Husqvarna rider takes eighth on the grid for the Spanish Grand Prix. Danny Kent will start from row five, in thirteenth.
The fourth qualifying session of the season took place at Jerez on Saturday. Niklas Ajo took eighth place on the grid, equaling his third row start from the GP of Argentina. Two rows further back is fellow Husqvarna rider Danny Kent, who clocked the thirteenth best time in the session.
With a time of 1:47.131, Ajo lowered his Friday time by 1.5 seconds in the weekend’s final practice session. The Avant Tecno Husqvarna Ajo was fourth quickest and able to face qualifying with optimism. In that afternoon session, with track temperatures of 43ºC –lower than on Friday— he set a 1:47.262 lap that placed him eighth. He will start from the third row and could have featured further up on the grid, had he not encountered traffic on his final two attempts at a hot lap.
Danny Kent also improved on his previous free practice times in the morning session, setting a 1:48.082 lap which put him 21st. In qualifying he took a huge leap forward, clocking his best time of the weekend with a 1:47:459 that placed him thirteenth on the grid. The Red Bull Husqvarna Ajo is still confident of being able to latch onto the leading group.
Round four of the season is the first to take place in Europe, and starts at 11am Spanish time. Niklas Ajo and Danny Kent will look to repeat their Husqvarna Top 10 from Argentina at the Spanish GP, with the main goal being to keep up with the frontrunners.
Results – Qualifying practice
1. Jack Miller (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 1:46.173
2. Niccolo Antonelli (KTM) 1:46.788 +0.615
3. Alex Rins (Honda) 1:46.867 +0.694
4. Isaac Viñales (KTM) 1:46.867 +0.694
5. Alex Marquez (Honda) 1:46.884 +0.711
8. Niklas Ajo (Avant Tecno Husqvarna Ajo) 1:47.262 +1.089
13. Danny Kent (Red Bull Husqvarna Ajo) 1:47.459 +1.286
Niklas Ajo >> Audio (only for radio use)
”This morning we found the right setup for the bike. We improved a lot compared to yesterday, above all in our lap times. In the morning we went well and in qualifying as well. We worked very well together in order to get a good time.
Tomorrow I’m sure that there will be a large leading group, so we will try to be part of it and feel confident. I think that tomorrow we have a good chance to place well in the race, because we have found the necessary changes to be made, above all with the tyres. We have to be relaxed, not make any rash moves and get off to a good start in order to be up there.”
Danny Kent >> Audio (only for radio use)
”It wasn’t a great qualifying session because although we still had to sort out some of our setup options with the bike, the lap times were not very good, especially when compared to the test. However, I feel more confident than yesterday. At the end we improved our lap times a little. I think that we will be stronger in the race and that our times will be more suitable to what we are capable of doing. Thirteenth is not a bad result, but neither is it very good. With a strong start we will be able to move up positions and latch onto the lead group, and then it will all come down to the final two laps.”