Niklas Ajo and Danny Kent contest first round of 2014 World Championship, debuting the new Husqvarna FR 250 GP in Qatar.
The 5.4km Losail Circuit lights the touchpaper on the Moto3 World Championship this weekend, at the Qatar GP which sees the debut of Husqvarna in the lower cylinder class. The manufacturer will field Ajo and Kent in two teams, with both facing a fourth full season in Grand Prix racing. Satisfied with preseason and eager to start the year, the Briton and the Finn reach the first race wanting to place as high up the order as possible.
Kent returns to Moto3 after spending a year in the intermediate category. The Red Bull Husqvarna Ajo rider holds two wins and a podium in the class, achieved in 2012. The British talent is confident of placing amongst the frontrunners after a positive end to preseason.
Meanwhile, Ajo has had a different preseason to previous years. With three years of experience behind him, the Avant Tecno Husqvarna Ajo rider has been more relaxed, calm, unhurried and focused on the job of setting up his bike. The first goal for the year will be to improve upon his ninth place finish from last season at this track -his best result at Losail.
This is the first of the eighteen races on the calendar for 2014, the only night GP and an event lasting four days. The action begins on Thursday with two free practice sessions and will end on Sunday with the race.
#31 Niklas Ajo – Avant Tecno Husqvarna Ajo
”The race in Qatar is different from the others because it is held at night and the schedule sees us start on Thursday. This is a nice race, which opens the season. The first free practice is always difficult, because there is a lot of sand on the asphalt and you lose a lot of grip. I hope we find a good set-up early on, and we’ll see what happens. Riding at night is always difficult on the first few laps, but eventually you adapt and you just concentrate on doing your job. Overall, I like the Losail circuit because it’s fast; sometimes we have some chattering, so we will be careful with that.”
#52 Danny Kent – Red Bull KTM Husqvarna Ajo
”The Losail Circuit is not one of my favourites as I don’t have good memories of it, but this year I feel confident for the race. It’s a track I quite like, because you have so many fast corners which fit my riding style. I can’t wait to start work. We want to change our dynamic at this track, because I don’t have great memories of my three previous visits here. The fact that it is run at night is difficult the first year that you ride there, because you confuse your shadow with other riders -it’s a completely different experience. Maybe for the rookies it will be harder to learn than other tracks, because it is very fast and wide.”
Circuit information – Losail
Length: 5.380 metres / 3.343 miles
Width: 12 metres
Left corners: 6
Right corners: 10
Longest straight: 1.068 metres / 0.664 miles