Red Bull KTM Ajo riders leave Valencia after positive test


Salom, see Khairuddin and Sissis finish three days of testing at Circuito Ricardo Tormo.

Red Bull KTM Ajo today concluded the first official preseason test of 2013, buy held in Valencia. Luis Salom, discount Zulfahmi Khairuddin and Arthur Sissis made daily progress with their new KTM machines and could assess themselves against the rest of the Moto3 grid. Luis Salom took the third best time in the combined timesheets from the three days.

Red Bull KTM Ajo’s Arthur Sissis was the first out on track at the Circuito Ricardo Tormo this morning, at 10:05am. He made the most of less windy conditions and higher track temperatures than on previous days, putting in 39 laps and becoming the rider with the most laps to his name in the morning run. Luis Salom and Zulfahmi Khairuddin decided to wait until temperatures rose further before riding. All three bested their Wednesday times, with Salom again in the top three behind Viñales and Rins.

In the second session, only for Moto2 riders, Salom dropped his pace to under 1’40 within two laps. Red Bull KTM Ajo focused on modifying the setup of the 2013 KTM in this session. Khairuddin and Sissis again lowered their lap times and were inside the top ten. Salom had a small crash at the end of the session on the final corner, and placed second in the session -0.418 behind Viñales.

The day concluded with a final session, contested only by Salom and Khairuddin. With 56 laps from the opening pair of sessions, Sissis put an end to his work whilst his teammates focused on setups.

Red Bull KTM Ajo will continue their preparation for the coming season with another Official Test, held from February 19th-21st.

Aki Ajo Audio (Eng)   Audio (Fin)

”I am very happy with the test in Valencia, because last week in Almería was more of a rollout and here we had some really good times. By the looks of things, Moto3 will be very hard this year, but I am happy with the work of my riders Luis [Salom], ‘Fahmi’ [Khairuddin] and Arthur [Sissis]. For next week, we are focusing on getting familiar with the bike and should be calm and convinced about what we are doing.”

Luis Salom Audio

“I am happy, despite the two crashes over the three days. The team and myself have done a good job. This morning, on worn tyres, we were able to ride fast. In the afternoon I made a mistake on the approach to the straight, when using a new tyre. I lost the front and crashed. It’s a pity, because we could have put in a good time. With a tyre on which I had ridden race distance, we had two consecutive 1’39.6s.

I later went out to try a few things, but times weren’t the focus. We wanted to clear up a few things for the next tests. The feeling is very good, the team are doing a great job. Working with Aki Ajo is incredible and the bike is going really well. It is a big step forward.”

Arthur Sissis Audio

”Today was a really positive day. We went out very early in the morning, tried some things and gained confidence with the bike. With the new tyres we could ride pretty fast. We had some reasonable times and I am happy, because I’m not normally fast here. Next week in Jerez we can do a little better, I think. The new bike has about the same power, but the bike is very good to ride. It is an improvement on last year’s. If we can find a good setup, it will be really fast.”

Zulfahmi Khairuddin Audio (Eng)   Audio (Mal)

”It was a good day for the team and I think that it was the best of the three. The bike worked well and I am very happy with it. We have improved things with the bike over these three days, but I’m sure that in the future we can go even faster. I am happy in general and can’t wait for Jerez. We will try out new parts and weight distribution there. I think we need to keep putting in the kilometres in order to adapt to the KTM 2013. The bike and the team are working well.”