Seventh row for Niklas Ajo at Phillip Island


Avant Tecno KTM rider unable to build on good feeling from free practice and takes twenty-first best qualifying time.


It was a bittersweet day for Niklas Ajo on Saturday at the Australian Grand Prix. After improving his times in the final free practice, the Avant Tecno KTM rider failed to achieve the position he wanted on the grid for the race. In qualifying, excessive traffic in the last minute prevented him from gaining places and he had to settle for twenty-first position.

The work required was begun yesterday, and this morning, Niklas Ajo continued to make progress. The Avant Tecno KTM rider needed only the first twenty minutes of the day to lower his times from yesterday. After finding a good pace, it was in the final section of the session where Niklas took his best time, breaching the 1:38 barrier and claiming fifteenth –1:37.944.

The Finn was not able to repeat such a lap in qualifying. Despite trying everything, the Avant Tecno KTM man was up against rivals looking for a tow, causing traffic in the final minutes of the session. So much so, that his fastest lap was set on his first stint, with a time of 1:38.372.

In tomorrow’s race, which starts at 1pm local time, Niklas Ajo faces the challenge of taking a good result at Phillip Island –where he has not finished the last two GPs despite good performances.

Results (Qualifying practice)
1. Luis Salom (KTM) 1:36.890
2. Jonas Folger (Kalex KTM) 1:37.268 +0.378
3. Efren Vazquez (Mahindra) 1:37.292 +0.402
4. Maverick Viñales (KTM) 1:37.361 +0.471
5. Alex Rins (KTM) 1:37.382 +0.492
21. Niklas Ajo (Avant Tecno KTM) 1:38.372 +1.482

Niklas Ajo >> Audio (English) // Audio (Finnish)
”The morning free practice was not too bad. I felt very comfortable with the used tyres. I was relaxed and I was able to make good times, leaving me satisfied –even if I didn’t have a perfect lap.
Later, in the qualifying session, it was difficult to find a good feeling when riding alone. I waited too long and after that I was unable to make a good lap. I’m a little disappointed by this. Tomorrow I will try to recover the pace that I had in practice.”

*Audio solely for radio use