Salom starts strong at Valencia test12/02/2013
Red Bull KTM Ajo rider finishes second in first day of testing in Valencia. Khairuddin and Sissis place fourth and ninth, respectively.
After a first test one week ago in Almería, Red Bull KTM Ajo today began the second runout of the year at the Circuito Ricardo Tormo de Cheste, Valencia. Luis Salom once again showed strong form reminiscent of the end of 2012, finishing the day 0.156 off the day’s fastest rider, Maverick Viñales. That was despite a light crash today. Zulfahmi Khairuddin was also amongst the frontrunners, with the fourth best time, whilst Arthur Sissis was ninth on the timesheet.
The day began calmly, due to the low temperatures and strong winds in Valencia. The Red Bull KTM Ajo riders elected to wait until an hour after the 11:30am track opening time to undertake their first laps, eventually riding with more gripo n track thanks to the slight temperatura increase. Salom, Sissis and Khairuddin gained confidence with their machines in a near-three hour runout alongside the Moto2 riders. On day one, Luis Salom had a small crash at Turn 5 that prevented him from completing more than 5 further laps. Times were significantly slower to those clocked at the recent Valencia GP.
At 12:50pm the second session began, featuring only Moto3 riders. Luis Salom quickly improved his times, placing 32 thousandths of a second behind fastest rider Maverick Viñales. Khairuddin was also quick, third at 0.781 off the top, whilst Arthur Sissis was thirteenth at 2.845 off.
After a one-hour break, two further hours of testing took place in which everyone dropped their times. After 26 laps in the three sessions, Luis Salom recorded his best time of 1’40.871. He was 0.156 off Viñales. Fourth was Khairuddin with a time of 1’41.788 from 54 laps. Arthur Sissis was ninth from 45 laps, with a fastest time of 1’42.690.
Day Two of Three at Valencia takes place tomorrow.
“We’ve come here from Almería, where we already had a good feeling with the bike. This morning I had a small crash, but I am still happy with the results that we obtained. The bike is working very well, the team are working hard and we have put in a very good time for the first day here.”
“In the morning I focused on understanding the bike a little better, adapting to it and feeling comfortable riding. I began to go pretty fast and was putting in some strong times. It is the first day and I am happy with the results from today. I don’t think that I could have gone any faster than I did. I am close to the times that I put in here last year, but we can still improve a little more.”
“I am very happy. The bike is working perfectly and we had a good pace for the entire first day of testing. Thanks to my good feeling on the bike we were able to put in fast times with ease. We were able to undertake a lot of laps and I felt full of confidence on the corners and under braking. It’s clear that we have to improve a bit more in some aspects in order to get closer to the top, but I’m sure that in the coming days we will only get better.”