Second row for Luis Salom and solid race pace


Spanish Red Bull KTM Ajo rider will start from fifth on the grid for the Italian GP. Zulfahmi Khairuddin will take off from row six and Arthur Sissis row nine.

The starting grid for the Italian Grand Prix was decided at midday at Mugello. Luis Salom will start from the second row in the fifth Moto3 race of the year, after qualifying fifth fastest in the afternoon session. Zulfahmi Khairuddin and Arthur Sissis also lowered their times in both sessions today, and will take off from eighteenth and twenty-fifth, respectively.

In the morning practice session, the three Red Bull KTM Ajo riders took important steps forward. The first to do so was Arthur Sissis, who headed the timesheet in the initial stages of the run and had bested his Friday top time within three laps. Likewise, Zulfahmi Khairuddin and Luis Salom were immediately on the pace, with the latter leading the way in the final minutes. Salom eventually placed second, Zulfahmi Khairuddin eighth and Sissis ninth.

The main course of the day came with qualifying, contested under sunny conditions, ambient temperatures of 20ºC and a track temperature of 34ºC. Luis Salom found a solid race pace for tomorrow, putting together a run of six laps in the 1’58s. Only traffic prevented him from improving his fastest lap of 1:58.129. Zulfahmi Khairuddin —1:59.804— was also satisfied with his pace, whilst Arthur Sissis —2:00.186— felt stronger in the morning run.

Should Salom, Zulfahmi Khairuddin or Sissis finish on the podium tomorrow, it would mark an entire year of rostrums for Red Bull KTM Ajo.

Results (Qualifying practice)
1. Jonas Folger (Kalex KTM) 1:57.603
2. Maverick Viñales (KTM) 1:57.669 +0.066
3. Alex Rins(KTM) 1:58.046 +0.443
4. Jack Miller (FTR Honda) 1:58.056 +0.453
5. Luis Salom (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 1:58.129 +0.526
18. Zulfahmi Khairuddin (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 1:59.804 +2.201
25. Arthur Sissis (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 2:00.186 +2.583

Luis Salom >> Audio
“That went well. It was a very good qualifying session, in which we found the pace that we were looking for —which is the important thing. I think that tomorrow we are ready for a good race. I was hoping to be a little higher up the order, but the entire team gave out all and that is what counts, so I’m happy with that. Let’s see what happens tomorrow.”

Arthur Sissis >> Audio
“I’m OK. The qualifying session was a little difficult. We made few changes to the bike and the track conditions were radically different from the morning, especially in terms of the heat. I didn’t have a good feel with the front end and found it hard to match my morning times. This afternoon we will work to see what we can change. I hope that tomorrow we can have a good race.”

Zulfahmi Khairuddin >> Audio (English) // Audio (Malaysian)
“I wasn’t expecting to qualify eighteenth for this race. We had worked very hard on our setup and, in fact, we found a good one in the morning session. However, I came up to a group of riders in qualifying and that made it tough. I am happy with my pace, as I was able to put in a lot of 2’00 laps when riding solo, and I also rode my hot lap by myself. I think that tomorrow, with any luck, things will be different for us. Overtaking here isn’t easy, but I will do everything I can to get the best finish possible.”


*Audio solely for radio use