Red Bull KTM Ajo ready for Le Mans after Almeria and Thalgau training15/05/2013
Luis Salom, Zulfahmi Khairuddin and Arthur Sissis head to French Grand Prix after respective preparation programmes in Spain and Austria.
The Moto3 World Championship continues its route through Europe and this week it is the turn of the Grand Prix of France –the fourth event of the year– to take centre stage. The Red Bull KTM Ajo team heads to the historic Bugatti circuit of Le Mans after some very distinct preparation: Luis Salom has been testing on track in Almeria, whilst Zulfahmi Khairuddin and Arthur Sissis have made a trip to the Red Bull Diagnostics and Training Center (DTC) in Austria.
The Spanish rider’s workload with his KTM Moto3 machine did not finish on the Sunday of the Grand Prix of Spain. Salom, second in the Moto3 class, went to Almeria to participate in a private test last week. He finished the trip satisfied with new parts tested in preparation for the upcoming races. In the first of these, this weekend at Le Mans, the Red Bull KTM Ajo rider will be looking to make amends for a DNF last year.
Whilst Salom was hard at work in his homeland, Zulfahmi Khairuddin and Arthur Sissis were also keeping busy. The duo took a trip to Thalgau in Austria, visiting the Red Bull Diagnostics and Traning Center (DTC) facility that provides innovative personalised training programmes for Red Bull athletes –based on their physical and psychological characteristics. This was the first time that Zulfahmi Khairuddin had participated in a week of training and medical tests, but Sissis is a relative veteran of the procedures.
Weekend weather forecasts for Le Mans predict another wet French GP.
Circuit information – Le Mans Circuit
Length: 4.180 metres / 2,597 miles
Width: 13 metres
Left corners: 5
Right corners: 9
Longest straight: 674 metres / 0,419 miles
“I’m happy with the work we did last week with KTM in Almeria. We tested different aspects of the bike and were able to analyse different options. The result was very positive and the feeling on the bike is very good. Le Mans is a very nice circuit, but it rains a lot there. The grip is excellent in the dry, but when it rains that disappears completely. Also, it is always cold there and the track temperature is very low. In any case, we are all facing the same conditions, so we have to adapt to them. It will be a very difficult race. I have ridden very little in the wet with the KTM –just a few laps in testing. If the weather doesn’t favour us, then we will have to make the most of the entire weekend.”
“I come to this Grand Prix after an intense week of work in Austria alongside Fahmi [Zulfahmi Khairuddin]. I’ve also had some time to unwind by playing golf or hiking. That has been a good way to prepare for this Grand Prix. Hopefully this year the weather is good for us. Last season we did not have many dry sessions, and the track was slippery in the wet. In such conditions, the track isn’t really to my liking. if we are lucky and don’t have rain, however, is a really nice circuit. It has some corners with an interesting camber and some very fast corners as well; I like it. I have pretty good memories of Le Mans, even though we never rode here in the Red Bull Rookies Cup, as last season I placed fifth in the wet.”
“This past week I was with Arthur [Sissis] in Austria at the Red Bull DTC. It’s the first time I had been and I was impressed with my time there. Le Mans is a bit of a special track, because it doesn’t have many corners –and those that it has are either very closed or very fast. Last year I performed strongly in the French Grand Prix and I hope that this week I can do likewise from Friday onwards. We must try to get some good practice and qualifying sessions in order to have more of a chance in the race. We’ll see if we’re lucky and the weather helps us.”