Niklas Ajo takes highest grid position of 2014 so far with seventh.
The two Husqvarna riders in the Moto3 World Championship had their best qualifying showing of the year so far at the Autodromo Termas de Rio Hondo. Niklas Ajo took a big step forward to claim seventh and a third row start in the session. Danny Kent flew to place third, turning his positive feeling from practice into a great position on the grid.
With a 1:50.840 lap, Niklas Ajo improved by more than 1.5 seconds on his Friday top time. The Avant Tecno Husqvarna Ajo rider put the breakthrough down to an improvement in his riding, rectifying issues from the opening day. He later smashed this time in qualifying. After setting a 1:50 pace, the Finn then took a 1:49.876 lap that put him just 2 tenths off the front row.
Despite conditions at the track not offering the best grip possible, Danny Kent continued to have a good feeling about the track -as he did on Day 1. Seventh in the final practice session with a time 0.7 faster than his Friday best, the Red Bull Husqvarna Ajo rider clocked a 1:50.570 that set him up well for qualifying. In the grid-deciding session, the result was excellent. The Briton used his experience to find the best time to set his fastest lap, putting in a 1:49.617 that was just 4 tenths off Jack Miller’s pole lap.
The two Husqvarna riders will challenge the field starting at 11.00a.m. local time for their first race in Argentina -also their first in South America. Both will try to improve their results for a third consecutive race. At the last round in Austin, Kent finished eighth and Niklas fourteenth.
Results – Qualifying practice
1. Jack Miller (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 1:49.200
2. Efren Vazquez (Honda) 1:49.252 +0.052
3. Danny Kent (Red Bull Husqvarna Ajo) 1:49.617 +0.417
4. Jakub Kornfeil (KTM) 1:49.785 +0.585
5. Romano Fenati (KTM) 1:49.856 +0.656
7. Niklas Ajo (Avant Tecno Husqvarna Ajo) 1:49.876 +0.676
Niklas Ajo >> Audio (solely for radio use)
”Today we improved a lot, especially my riding, which I had some problems with yesterday. In fact, it’s a little problem sometimes, because I have a riding style that’s a little bit different and this year we are working hard to improve it. I think we took a big step forward today, basically with braking and the set-up of the bike and that helped me a lot. I was also lucky during qualifying to find a good group which let me to do a lot of fast laps without other riders doing weird things to keep a wheel. We hope to be in this group during the race tomorrow.
Danny Kent >> Audio (solely for radio use)
”I’m excited for my first front row position of the season. The first races were not as good as we expected, so we’ve taken the step forward that we needed. But the important thing is tomorrow: We have to make a good start, set a good pace from the first laps and try not to lose the lead group at any time. I’m looking forward to start the race.”