Avant Tecno KTM rider tenth fastest at Brno, twice placing inside the top ten in practice.
Niklas Ajo returned, two years on from his last appearance there, to Brno on Friday. The Avant Tecno KTM rider began preparations for round ten of the Moto3 season with a solid day of practice, in which he was amongst the top ten. Despite this and a best time of 2:10.088, the Finn believes that he still has considerable room for improvement.
One of the objectives for Niklas Ajo before starting the Grand Prix was to place in the top ten in every session of the weekend. He did that in the first free practice, setting the ninth fastest time. On his fourteenth lap of a total of fifteen, the young Avant Tecno KTM rider set his best times in each of the four sectors to clock a 2:10.666 lap.
In the final session of the day, the young rider held position in the top ten. Temperatures rose to 22ºC atmospheric and 31ºC on track, as the Avant Tecno KTM team continued to work to find the best setting for Ajo’s bike in different situations. The result was positive, with the rider taking half a second off his morning time and placing in the overall top ten. On Turn 7 of his final lap, he crashed –albeit without suffering any physical damage.
On the second day of work tomorrow, Niklas Ajo will seek to improve upon the thirteenth position on the grid from his only previous World Championship qualifying session at Brno.
Results (Combined practice time FP1-FP2)
1. Maverick Viñales (KTM) 2:08.504
2. Alex Marquez (KTM) 2:08.543 +0.039
3. Luis Salom (KTM) 2:08.877 +0.373
4. Alex Rins (KTM) 2:09.159 +0.655
5. Jonas Folger (Kalex KTM) 2:09.412 +0.908
10. Niklas Ajo (Avant Tecno KTM) 2:10.088 +1.584
Niklas Ajo >> Audio (English) // Audio (Finnish)
”It hasn’t been a perfect day of practice. The position and my best time were good, but I think I need a better feel on the bike. We’ve made a few changes to the rear and some were positive, but others felt strange. Today we have to work to find improvements for tomorrow and have better feeling, be more consistent and put in more fast laps. The crash had no consequences.”
*Audio solely for radio use