Salom perfect in pursuit of pole


Red Bull KTM Ajo rider takes second pole position of the season for Catalan GP. Arthur Sissis and Zulfahmi Khairuddin improve for eleventh and sixteenth, respectively.


A 1:50.782 lap from Luis Salom gave pole position to the Red Bull KTM Ajo rider at the Circuit de Catalunya on Saturday. It will be Salom’s second of the season. Teammates Arthur Sissis and Zulfahmi Khairuddin found a better feeling with their bikes compared to yesterday and will start from rows four and six, respectively.

The three Red Bull KTM Ajo riders began the second day of practice for round six of the Moto3 World Championship with a final practice session. In excellent conditions, Salom was one of only three riders to break the 1:52 barrier. Zulfahmi Khairuddin and Sissis improved on their Friday times by more than a second.

In the main event of the day, qualifying, Salom broke the circuit record with a storming lap on his fourteenth time around. The Spaniard was the only rider to clock a time quicker than 1:51. Sissis —who today celebrates his eighteenth birthday— found a good setup for his bike and set a hot lap of 1:52.382 by himself. Zulfahmi Khairuddin also bettered his morning time, with a 1:52.568 lap.

Tomorrow’s race will take place at 11am local time.

Results (Qualifying practice)
1. Luis Salom (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 1:50.782
2. Alex Rins (KTM) 1:51.108 +0.326
3. Miguel Oliveira (Mahindra) 1:51.540 +0.758
4. Alex Marquez (KTM) 1:51.668 +0.886
5. Maverick Viñales (KTM) 1:51.802 +1.020
11. Arthur Sissis (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 1:52.382 +1.600
16. Zulfahmi Khairuddin (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 1:52.568 +1.786

Luis Salom >> Audio
“I’m pretty happy, although we will see about tomorrow, because it will be a very difficult race. It will be a very large group at the front, like in the race at Mugello, but I think we can be up there fighting. With the team we are trying to do the best job possible, not look at what others are doing, and then see the result of that. Aki [Ajo] is helping me a lot with his work.  During the practice I rode with used tires, trying to find a good feeling, and the truth is that I am also happy with that. It will be a bit of a mystery as to how they work in the race, because the timeslot is different to every other session”.

Arthur Sissis >> Audio
“At the beginning of the weekend could not ride fast and I thought I would not have a very happy birthday. But today we made some changes to the bike and I improved my riding. In the qualifying session I tried to follow some other riders in order to achieve a good lap, but I couldn’t find anyone and I went for it alone. I was surprised that I took that time by myself, so I’m pretty happy. For tomorrow I know I can get a good pace and I have a solid position on the grid, so I hope that in the race —although the first group is very fast— we can be in the second pack”.

Zulfahmi Khairuddin >> Audio (English) // Audio (Malaysian)
“We improved our lap times, but it wasn’t enough to get into the top ten, which was our aim. I am not far off, but we will have to keep focused and try to have a good race tomorrow”.


*Audio solely for radio use