Eighth row start for Niklas Ajo


Avant Tecno KTM rider gets back on bike after Friday crash and improves times. He will start tomorrow from 23rd.
Despite suffering pain in his legs, Niklas Ajo did not want to miss the second day of practice for the Catalan Grand Prix. The crash suffered yesterday in the second free practice session did not prevent him from besting his times in the morning free practice today, and he then looked for a strong qualifying run. His 1:52.876 lap earned him 23rd on the grid, on row eight.

Niklas Ajo went out determined to improve in the third and final free practice session. The Avant Tecno KTM rider managed to quickly find the good feeling for which he had searched yesterday, and it was on his final runout that he picked up a consistently fast pace. His best lap of 1:52.613 was the eleventh fastest of the morning.

In the qualifying session he improved his pace despite the high track temperatures of up to 48°C. After twelve laps the Avant Tecno KTM rider set his best time of the session: 1:52.876. Luis Salom took pole, whilst Niklas could not improve his position due to traffic on track.

The lights go out at 11am for the Moto3 race tomorrow at the Circuit de Catalunya.

Results (Qualifying practice)
1. Luis Salom (KTM) 1:50.782
2. Alex Rins (KTM) 1:51.108 +0.326
3. Miguel Oliveira (Mahindra) 1:51.540 +0.758
4. Alex Marquez (KTM) 1:51.668 +0.886
5. Maverick Viñales (KTM) 1:51.802 +1.020
23. Niklas Ajo (Avant Tecno KTM) 1:52.876 +2.094

Niklas Ajo >> Audio (English) // Audio (Finnish)
”During the morning session the feeling was much better, but I had hurt my feet slightly in yesterday’s crash in FP2. That’s why riding the bike was a little more complicated. However, in the first session today we improved the bike setup, and when the track had got up to a good temperature I felt comfortable and rode at a good pace. In the afternoon in the qualifying session, the track temperature went up and I suffered a lot. That made me lose confidence on the fast corners –that was even more so when I saw Maverick [Viñales] crash right in front of me and almost touch my bike. After that, I could not find the good feeling again, but on the closing laps I was able to do well –however, there was too much traffic.”