Niklas Ajo will start from the fourth row of the grid in twelfth position at the Red Bull Grand Prix of the Americas, while Danny Kent will launch from the sixth row.
Qualifying for the second round of the season was held today at the spectacular Circuit of the Americas. The Moto3 grid was decided, with the Husqvarna duo of Niklas Ajo and Danny Kent landing in the twelfth and sixteenth best positions during the qualifying session. Both riders are expecting good starts to put them at the lead pack in tomorrow’s race.
Niklas Ajo made additional steps forward first thing in the morning, following a trend initiated yesterday. The Avant Tecno Husqvarna Ajo rider paced within the top ten during the first half of the session, finally finishing twelfth, improving his best time for the third consecutive session with a best lap of 2:18.407. He manage a still faster lap during the afternoon qualifying session, during the midway point he put down a lap of 2:18.012. With this fourth row start, the Finnish rider improved on his Qatar grid spot by two rows.
While Danny Kent did not complete the day entirely satisfied yesterday, this morning, during the third free practice session, he continued struggling to find a good feel on the bike. In spite of this, the Red Bull Husqvarna Ajo rider continued to work, finishing the sesion with a lap time 8 tenths faster than yesterday’s best with a 2:18.330, putting him in tenth position. This lap time was practically the same as that clocked in qualifying. His lap gives him a sixth row start -further back than he had expected.
Three weeks after the opening round in Qatar, the second Moto3 race will start tomorrow at 11.00 a.m. local time. Last year at the Grand Prix of the Americas saw Niklas Ajo fight to the last corner for a podium position in one of the most accident-filled races of 2013. Kent and Ajo will be looking to improve their results of the first race of the season, a thirteenth and twenty-sixth, respectively, in tomorrow’s race.
Results – Qualifying practice
1. Jack Miller (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 2:16.342
2. Efren Vazquez (Honda) 2:16.689 +0.347
3. Alex Rins (Honda) 2:16.898 +0.556
4. Alex Marquez (Honda) 2:17.352 +1.010
5. Niccolo Antonelli (KTM) 2:17.380 +1.038
12. Niklas Ajo (Avant Tecno Husqvarna Ajo) 2:18.012 +1.670
16. Danny Kent (Red Bull Husqvarna Ajo) 2:18.365 +2.023
Niklas Ajo >> Audio (solely for radio use)
”The qualifying session was not bad, I think we’ve done a good job. This morning we found a better setting for the bike and it showed. In the qualifying session I set a good time. In my last stint I was improving my time, up until another rider knocked me off. After that, I couldn’t do any faster laps. Tomorrow we’ll start from a good position, so all that’s left is to give it my best and try to score points.”
Danny Kent >> Audio (solely for radio use)
”We suffered a lot, especially in the qualifying session, where we still had some problems. Tomorrow we’ll make changes to the bike that hopefully will help us improve. The important thing is to be 100% confident to get the best setup for the race. We hope that during warm up we’ll find a good configuration to help us for the race.”