Niklas Ajo starts on Sunday for the season´s fifth Moto3 GP, the Gran Premi Aperol de Catalunya, as a chaser from the eight row of the grid.
17-year-old Ajo crashed in the beginning of the qualifying session but managed to return to the track after KTM factory bike had been fixed quickly. Ajo rode the Montmelo´s 4,7 kilometres long track nine times and his fastest lap time was 1.54,112, which gave him 24th place.
– At the morning´s practice session I rode with worn tyres and I was 14th with a time of 1.53,831, so that gave me a good feeling. Let´s just hope that helps me at the race as well, Ajo said.
Finnish youngster also started the qualifying session eagerly. At that stage he might have tried even too much.
– My mistake. I went too fast to the curve and the front part just slipped from under me. I lost some time since I didn´t manage to ride the bike to the paddock and it needed to be picked up.
The TT Motion Events Racing´s Team worked quickly with the black KTM bike at their pit box and Ajo was able to return to the track for 14 minutes.
– But the end of the session didn´t work as planned. I expected KTM´s factory rider Kent (Danny) to come from behind me and we then could have had a fast lap together but we both estimated the situation wrong. The chequered flag came out just few seconds before I was going to start my final lap.
Everything is possible
also regarding the weather
Ajo will start the Catalonian GP pretty much from the same situation as he did a year ago at 125 cc class. Then he improved his position from 23rd place to 13th and managed to get world championship points.
– I just need to have a good start and everything is possible despite the weather. We have found good dry weather settings for the bike. So now it´s more to do with the riding, Ajo highlighted.
According to the latest forecasts there is a possibility for rain in hot Barcelona starting on Sunday after 11am, which is exactly the time for Moto3 race.
Spanish Maverick Vinales took a pole position in front of his home crowd with a top time of 1.52,160. Vinales will be joined to the front row by Finnish team´s Ajo Motorsport´s Zulfahmi Khairuddin who did once again a Malaysian Road Racing history and French Louis Rossi who won the wet Le Mans GP two weeks ago. Khairuddin was 0,268 seconds from the pole.
Ajo Motorsport´s German championship leader Sandro Cortese, who hurt his right wrist at Saturday morning´s free practice session, was fourth, only 26 thousandth of seconds from the first row. Ajo was 1,952 from the pole position.
GRAN PREMI APEROL DE CATALUNYA
Moto3 Qualifying Practice Classification:
1. Maverick Vinales Spain, Blusens Avintia, FTR Honda 1.52,160
2. Zulfahmi Khairuddin Malaysia, AirAsia-Sic-Ajo, KTM + 0,268
3. Louis Rossi France, Racing Team Germany, FTR Honda + 0,443
4. Sandro Cortese Germany, Red Bull KTM Ajo, KTM + 0,469
5. Miguel Oliveira Portugal, Estrella Galicia 0,0, Suter Honda + 0,597
6. Luis Salom Spain, RW Racing GP, Kalex KTM + 0,673
7. Alexis Masbou France, Caretta Technology, Honda + 0,790
8. Efren Vazquez Spain, JHK T-Shirt Laglisse, FTR Honda + 0,791
9. Hector Faubel Spain, Bankia Aspar Team, Kalex KTM + 0,873
10. Niccolo Antonelli Italy, San Carlo Gresini Moto3, FTR Honda + 0,971
11. Alex Marquez Spain, Estrella Galicia 0,0, Suter Honda + 0,980
12. Jakub Kornfeil Czech, Redox-Ongetta-Centro Seta, FTR Honda + 0,985
13. Romano Fenati Italy, Team Italia FMI, FTR Honda + 1,047
14. Danny Kent Great Britain, Red Bull KTM Ajo, KTM + 1,186
15. John McPhee Great Britain, Racing Steps Foundation KRP, KRP Honda + 1,242
19. Arthur Sissis Australia, Red Bull KTM Ajo, KTM + 1,503
24. Niklas Ajo Finland, TT Motion Events Racing, KTM + 1,952