Niklas Ajo showed his true fighters character when he made his way to the world championship points in season´s 14th Moto3 GP at Motegi in Japan.
Ajo, who had troubles in qualifying, made a great start with his KTM bike from 23rd place and improved his position by eight already during the first lap. Ajo crossed the finish line being 13th just before his Spanish rival Alex Marquez.
“The beginning went just nice but after that in the next five laps I could´t just do my best”, describes Ajo, “At that stage I perhaps rode even too carefully after my tyres had slipped for the first time.”
18 years old Ajo minimized the risks and admits that he might have been able to push even harder.
“After all the tyres didn´t slip more towards the end. But there is no reason for ifs and buts. This was a good result after a difficult qualifying.”
In the last GP in Aragon, Spain Ajo made his way from 20th place of the grid to 14th. For Ajo the Motegi was like a replay from the race two weeks ago as he managed again to keep Marquez behind him. At Aragon the duo finished only one tenth of a second apart and in Motegi the difference was only seven thousandth of a second.
“I have fought with Marquez all the way since the Spanish series and it seems that the battle goes on. The last ten laps here at Motegi were a really tough fight between us.”
In the hard contest they were also going fairing to fairing.
“Alex hit me once and I went wide but luckily nothing more serious happened”, says Ajo.
The race was won by pole man Finnish team Ajo Motorsport´s British rider Danny Kent. The victory was the first one of his career.
Kent´s German teammate Sandro Cortese crashed in the final lap from the lead. He managed to continue his way and crossed the finish line sixth. Cortese leads the championship standing by 56 points when three GPs remain. The two following ones will be held week a part at Sepang in Malaysia and at Phillip Island in Australia.
“We will go to Malaysia with positive minds and one of the most important target over there is to improve my position in the qualifying. However the Sepang circuit is new to me. I got to know it last year by walking but I wasn´t able to ride then due to the fracture I had in my wrist.”
AIRASIA GRAND PRIX OF JAPAN
Moto3 Race Classification:
1. Danny Kent Great Britain, Red Bull KTM Ajo, KTM 40.02,775
2. Maverick Vinales Spain, Blusens Avintia, FTR Honda + 0,260
3. Alessandro Tonucci Italy, Team Italia FMI, FTR Honda + 2,352
4. Alex Rins Spain, Estrella Galicia 0,0, Suter Honda + 3,404
5. Zulfahmi Khairuddin Malaysia, AirAsia-Sic-Ajo, KTM + 3,645
6. Sandro Cortese Germany, Red Bull KTM Ajo, KTM + 13,394
7. Miguel Oliveira Portugal, Estrella Galicia 0,0, Suter Honda + 15,523
8. Louis Rossi France, Racing Team Germany, FTR Honda + 15,739
9. Efren Vazquez Spain, JHK t-shirt Laglisse, FTR Honda + 15,946
10. Romano Fenati Italy, Team Italia FMI, FTR Honda + 16,129
11. Arthur Sissis Australia, Red Bull KTM Ajo, KTM + 16,223
12. Niccolo Antonelli Italy, San Carlo Gresini Moto3, FTR Honda + 16,371
13. Niklas Ajo Finland, TT Motion Events Racing, KTM + 28,368
14. Alex Marquez Spain, Ambrogio Next Racing, Suter Honda + 28,375
15. Jakub Kornfeil Czech, Redox-Ongetta-Centro Seta, FTR Honda + 28,509
World Championship Standing:
1. Cortese 255
2. Vinales 199
3. Luis Salom Spain, Kalex KTM 194
4. Fenati 126
5. Rins 119
6. Kent 108
7. Khairuddin 92
8. Oliveira 83
9. Alexis Masbou France, Honda 81
10. Vazquez 77
11. Louis Rossi France, FTR Honda 76
12. Antonelli 73
13. Jonas Folger Germany, Kalex KTM 72
14. Sissis 63
15. Kornfeil 59
19. Ajo 26
Next GP: 21sth of October Sepang, Malaysia.