Avant Tecno Husqvarna Ajo rider Niklas Ajo will start from tenth position with British local Danny Kent starts from twelfth.
The Husqvarna riders will both begin tomorrow’s the British Grand Prix from the fourth row of the grid. Niklas Ajo and Danny Kent achieved their best times of the weekend during qualifying, placing them in both on the fourth row. The Finn marked the better time of 2:14.384 to put him in tenth position, while the Red Bull Husqvarna Ajo rider will launch from twelfth position after a best lap of 2:14.500.
The last free practice session of the weekend challenged the field with low track temperatures (15ºC), but the two Husqvarna riders still managed to better their times from yesterday’s two practices sessions. The Briton, who was the fastest yesterday, marked a best time of 2:15.044 to put himself 11th in the field, while Ajo clocked the 12th fastest time with a 2:15.162.
With track temperatures rising to 24ºC for the qualifying session, the duo were able to further reduce their lap times. Ajo rose to 10th place with his final lap of 2:14.384, while Danny Kent, twelfth, found himself caught in traffic which prevented him from improving on his time of 2:14.500 set in the middle of the outing.
The twelfth round of the Moto3 championship has a different schedule than the usual European rounds, with the race scheduled for a 14:30 local time start. The two Husqvarna riders will be looking to achieve a similar performance to the Brno race two weeks ago, where Kent landed on the podium.
Results – Qualifying practice
1. Alex Rins (Honda) 2:13.112
2. Niccolo Antonelli (KTM) 2:13.224 +0.112
3. Alex Marquez (Honda) 2:13.450 +0.338
4. Enea Bastianini (KTM) 2:13.711 +0.599
5. Brad Binder (Mahindra) 2:13.768 +0.656
10. Niklas Ajo (Avant Tecno Husqvarna Ajo) 2:14.384 +1.272
12. Danny Kent (Red Bull Husqvarna Ajo) 2:14.500 +1.388
Niklas Ajo >> Audio (solely for radio use)
”I think our pace today was very good, we weren’t able to take advantage of the slipstream too well. It could have been useful, but we can’t complain much about this, because sometimes depends a bit on luck. We’ve worked well for the race, with very consistent times.
Also, I managed the tenth place during the last outing when I was alone, so this is very positive for us. I think tomorrow’s race will have a big group fighting for the win. Our position is better than that of Brno, where we started 14th and it was more difficult. I think we all have somewhat of the same problem; if you ride alone you can’t reach high speeds, but following someone you can gain a little time.
In the race I think this will change. I hope to stay in the group and fight hard. I think the race is going to be equal to or worse than the one in Brno. We have to be prepared for the battle because there will be contact. It will be a tough race.”
Danny Kent >> Audio (solely for radio use)
”Today the pace was much higher compared to yesterday. I finished the qualifying session in 12th place, which is the same position we started from in Brno, where we get on the podium, so anything is possible. There were some parts of the bike I didn’t feel entirely comfortable with. I think the times in the race are going to be very close between riders. Everything will depend on the weather.
Tomorrow we can get up and have the same wind like today blowing, or rain. The wind is making it hard to ride for some riders. I’m not discouraged, but I’m not happy either. We have to keep pushing, especially in tomorrow’s race, where I think there will be a strong front group but not be as much as in Brno. Perhaps there will be 5 or 6 riders fighting for victory.”