Home win for Salom


Red Bull KTM Ajo rider triumphs at Circuit de Catalunya for his second consecutive win –his third this season. Zulfahmi Khairuddin and Arthur Sissis place inside top ten.

A great job by Red Bull KTM Ajo at the Catalan GP saw victory at round six of the Moto3 World Championship. Luis Salom took the win at home and was able to move into the lead of the overall standings. Zulfahmi Khairuddin, ninth, and Arthur Sissis, tenth, end the weekend happy with their performance in an intense weekend of work.

Never before had Salom won a round in Catalonia, but today he changed that with a stellar ride. Setting off from pole position, Salom immediately slotted into the lead group as part of a tough battle. He dropped down to sixth at one point, but moved back up the order and, with six laps remaining, the No.39 took charge. He crossed the line 0.211 ahead of second-placed Alex Rins.

Zulfahmi Khairuddin and Arthur Sissis were part of the second group, in which overtaking moves were exchanged between up to ten Moto3 riders. The battle for eight place was a hard one, with not a minute’s respite. In the end, Zulfahmi Khairuddin took ninth, making back six positions on the last lap. He was followed home by teammate Sissis in tenth.

The overall standings of the lower cylinder category is led by Luis Salom, with a 5-point advantage over Maverick Viñales. Zulfahmi Khairuddin lies seventh and Sissis fourteenth.

Results (Race)
1. Luis Salom (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 41:15.331
2. Alex Rins (KTM)   +0.211
3. Maverick Viñales (KTM)   +0.634
4. Alex Marquez (KTM)   +3.993
5. Efren Vazquez (Mahindra)   +6.243
9. Zulfahmi Khairuddin (Red Bull KTM Ajo) +21.240
10. Arthur Sissis (Red Bull KTM Ajo) +21.598

Moto3 World Championship
1. Luis Salom (Red Bull KTM Ajo)  127 points
2. Maverick Viñales (KTM)  122 points
3. Alex Rins (KTM)   101 points
4. Jonas Folger (Kalex KTM)   63 points
5. Alex Marquez (KTM)  48 points
7. Zulfahmi Khairuddin (Red BUll KTM Ajo) 40 points
14. Arthur Sissis (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 25 points

Luis Salom >> Audio
“It was a very good weekend for me and for the team. I think the free practice sessions were very important to our success today. We usually struggle a bit in them, but this weekend we took a step forward thanks to the work done with the team. I dedicate this victory to them, because without them I would not be here. During the race it was hard to stick with the leading group. I saw that we were riding in the 1:52s and I decided to move up to first and push. I was waiting to see what happened, but in the end it worked out. Sometimes it goes well and sometimes it doesn’t. Today it worked. I’m very happy.”

Arthur Sissis >> Audio
“The first few laps, with fresh tires, were tricky. I did not have the good feeling I had yesterday in the qualifying session and I could not push to stay with the leading group. I was left in the second group, where there was a great battle. That is why it was difficult to keep up with the pace. In the end I tried to do my best I could and we finished tenth. It is a very good position compared with the last few races, so we will continue on this path and fight to be closer to the first group.”

Zulfahmi Khairuddin >> Audio (English) // Audio (Malaysian)
“I’m pretty happy with my performance today. I started very well and I slotted in behind the faster riders. On some corners I could not follow them, especially in the fast sections, because I didn’t have enough confidence. Seven drivers escaped and I was left fighting in the second group. On the last lap I did a good job and made up positions. The team and KTM did a great job and the goal now is to do better in practice, working harder to ride more comfortably and be able to increase my confidence.”

Aki Ajo >> Audio (English) // Audio (Finnish)
“It was a really great race for us. Obviously, winning is always nice. For Luis [Salom] it was very important to score points and be up at the front, because although we are leading the standings, the season is long. We must remember that we are approaching the middle of the season and it is important to stay ahead, to get to the final races in front when the championship is at stake. Today was a special day, I had a very good feeling on the podium, because I think we have improved, especially Luis, during the last few races. They said he was a nervous rider and he is proving to be patient, calm, and in many races the most intelligent on track. It was also very important that Fahmi [Zulfahmi Khairuddin] and Arthur [Sissis] are back. We have suffered a lot this year, not finding a good feeling with the new bike as it is quite different to last year’s. We have changed many settings, their feelings are much more positive and now they can smile. Those two were amongst the top ten today, so it’s been a very good day.”

*Audio solely for radio use