Avant Tecno Husqvarna rider to take off from 16th and Red Bull Husqvarna Ajo man from 12th.
The starting grid for the Czech Republic Grand Prix was decided in a busy qualifying session held under unfavourable conditions. The Husqvarna riders improved their times from free practice. After the onset of rain and a red flag in order to fix an airfence, Danny Kent set a lap that will allow him to start tomorrow from the fourth row of the grid. His 2:08.560 lap put him twelfth, whilst teammate Niklas Ajo will start from sixteenth -row six- after clocking a 2:08.791 best.
The final practice session this morning was very helpful for the Husqvarna riders. With a dry track -albeit slightly cooler than yesterday- both Danny Kent and Niklas Ajo were able to improve their times from yesterday. The Red Bull Husqvarna Ajo rider managed a 6th position after a strong final lap of 2:08.605. The Avant Tecno Husqvarna Ajo rider set a 2:09.312, the 19th fastest time.
The qualifying session was one of the most hectic of the season so far. Eight minutes in, rain appeared intermittently, with the riders heading back to the pits on two occasions. After the track dried out, with 10 minutes remaining the red flag was shown to fix an airfence. Both Danny Kent and Niklas Ajo were able to go quicker in the final stages, with the Briton clocking a 2:08.560 best for 12th and the Finn a 2:08.791 for 16th.
The Czech Republic Grand Prix will take place tomorrow at 11am local time, and the Husqvarna riders will try to get up into the first group and take the maximum number of points possible.
Results – Qualifying practice
1. Alex Marquez (Honda) 2:07.691
2. Isaac Viñales (KTM) 2:07.914 +0.223
3. Niccolo Antonelli (KTM) 2:08.006 +0.315
4. Alex Rins (Honda) 2:08.051 +0.360
5. Miguel Oliveira (Mahindra) 2:08.095 +0.404
12. Danny Kent (Red Bull Husqvarna Ajo) 2:08.560 +0.869
16. Niklas Ajo (Avant Tecno Husqvarna Ajo) 2:08.791 +1.100
Niklas Ajo >> Audio (solely for radio use)
”I think we’ve improved a lot today compared to yesterday. We rode pretty much alone and that was a good thing. In the morning we took a small step forward but in the qualifying session we improved further. Everything was just better -both with the bike and with my riding. I tried to do my best. However, we were a bit unlucky as we had planned a strategy in the final minutes to help each other, but a rider made a small mistake when he was in front of me.
Tomorrow we will try to make a good start. At least there is a long straight, so we will try to overtake on the brakes in the early stages. It will be difficult to break away though, so we’ll just try our best.”
Danny Kent >> Audio (solely for radio use)
”The entire qualifying session was a bit chaotic, because of the rain and then the red flag, and we could not do too many laps. I did not manage to set a good time at the start and I got a little nervous, because I was 17th and it started to rain. It was only in the last 9 minutes that I managed to improve. Starting from 12th is not the best position for the race, but I feel pretty good ahead of tomorrow. We do not have a perfect feeling, but I think we can have a good race. It seems that Alex Marquez is quite strong and will try to break away from the group from the beginning, but we will have to wait and see how close we can be to him. It might be that there is a fairly large group that slows the race down.”