Salom takes podium in five-lap sprint21/04/2013
Red Bull KTM Ajo rider places on the rostrum for second race in a row in a restarted race. Zulfahmi Khairuddin and Arthur Sissis finish seventh and twelfth, respectively.
A crash-filled Grand Prix of The Americas saw Luis Salom finish third, taking another Moto3 podium. The final part of the race was a restarted sprint of five laps in duration, following a red flag for a crash suffered by Jasper Iwema. Zulfahmi Khairuddin and Arthur Sissis were seventh and twelfth in the inaugural race at the Texan track.
A big crash by Dutchman Jasper Iwema after twelve completed laps forced the organisers to stop the race. The Grand Prix resumed later with a second starting grid and only five laps on the board. Salom, who started third, made an excellent start that placed him at the head of the race. After leading two of the five laps, the Red Bull KTM Ajo rider battled for the win with Alex Rins and Maverick Viñales. Finally, Salom crossed the finish line in third place, 0.547 behind eventual winner Rins.
His Red Bull KTM Ajo teammates had different races. Zulfahmi Khairuddin finished seventh and was very competitive throughout. Both in the opening part of the race and in the second, the Malaysian was part of the trailing group and was able to pick up nine World Championship points.
Australian Arthur Sissis had difficulties in the opening part of the race and, taking off from seventeenth after the red flag, had to recover positions for a points finish. The Red Bull KTM Ajo rider overtook five rivals and placed twelfth.
After two races, Luis Salom leads the Moto3 standings, level on points with Rins on 41. Zulfahmi Khairuddin is sixth with 19 points, and Arthur Sissis is eighth with 12. The next round takes place on May 5th –the Spanish Grand Prix.
1. Alex Rins (KTM) 11:26.535
2. Maverick Viñales (KTM) +0.244
3. Luis Salom (Red Bull KTM Ajo) +0.547
4. Jonas Folger (Kalex KTM) +1.230
5. Miguel Oliveira (Mahindra) +8.276
7. Zulfahmi Khairuddin (Red Bull KTM Ajo) +10.147
12. Arthur Sissis (Red Bull KTM Ajo) +14.030
Moto3 World Championship
1. Alex Rins (KTM) 41 points
2. Luis Salom (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 41 points
3. Maverick Viñales (KTM) 40 points
4. Jonas Folger (Kalex KTM) 24 points
5. Miguel Oliveira (Mahindra) 20 points
6. Zulfahmi Khairuddin (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 19 points
8. Arthur Sissis (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 12 points
Luis Salom >> Audio
“It was a fun race and we fought until the end. Most importantly, what we take home is that we have some issues we have identified and will try to solve for the next Grand Prix in Jerez. I think both parts of the race were very good. In the first half of the first part I couldn’t have gone faster. I was losing the front and could not corner well. When I stopped I saw the tyre was destroyed, but I knew that in the second part we had to push hard. Alex [Rins] passed me on the brakes, because I could not brake late. I tried on the last corner, but it was clear to me that it would not be possible.”
Arthur Sissis >> Audio
“The race was very difficult. During the first part I didn’t feel great on the bike and was really slow. But in the second part we returned to the setup that we had for the qualifying session and I felt better about the bike. Finally I finished in twelfth place and, although not the best, we’ll see if we can best that at Jerez.”
Zulfahmi Khairuddin >> Audio (English) // Audio (Malaysian)
“It was a very difficult weekend for me, in which I suffered greatly with the setup of the bike. Neither was it easy to learn the layout of this circuit. In the race I started well and overtook many riders in the early laps, but after six laps I had a problem my front tyre. Shortly after, the race was stopped and I was able to put a new one on the bike for the ‘second round.’ I was able to push right through to the end of the five laps. I’m happy with this result, but hopefully we can improve more at Jerez.”
Aki Ajo >>Audio (English) // Audio (Finnish)
“It was a bit of a special day, because we had two different ‘races,’ but in the end we can say we were lucky, especially with Luis [Salom] getting a second chance. His front tyre was completely destroyed in the first part and he had to slow down. For the second part we changed the tyres and had the chance to fight for the victory –in fact he was not too far off. Salom did his best but it was not enough. We can be happy, because we took points with all our riders. Zulfahmi Khairuddin and Arthur Sissis improved at the end and did a good job.”
*Audio solely for radio use