Niklas Ajo qualified fifth at Assen


Niklas Ajo, who is in great shape, will start on Saturday for the season´s seventh GP of Moto3 class from second row at Assen, Netherlands. 17-year-old Ajo who, from practice sessions onwards, has been in top group made a lap time of 1.44,097, which allowed him fifth place. That equalled his best qualifying position from the season´s opening GP in Qatar.
“Quite good situation but I won´t get too excited”, said Ajo, “I will just calm down, focus on the good start, try to stay at the front group and that way try to get a good race experience”, determined Ajo plans.
Ajo improved his speed step by step at the qualifying of Dutch TT and made his best time typically at the last lap of the thriller.
“I took the beginning of the qualifying calmly and avoided mistakes. When I went to the paddock for the first time I felt myself a bit nervous and couldn´t make good time at that stage. After the later paddock visit I calmed myself down and searched a good group. The lap time was good despite the fact that I couldn´t get benefit of pole man Cortese´s (Sandro) slipstream at the straight”, Ajo explained the eventful 40-minutes qualifying.

Speed has come
to good level

Ajo´s black KTM got a new frame for Assen.
“Bike has worked just fine. We haven´t made any bigger modifications for it during these two days. And even those small changes have proved out to be successful. Although there still are few spots at the track where there occurs slight vibration problem at the front part of the bike.”
Before Assen the Finnish youngster rode well in two previous GPs in Barcelona and in Silverstone. He has still improved his performances at Assen.
“I have found the speed and now it starts to be at good level. The new frame has probably helped but mostly the improvement has come naturally through my riding. I have changed my riding style significantly when going to the curves”, Ajo described.
Finnish team Ajo Motorsport´s Cortese and Danny Kent took the first two places of the Dutch TT´s qualifying session, so the day was pretty much perfect for KTM riders.
Cortese, who is second in championship standing, took his third pole position of the season with a time of 1.43,645, which was 0,249 seconds faster than Kent´s time. Ajo was 0,452 seconds from the pole, one tenth from the first row and only 23 thousandth of seconds from fourth place.
Championship leader Spanish Maverick Vinales qualified sixth. Vinales, who has won three times this season was 81 thousandth of seconds from Ajo.

Moto3 Qualifying Practice Classification:

1. Sandro Cortese Germany, Red Bull KTM Ajo, KTM 1.43,645
2. Danny Kent Great Britain, Red Bull KTM Ajo, KTM + 0,249
3. Niccolo Antonelli Italy, San Carlo Gresini Moto3, FTR Honda + 0,343
4. Hector Faubel Spain, Bankia Aspar Team, Kalex KTM + 0,429
5. Niklas Ajo Finland, TT Motion Events Racing, KTM + 0,452
6. Maverick Vinales Spain, Blusens Avintia, FTR Honda + 0,533
7. Alexis Masbou France, Caretta Technology, Honda + 0,628
8. Miguel Oliveira Portugal, Estrella Galicia 0,0, Suter Honda + 0,666
9. Jakub Kornfeil Czech, Redox-Ongetta-Centro Seta, FTR Honda + 0,684
10. Luis Salom Spain, RW Racing GP, Kalex KTM + 0,731
11. Alberto Moncayo Spain, Bankia Aspar Team, Kalex KTM + 0,763
12. Louis Rossi France, Racing Team Germany, FTR Honda + 0,806
13. Arthur Sissis Australia, Red Bull KTM Ajo, KTM + 0,888
14. Alan Techer France, Technomag-CIP-TSR, TSR Honda + 0,889
15. Alessandro Tonucci Italiy, Team Italia FMI, FTR Honda + 0,896
18. Zulfahmi Khairuddin Malaysia, AirAsia-Sic-Ajo, KTM + 1,105