Red Bull KTM Ajo ready to roll at “The Cathedral”25/06/2013
Red Bull KTM Ajo team head to historic Assen with Luis Salom as Moto3 series leader, plus Zulfahmi Khairuddin and Arthur Sissis inside the top ten.
The 65th Dutch TT takes place at the Assen Circuit this weekend. “The Cathedral of Motorcycle Racing” has held World Championship events since 1949, and will be the scene for the Red Bull KTM Ajo team’s attempt to continue a superb run of results in 2013. Luis Salom, Zulfahmi Khairuddin and Arthur Sissis come into round seven looking to extend the team’s podium form to 20 consecutive races.
Red Bull KTM Ajo’s Salom leads the Moto3 standings and has not been off the rostrum at the opening six races of the season. He won his second race in a row last time out, in Catalonia, and also holds a strong record at Assen. It was at the Dutch track, in 2011, that he took his first GP podium with second place in the 125cc race. Last season he was just off the podium after a great battle.
Zulfahmi Khairuddin earned his first fastest lap honour in a race in the last edition of the Dutch TT. He placed eleventh in that contest, and looks to be quickest right from Thursday this time around. He was very comfortable onboard his KTM at the last round of the series.
Arthur Sissis is a previous racewinner at Assen, having taken victory in the 2011 Red Bull Rookies Cup. The track is one of his favourites, and he comes into the race as a top ten finisher at the Catalan GP. He placed sixteenth at the 2012 Dutch TT.
In the traditional Dutch TT timetable, the event begins on Thursday with Free Practice sessions and the race takes place on Saturday.
Circuit information – Assen
Length: 4.542 m. / 2,822 miles
Width: 14 metres
Left corners: 6
Right corners: 12
Longest straight: 487 m. / 0,303 miles
“Assen is a track that I like and of which I have very good memories. In 2007 I got my first victory in the Red Bull Rookies Cup there, whilst in 2011 it was where I took my first World Championship podium and last year I was fighting for victory until the end. We’ll see how the race goes, but I guess it will be contested between a large group of riders at the front. It seems that the weather forecasts are not very good, but whatever happens it will be a very difficult race.”
“Assen is one of my favorite tracks on the calendar, because it’s very fast and has many high speed corners. It’s very nice and I enjoy myself a lot on the bike there. To me, it’s one of the best circuits around. There are different parts of the track that I love. There is a sequence in the middle of the track, of Turns 6, 7 & 8, where you go right, left, right very fast. It’s really fun, just like the final sector which is all-out on the gas. The final corner is also really great. In the Red Bull Rookies Cup, in 2011, I did a very good job there, with a win and a second place, so I hope to repeat that kind of performance this week.”
“This track is quite short and has a lot of corners —18—, with most of them very fast. I’ll have to give 100% and stay focused on every lap. I hope to be able to feel comfortable as quickly as possible, as we are very close to finding the perfect setup for my riding style. The first goal for the weekend is to be amongst the fastest riders in the first free practice sessions. Last year it was a good race for us and we got the fastest lap on the Saturday, so I hope this year is the same! On the first section of the track I was very fast, and that is my favorite part of the circuit. I’ll have to spend some time on improving the final sector, because on the fast corners there last year I found things a little tough.”