Fastest lap for Salom ends preseason


Red Bull KTM Ajo riders conclude Jerez test. Luis Salom clocks fastest time of the week in preparation for Qatar GP.


Red Bull KTM Ajo concluded the 2013 preseason this morning at the Circuito de Jerez. After participating in thirteen days of testing across Spain, with visits to Almeria, Valencia and Jerez, Luis Salom, Zulfahmi Khairuddin and Arthur Sissis are ready for the first race of the year, to be held on 7th April in Qatar. Today at Jerez, Luis Salom took the fastest time of the week: 1’46.374.

The Moto3 riders had only two hours of testing today. The asphalt temperature first thing in the morning had risen to 19°C, allowing the Red Bull KTM Ajo riders the chance to go out on track early. The first of them was Zulfahmi Khairuddin at 10:20am, although they were unable to improve upon his times from yesterday.

The exclusive Moto3 session saw Luis Salom on top form, clocking the fastest lap of the four-day test: 1’46.374.  His teammates also improved their best times in the morning’s final run. Zulfahmi Khairuddin stopped the clock at 1’48.191,  Arthur Sissis in 1’48.607.

The next time that the three Red Bull KTM Ajo riders will face the rest of the grid will be at the first race of the year in Qatar, at the Losail circuit, from April 4th-7th.

Results (Combined day 1-2-3-4)
1. Luis Salom (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 1:46.374

2. Maverick Viñales (KTM) 1:46.603 +0.229
3. Álex Rins (KTM) 1:46.610 +0.236
4. Álex Márquez (KTM) 1:46.986 +0.612
5. Jonas Folger (Kalex-KTM) 1:47.010 +0.636
11. Arthur Sissis (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 1:47.861 +1.487
17. Zulfahmi Khairuddin (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 1:48.191 +1.817

Luis Salom >> Audio
“I think we have done a good job and we can be happy with our efforts this winter, as now we are beginning to see the results. I am very grateful to the team for their work over these days. We also got the fastest time today, which we had been hoping for. I leave here happy and grateful to the team for their confidence in me, and the opportunity that they have given me. Now I am focusing on preparing myself and I know that we can do a good job in Qatar.”

Arthur Sissis >>Audio
“We picked up from where we left off yesterday, and in the morning I focused on riding with used tyres. We tried various different suspension settings, but I didn’t have much confidence so we went back to the old setting. I tried to get a good time and it was ok, although I didn’t improve on yesterday’s. The bike is going well and we are ready for Qatar.”

Zulfahmi Khairuddin >>Audio // Audio (Malaysian)
“Today we had less testing time, but it was enough to improve in many aspects. I’m really happy with the bike, we have taken another step forward from yesterday. In addition, we improved our best lap time by two-tenths, although that is still not yet enough to be at the top of the timesheets. We have some things to do still, but for now we are really close to the fastest and I think that in Qatar we can fight in the leading group. The team and KTM are working hard so that we have a good bike. When we started this preseason we had a quite different bike from last year to learn. I’ve still not adapted 100%, but the good feeling is coming. We are working hard on that and I think that we are on the right track.”

Aki Ajo >> Audio // Audio (Fin)
“This has been a rather hard week of testing, because four days in a row is a lot for both the team and the riders. We were all a little tired on the final day, but I am very happy –especially with the final two days with better weather conditions. The riders improved a lot then. We have found a lot of solutions for the bike in terms of basic setup. I am very grateful to KTM for having brought a lot of new parts once more, and for working so hard on the new bike. When a bike changes so much from one year to the next, there is a lot of work to do. I think that the base is really good right now and we are very happy working with KTM. It’s been a tough preseason and in a way you are glad that testing is over, but you always think you have not done everything and could do more, which is good. I think the base that we have is really good and all our riders are happy in general. We are really happy with the new KTM. We are definitely prepared for Qatar.”