Fourth consecutive podium for Salom19/05/2013
Red Bull KTM Ajo rider finishes third at Le Mans and holds onto second in overall standings. Arthur Sissis places thirteenth and Zulfahmi Khairuddin suffers a late crash.
A half-dry, half-wet surface awaited the riders in the Moto3 French GP, making things tricky for the lower cylinder class competitors. Despite the difficulty of the race and soreness from a crash yesterday, Luis Salom took third place at Le Mans in a great showing. Salom’s Red Bull KTM Ajo teammates had mixed fortunes: Arthur Sissis was thirteenth and again claimed points, whilst Khairuddin did not finish the race after making back eight places.
The race was declared dry, but there were still damp patches present on the French track. The three Red Bull KTM Ajo riders all got good starts: Luis Salom was part of the lead group, which consisted of four riders. After 12 laps, the Spaniard took advantage of a mistake by Jonas Folger to overtake the German for third. On the final laps, Salom gave all of his remaining effort to cross the line just 0.123 behind second-placed Alex Rins.
Arthur Sissis added three more points to his tally, after taking off from twentieth on the grid. Australian rider has good showing, controlling rivals in early stages and ascending positions on the final laps. Zulfahmi Khairuddin followed the same strategy, and was up to seventh when he crashed on the back chicane with four laps remaining.
After four Grands Prix, Luis Salom lies second in the overall standings with 77 points. Zulfahmi Khairuddin is sixth with 28 points and Arthur Sissis is eleventh with 19.
1. Maverick Viñales (KTM) 42:05.448
2. Alex Rins (KTM) +1.264
3. Luis Salom (Red Bull KTM Ajo) +1.387
4. Jonas Folger (Kalex KTM) +14.593
5. Alex Marquez (KTM) +37.949
13. Arthur Sissis (Red Bull KTM Ajo) +58.713
DNF – Zulfahmi Khairuddin (Red Bull KTM Ajo)
Moto3 World Championship
1. Maverick Viñales (KTM) 90 points
2. Luis Salom (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 77 points
3. Alex Rins (KTM) 61 points
4. Jonas Folger (Kalex KTM) 53 points
5. Brad Binder (Suter Honda) 32 points
6. Zulfahmi Khairuddin (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 28 points
11. Arthur Sissis (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 19 points
Luis Salom >> Audio
“I had a tough time this weekend. Despite the pain, in the end we were able to take a very important third place. On the last lap I was unable to get past Alex Rins, because if I had hit the brakes any later then I would have lost the front -our suspension was running very soft. I knew that I was going down if I tried, so I decided that it wasn’t worth risking a DNF after such a hard weekend. I am satisfied with having had a good race. I was moving nearer to the leaders by the end and I was focused at all times. I want to thank all my team for their work on this tricky weekend.”
Arthur Sissis >> Audio
“The race didn’t go too well. When I left the pits to take up my spot on the grid, we were using the wet tyres, because we thought that the asphalt would still be damp. But it was already dry on some corners and the conditions were half-wet, half-dry. We used the soft setting, but a few laps in the track was fully dry and I couldn’t ride in comfort. I hope to improve for the next race.”
Zulfahmi Khairuddin >> Audio (English) // Audio (Malaysian)
“I was going a little slow at the start, because I didn’t know if I could get on the throttle in the conditions. When I saw the lead group pushing, I began to up the pace and pass some riders. I was very strong midway through the race and slotted into seventh. However, I don’t know what happened on the last chicane with four laps remaining. I lost grip and crashed. I’m a little disappointed with the result, but we have to continue working like we have been in order to be ready for Mugello.”
Aki Ajo >> Audio (English) // Audio (Finnish)
“The first thing I must say is that we should be happy with finishing the race and taking so many points with Luis Salom, because it was a difficult weekend -especially today. Of course, we always want to win and are disappointed when we don’t take an opportunity to do so, but we have to analyse the reasons for this. It was tough, but Luis did a very good job in the race. Unfortunately, Fahmi [Zulfahmi Khairuddin] had a big crash, but we are happy that he is OK. Arthur [Sissis] had some problems with his bike, which was running a setup that was too soft for these conditions. He finished the race though, which is good.”
*Audio solely for radio use