Salom wins under Losail floodlights


Red Bull KTM Ajo rider takes first win of the season in Qatar. Zulfahmi Khairuddin and Arthur Sissis place sixth and eighth, respectively.


The first Grand Prix of the season saw a first victory for Red Bull KTM Ajo rider Luis Salom. Teammates Zulfahmi Khairuddin and Arthur Sissis also finished high up the order, in sixth and eighth, respectively, after starting from the fourth row of the grid.

The Red Bull KTM Ajo riders made a great start. Arthur Sissis gained five positions on the first corner, while Luis Salom and Zulfahmi Khairuddin held their places from the starting grid. During the first part of the race, the Spanish talent escaped along with four other riders at the head of the pack, while Zulfahmi Khairuddin recovered positions to slot into the same group as Arthur Sissis ─in the battle for sixth place.

After an intense battle at the front of the race, and a thrilling final lap, Luis Salom crossed the line in first place, winning by 0.417 over his nearest rival. This is the Red Bull KTM Ajo rider’s third Grand Prix victory. Zulfahmi Khairuddin was sixth and Arthur Sissis finished eighth, riding an excellent race after starting from the eleventh and tenth on the grid.

The riders now have a week of rest, before traveling to the United States for the first ever Grand Prix of the Americas in Austin, on April 21st.

Results (Race)
1. Luis Salom (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 38:26.859
2. Maverick Viñales (KTM) +0.417
3. Alex Rins (KTM) +0.423
4. Alex Marquez (KTM) +0.701
5. Jonas Folger (Kalex-KTM) +0.916
6. Zulfahmi Khairuddin (Red Bull KTM Ajo) +17.489
8. Arthur Sissis (Red Bull KTM Ajo) +19.355

Luis Salom >> Audio
“The race was rather good, although very difficult. I think we can still improve some aspects, so we want to move forward. The entire team have done a great job since we started working together and today was the result of the hard work done by all. I’m going to take the opportunity given to me Aki Ajo, Red Bull, Air Asia and KTM and give my all. We will see what results come our way, but I’ll give everything to do a good job.”

Arthur Sissis >> Audio
“The start was very good and on the opening laps I was in the top group. We were going very fast, but with as the laps went on I did not feel so good and I could not keep up. I formed a group with Zulfahmi Khairuddin and Miguel Oliveira, fighting for sixth place, but in the end I was passed. I already feel like riding more races and seeing what happens at the next race in Austin.”

Zulfahmi Khairuddin >> Audio (English)  // Audio (Malaysian)
“I am very satisfied with the race. The team worked very well throughout the entire weekend. During the practice sessions we had to work hard, and that is the same thing I did at the start of the race. I was passed by many riders, but I managed to recover and climb to sixth. However, I was unable to catch the leading group. Despite this, I’m very happy with the result at the first race and I hope to improve in Austin.”

Aki Ajo >> Audio // Audio (Finnish)
“I’m very happy, because it is always difficult to start a season when the bike is brand new. We also rode last year with KTM, but the bike this year is different. It has improved in many ways, so we are delighted with this new bike . I have to say I am very happy with the performance of our riders and our technical team, which worked very well, as always. All three riders did an excellent job. I’m glad to see that Luis [Salom] was able to remain calm and knew how to interpret the race. Zulfahmi Khairuddin and Arthur Sissis are back, which is very important.”

*Audio solely for radio use