Danny Kent and Niklas Ajo begin the first day of the Valencian Grand Prix with nineteenth and twenty-first best times, respectively, on the combined timesheet.
The Moto3 World Championship brings down the curtain on the 2014 season this weekend in Valencia. The first day of practice took place this Friday, and both Danny Kent and Niklas Ajo were unable to find the good feeling they have previously experienced at the track. However, both are confident of strong times in tomorrow’s qualifying session. The Briton set the nineteenth fastest time, while the Finn was twenty-first.
Ajo and Kent put in the fifth and eleventh best times, respectively, in the first practice session. The Avant Tecno Husqvarna Ajo rider’s top time was a 1:40.782 on his final attempt –despite attempting an intense start to the session. Kent improved over the course of the run, eventually clocking a 1:40.986.
In the afternoon session the wind was blowing more strongly, hindering the work of the riders in the Moto3 class the most. Niklas Ajo worked with different tyres trying to find pace and a hot lap in preparation for the qualifying session tomorrow. He lowered his morning time to go twenty-first with a 1:40.768 lap. Kent, feeling less comfortable than at recent races, was nineteenth with a 1:40.639.
Tomorrow at 12:35pm both riders will have the opportunity to take Husqvarna’s second pole position of the season.
Results (Combined practice time FP1-FP2)
1. Niccolo Antonelli (KTM) 1:39.647
2. Jack Miller (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 1:39.848 +0.201
3. Alex Marquez (Honda) 1:39.916 +0.269
4. Enea Bastianini (KTM) 1:39.920 +0.273
5. Andrea Migno (Mahindra) 1:39.955 +0.308
19. Danny Kent (Red Bull Husqvarna Ajo) 1:40.639 +0.992
21. Niklas Ajo (Avant Tecno Husqvarna Ajo) 1:40.768 +1.121
Niklas Ajo >> Audio (solely for radio use)
”I think in the morning we found a good pace. We have not got the perfect feeling with the bike, but we managed to do very consistent laps that allowed us to be high up on the timesheet. In the second session we started directly with the used tyre and it wore out very quickly. I had to go back to the garage and switch to new tyres but I could not find a good grip. In the morning, with the softer compound, I had great rear grip. We have to work to find out why we lack this grip because it is so difficult to exit corners. I’m happy, because even though we are at the bottom of the overall timesheet the difference between riders is not great. If we get a good setup for tomorrow, I’m sure we will improve.”
Danny Kent >> Audio (solely for radio use)
”This was probably one of the worst Fridays all season in terms of our feel, both with my own feeling and with the bike. We didn’t find a way to corner well. We have to work hard, look at the data we’ve collected and see where we can improve for tomorrow. We have not changed too much from the setup regarding used over the last few races, but we have played with things so that the wind does not affect us much. Hopefully tomorrow we will find the right direction.”