Scare for Niklas Ajo on first day of Catalan GP


Avant Tecno KTM rider takes positive feeling from first day of the Catalan Grand Prix, but suffers harmless crash in second free practice session.


The Circuit de Catalunya began the sixth round of the Moto3 season this Friday. Niklas Ajo put in a total of 27 laps at the Spanish circuit as he got his KTM ready for the rest of the weekend. A crash in the final stretch of the second free practice session did not allow the Avant Tecno KTM rider to finish all of the planned workload, and he completed the day in twenty-sixth place with a time of 1:54.528.

Fifteen laps in the morning session permitted Niklas Ajo to get acclimatised to the Circuit de Catalunya. The 24°C track temperature allowed the Avant Tecno KTM rider to begin to select his setup options for the weekend, and he set a top lap of 1:55.065 to place him twenty-third on the timesheets.

In the second session the Finn improved his feeling. He went faster than his morning time after only three laps, bettering it on three further occasions. Towards the end of the session, with his best three individual sectors completed, he crashed on the final section and was unable to continue with the practice.

Fortunately for Niklas, the crash was merely a hard knock, meaning that he will be fit to participate in qualifying tomorrow.

Results (Combined practice time FP1-FP2)
1. Luis Salom (KTM) 1:52.054
2. Isaac Viñales (FTR Honda) 1:52.339 +0.285
3. Alex Marquez (KTM) 1:52.349 +0.295
4. Maverick Viñales (KTM) 1:52.473 +0.419
5. Alex Rins (KTM) 1:52.711 +0.657
26. Niklas Ajo (Avant Tecno KTM) 1:54.528 +2.474

Audio (English) // Audio (Finnish)
”Today was a little bit complicated. We didn’t find the optimal setup in the morning and we had problems with the bike. Looking ahead to the second session, we changed some things and improved. I began to feel comfortable with the bike and even rode near to the top group, although I lost some time because of traffic. Then I crashed. Fortunately the damage is minimal, everything hurts a little but I’ll be ready for the rest of the weekend.”