Danny Kent and Niklas Ajo take 7th and 14th place, respectively, in a hot qualifying session in Malaysia.
Danny Kent and Niklas Ajo had a positive qualifying session for the Malaysian Grand Prix. The seventeenth round of the year will see Kent start from 7th, after he set a 2:13.529 best time in the runout. Ajo, who missed most of yesterday’s second practice session, will take off from the fifth row of the grid. He set the 14th fastest time of 2:14.155.
The two riders improved their times from yesterday by more than half a second each in the third practice session, continuing their constant evolution. Red Bull Husqvarna Ajo rider was ninth with a 2:13.567 lap and took another step forward with the setup of his bike. Likewise, Ajo made an improvement and was sixteenth with a 2:14.670 best, able to complete 14 laps after missing much of the second session yesterday.
In the qualifying session, Kent and Ajo again dropped their times. Kent set a 2:13.529 lap on his final attempt, allowing him to start from 7th on the grid. His lap was all the more impressive as he had suffered a crash with another rider shortly beforehand. Avant Tecno Husqvarna Ajo rider improved by more than half a second and qualified in 14th position, after putting in a 2:14.155 lap.
Racing at the Sepang International Circuit begins tomorrow from 1pm local time. This will be the penultimate race of the season, and both Kent and Ajo are chasing a strong result.
Results – Qualifying practice
1. Jack Miller (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 2:12.450
2. John McPhee (Honda) 2:12.909 +0.459
3. Jakub Kornfeil (KTM) 2:13.016 +0.566
4. Efren Vazquez (Honda) 2:13.040 +0.590
5. Alex Marquez (Honda) 2:13.315 +0.865
7. Danny Kent (Red Bull Husqvarna Ajo) 2:13.529 +1.079
14. Niklas Ajo (Avant Tecno Husqvarna Ajo) 2:14.155 +1.705
Niklas Ajo >> Audio (solely for radio use)
”The qualifying session today was pretty hard, just like the entire day. Missing a session yesterday with a mechanical problem hindered us a lot this morning and we could not find the right setup. We’ve been trying things out, but not going in the right direction. I also didn’t have a great feeling. We still have plenty of work to do. The final time was not bad, but I have not been able to adapt my riding style to the track. The team is doing a great job with the bike, but I have to look at my data and analyse my style to see if we can have a good race.”
Danny Kent >> Audio (solely for radio use)
”I’m happy with seventh place but I’m not happy with the qualifying session I had. In the first two runs we put on two used front tyres, and when we put new tyres on the front and rear another rider clipped me and I went down. In the end I could only complete one good lap and the bike was a little damaged. However, I am pleased that in spite of this we qualified seventh. We need to work a little harder to be prepared for the race tomorrow. I’m not as confident as at the last race that we can be up at the front, but you never know.”