Niklas Ajo sets 17thfastest time overall and Danny Kent the 8th, at the end of the first day of the Malaysian Grand Prix.
The start of the penultimate weekend of competition was not overly successful for the Husqvarna riders. On the first day of free practice for the Malaysian Grand Prix, Danny Kent and Niklas Ajo placed 8th and 17th, respectively. The Red Bull Husqvarna Ajo rider set a best lap of 2:14.129, whilst the Avant Tecno Husqvarna Ajo man’s top time was 2:15.348.
The first practice session saw Danny Kent place a positive fourth, just one tenth off third. After some initial adaptation to Sepang, the Briton clocked a 2:14.202 on his penultimate lap of the session. Niklas Ajo completed the morning with the 15th best time, thanks to a last lap in 2:15.422.
Both riders were able to improve their times in the afternoon. Kent was a tenth quicker than in the morning with a 2:14.129, but nevertheless dropped down to eighth. Ajo suffered a technical problem right after starting the session, completing only two flying laps. However, on one of those he was able to set his top time of the day, placing 15th with a 2:15.348.
The seventeenth Grand Prix of the year continues tomorrow with the final practice session of the weekend, starting at 9am local time. Qualifying takes place at 12.35pm. In the last three races, Danny Kent has a pole position, a front row and a fourth place to his name. Niklas Ajo will try to make amends in a session that he has found tough at recent rounds.
Results (Combined practice time FP1-FP2)
1. Niccolo Antonelli (KTM) 2:13.583
2. Jakub Kornfeil (KTM) 2:13.599 +0.016
3. Alex Marquez (Honda) 2:13.604 +0.021
4. Jack Miller (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 2:13.610 +0.027
5. Efren Vazquez (Honda) 2:13.746 +0.163
8. Danny Kent (Red Bull Husqvarna Ajo) 2:14.129 +0.546
17. Niklas Ajo (Avant Tecno Husqvarna Ajo) 2:15.348 +1.765
Niklas Ajo >> Audio (solely for radio use)
”In the first free practice session we started well, setting a good pace. But at the end of the session we had not found the perfect setup for the bike and I had to ride alone, without the possibility of using a slipstream. I also had some bad luck, because I crossed the finish line one second after the checkered flag was waved. I continued, thinking that I could still ride and lowered my time by half a second, but it didn’t stand.
In the morning we made good changes that we made the most of in the afternoon, and I improved my time quickly, but we had a technical problem that prevented us from working consistently. We have to stay calm to get good results. Tomorrow we will try to improve the feeling with the setup.”
Danny Kent >> Audio (solely for radio use)
”Today has been a very difficult day for us. In the last three races we have set a very good pace on all three days and today we tried the same, but we had to change the bike a bit and so my feelings are not as good as before. We will analyse the data we have, compare it to other riders and see where we can improve both myself and the bike. We are still keeping up in the front group. We can be happy, but tomorrow we must work harder. I’m sure that we will solve all the problems.”