Salom third fastest in Austin


Red Bull KTM Ajo teammates Arthur Sissis and Zulfahmi Khairuddin finish first day at Circuit of The Americas with 23rd and 27th best times, respectively.

Salom, Grand Prix of the Americas 2, Moto 3

The Circuit of The Americas opened its doors to its first World Championship practice sessions today. The Red Bull KTM Ajo riders completed their first laps of the track, setting up their KTM machines. Luis Salom was third best on the combined timesheet, with Arthur Sissis 23rd and Zulfahmi Khairuddin 27th. All three put in their best time in the afternoon session.

Each Red Bull KTM Ajo rider put in more than 70km in their first session of work, taking stock of a technical track that features constant changes of elevation and direction. Luis Salom was fifth quickest, recording a time of 2’22.728, whilst Zulfahmi Khairuddin and Arthur Sissis’ best times were a 2’24.411 and 2’25.941, respectively.

The work undertaken in the morning began to bear fruit in the second session, in which the Red Bull KTM Ajo riders improved their lap times. Salom was third with a 2’18.815 lap, and both he and Sissis —2’22.209— knocked 3.5 seconds off their previous best. Zulfahmi Khairuddin contributed a 2’22.812 lap, although his progress was impeded by a small crash midway through the session.

Tomorrow sees the final free practice session and qualifying session, which will decide the grid for the Sunday Moto3 contest.

Results (Combined practice time FP1-FP2)
1. Maverick Viñales (KTM) 2:18.254
2. Alex Rins (KTM) 2:18.793 +0.539
3. Luis Salom (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 2:18.815 +0.561
4. Miguel Oliveira (Mahindra) 2:19.606 +1.352
5. Romano Fenati (FTR Honda) 2:19.722 +1.468
23. Arthur Sissis (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 2:22.209 +3.955
27. Zulfahmi Khairuddin (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 2:22.812 +4.558

Luis Salom >> Audio
“The truth is that it went pretty well today. The whole team have done a good job. We got a good pace going, so now we just need to put in a good single lap. The bike is also running like we want it to. In the morning there was no grip on the track, but the afternoon saw much improvement on that. Let’s see what we can do tomorrow, because I think we still have room for improvement and this could turn out to be a good weekend for us.”

Arthur Sissis >> Audio
“The first day was pretty hard. We were learning the new track, which is really difficult. We tried some new things with the suspension, to try to improve, and in some spots we have taken a step forward. Elsewhere we went worse, but we were able to work hard and in the end we managed to solve the issues. I hope that tomorrow goes better.”

Zulfahmi Khairuddin >> Audio (English) // Audio (Malaysian)
“Today was a really tough day for both me and for my team. We had a difficult session because, compared with other circuits, the feeling with the bike wasn’t so good here. Now we are working to find that comfortable feeling and to discover the right setup for tomorrow.”

* Audio solely for radio use