The opening day of the Italian Grand Prix featured two completely contrasting sessions: the first in the wet and the second in the dry. Niklas Ajo, eleventh this morning, concluded the day with a good feeling on his KTM and the seventeenth fastest lap time of 2:01:508.
The first practice session was not at all easy, due to a still-wet track. The threatening clouds first thing in the morning did not allow the asphalt to dry completely, and Niklas Ajo took to the track with wet tyres. Cautious in the opening session, he waited for his return to the garage before pushing with his KTM. In the end, the Avant Tecno KTM rider set his fastest time on his last lap —2:10:769— and placed eleventh.
The wet tyres were replaced by slicks for the final session of the day. With the track completely dry but with gusts of wind reaching 30km/h, the Finn put in fifteen more laps. He took his best time of 2:01:508 at the start of the run, placing him seventeenth overall.
The aim for Saturday will be to finish in the top ten in qualifying for the fourth consecutive race.
Results (Combined practice time FP1-FP2)
1. Luis Salom (KTM) 1:59.606
2. Maverick Viñales (KTM) 1:59.631 +0.025
3. Jonas Folger (Kalex KTM) 2:00.101 +0.495
4. Danny Webb (Suter Honda) 2:00.361 +0.755
5. Jack Miller (FTR Honda) 2:00.395 +0.789
17. Niklas Ajo (Avant Tecno KTM) 2:01.508 +1.902
Niklas Ajo >> Audio (English) // Audio (Finnish)
”This morning the conditions were not the best, because the track was wet and it was easy to slip down. Fortunately in the afternoon things improved somewhat and it dried out. Overall today went well and we just have to improve the setup a little to adapt to the maximum for this circuit. We have to work on the front and rear of the bike and find the ideal setup to do a good job at this track —a circuit that I find really difficult. I am not worried, as although the times are not what we usually see here marked, the condition of the track wasn’t good. We’ll see if the weather is on our side tomorrow and if we can improve some things in the wet and dry.”
*Audio solely for radio use