Ajo continues to progress – Kent consolidates place in top spots


The Husqvarna riders today completed the penultimate day of preseason testing at Jerez before the first Grand Prix of the season in Qatar. Danny Kent and Niklas Ajo were able to improve their lap times from yesterday and set their respective best laps in the second session, in which the track temperature was at its highest. The Briton ended the day with the third fastest time so far at the test, whilst Ajo was eighteenth quickest.
Higher track temperatures than yesterday and less intense gusts of wind enabled the Red Bull Husqvarna Ajo rider to improve right from the first session -besting his previous top lap time with a 1:47.294 early on. This allowed him to approach the second runout with confidence and dominate from start to finish, concluding the former with the best lap of 1:46.809. He and Philpp Oettl were the only riders to put in 1:46s laps in that particular session; and in the third the Brit was still fast -albeit not improving his lap time. He was third overall.
Niklas Ajo’s day mirrored that of Kent. In the morning he took over half a second off his Tuesday time, repeating the feat in the second session with a 1:47.829 lap. The Avant Tecno Husqvarna Ajo rider rode 19 laps in that runout. A drop of 10 degrees for the track temperature before the end of the day impeded the Finn from making it three consecutive sessions with improved times.
Tomorrow the preseason comes to a close, ahead of the first appearance for Husqvarna in the Moto3 World Championship.

Niklas Ajo – Avant Tecno Husqvarna Ajo:
”Today it was still quite windy, so I was struggling a little bit with that. Maybe I was little bit too careful today, but the feeling was not so bad and the lap times were very consistent. Of course, we are one second off the top, so we have to find something for tomorrow.  We’ll try to do some fast lap times tomorrow and see what happens. The feeling was really good, so that’s why I’m little bit confused as to why I couldn’t go much faster -maybe it’s just the wind. I was quite careful with that, I hope it was just the bike.
Tomorrow we will try a race simulation; Of course today we did many laps with the same tyres, so that’s kind of a race simulation, but tomorrow we will go for around 20 laps in a row and see what our race pace is like.”

Danny Kent – Red Bull Husqvarna Ajo:
“We’ve been so up and down in the sessions today. We’ve been trying a lot different parts for the bike today and some of them were good -and some not. We tried new things and we tried to improve. It was not a bad day; we improved from yesterday in terms of our feeling with the bike and also with our lap times, and I’m happy with that. In the final session we were struggling a little bit, but I’m still confident. Tomorrow is a new day and I’m not too worried. We will try some more parts again, so we have to wait and see and hopefully it’s not so windy -because I think the wind was affecting so many riders today; one lap you can get a good time and on the next you try to do the same thing and you struggle.
Hopefully the weather is a little bit better tomorrow. In terms of pace, with the new tyres for some reason you can set a fast time and then go back out and it seems to drop, and I think that’s the same for everyone. We are thinking about what we will do tomorrow but I don’t think there will be many problems.”

Combined Standings – Day 2
1. Jack Miller (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 1:46.259
2. Isaac Viñales (KTM) 1:46.551 +0.292
3. Danny Kent (Red Bull Husqvarna Ajo) 1:46.809 +0.550
4. Jakub Kornfeil (KTM) 1:46.901 +0.642
5. Efren Vazquez (Honda) 1:46.958 +0.699
18. Niklas Ajo (Avant Tecno Husqvarna Ajo) 1:47.829 +1.570