippery. We have to find the way to get the tyre working and find more rear grip. That is the main aim for tomorrow.”
Danny Kent – Red Bull Husqvarna Ajo >> Audio (only for radio use)
”Today we were struggling in many senses. On corner exit I kept going wide when I opened the throttle. We aren’t completely satisfied, because the times were not as good as we had wanted. We will work hard overnight to see what we can improve ahead of tomorrow. I am convinced that we will improve.”