Niklas Ajo and Danny Kent begin Dutch TT weekend with sixth and fifteenth fastest laps on day one.
For the 65th year Assen hosts a World Championship round this season. The Dutch TT began today with the Husqvarna riders starting strong, feeling good and keeping amongst the Top 15 on a tight combined timesheet –in which only one second separated the best twelve riders. Niklas Ajo confirmed his good form with the sixth fastest time, whilst Danny Kent placed fifteenth.
A good start for Kent and Ajo put them seventh –1:43.929– and the tenth –1:44.010– fastest, respectively, in the opening practice session. The Avant Tecno Husqvarna Ajo rider was the first to lead the timesheets and the fastest in adapting to the historic track. Kent waited until his penultimate lap to go round in under 1:44 for the first time.
In the afternoon, both riders were able to lower their times. Red Bull Husqvarna Ajo rider was the first to do so, making up for a couple of disappointingly difficult weekends by setting the pace. Niklas followed up by waiting until the final minutes to improve his top time by almost a second, claiming sixth with a 1:43.095. Kent eventually placed fifteenth with a time of 1:43.559.
The qualifying session for the Dutch TT takes place from 12:35 tomorrow. The best grid position for both riders in Moto3 came in 2012, with Kent on the first row and Niklas Ajo on row two.
Results (Combined practice time FP1-FP2)
1. Enea Bastianini (KTM) 1:42.366
2. Jack Miller (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 1:42.572 +0.206
3. Isaac Viñales (KTM) 1:42.836 +0.470
4. Efren Vazquez (Honda) 1:42.908 +0.542
5. Romano Fenati (KTM) 1:43.003 +0.637
6. Niklas Ajo (Avant Tecno Husqvarna Ajo) 1:43.095 +0.729
15. Danny Kent (Red Bull Husqvarna Ajo) 1:43.559 +1.193
Niklas Ajo >> Audio (solely for radio use)
”I think the feeling is more or less the same as in Catalonia and Italy, especially with my bike, with which I have very good feeling. Yet we couldn’t quite find the best setup for the bike. We have to play around with these settings to find an even better stability with the front end. Anyway, I’m happy because at the end of the second session I was setting very consistent times -despite the traffic. I had a good pace and good feelings, and I hope to continue like this tomorrow.
My elbow does not hurt. I tried to wrap it, but it bothered me and I had to take the bandaging off for both sessions. We’ll have to find some other solution, but I feel no pain there; I can work perfectly, because when you do go fast you don’t feel it.”
Danny Kent >> Audio (solely for radio use)
”We’ve started the weekend closer to the front group than at other races. We made a change from morning to afternoon and it worked in some parts, but in others not so much. I think tomorrow we will be back to the same settings that we used this morning. I am confident this weekend. Step-by-step we will get closer to the fastest riders. For tomorrow, we have to place even higher than 15th position -the fifth row. We can improve at this circuit. We have to improve on the brakes, because the bike was a bit unstable. With the changes for tomorrow we think we can ride pretty fast, so we’ll see what happens.”