Salom keeps up momentum at Sachsenring


Red Bull KTM Ajo rider takes second fastest time overall and puts in strong pace on day one of German GP. Zulfahmi Khairuddin and Arthur Sissis finish day satisfied, in eleventh and seventeenth, respectively.

Current Moto3 World Championship leader Luis Salom was one of only two riders to breach the 1:28 barrier on day one at Sachsenring. The Red Bull KTM Ajo rider was fastest in the morning session and had an excellent afternoon session, in which he was only bested by Alex Rins. Arthur Sissis was inside the top ten at the end of the first session, dropping down to seventeenth later on, whilst Zulfahmi Khairuddin ended the day in eleventh.

The story of the last three Grands Prix was repeated this Friday in the opening session. Under a cloudy sky, Luis Salom began strong in Germany. He took the best time of the session with a new circuit record of 1:28.069 –also putting together a run of five laps in the 1:28s. Arthur Sissis was seventh in the morning with a time of 1:28.886, in an excellent showing at a track not amongst his favourites. Zulfahmi Khairuddin placed twenty-second in the morning, dedicating his first 40 minute runout to testing parts for his KTM.

The experiment paid off and the Malaysian improved his best lap by over a second in the afternoon, taking the eleventh best time. Arthur Sissis was fifteenth (seventeenth overall) after clocking a 1:28.861 lap, whilst Salom was second quickest with a 1:27.588 lap. The Spanish rider also put in four consecutive laps under the 1:28 mark.

After a final free practice session tomorrow, qualifying will take place at 12:35pm, local time.

Results (Combined practice time FP1-FP2)
1. Alex Rins (KTM) 1:27.208
2. Luis Salom (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 1:27.588   +0.380
3. Efren Vazquez (Mahindra) 1:28.212   +1.004
4. Isaac Viñales (FTR Honda) 1:28.227   +1.019
5. Maverick Viñales (KTM) 1:28.252   +1.044
11. Zulfahmi Khairuddin (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 1:28.639   +1.431
17. Arthur Sissis (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 1:28.861   +1.653

Luis Salom >> Audio
“The truth is that the first day went pretty well. We had a very good pace for four laps in the 1:27s, after a little scare that forced me off-track. This is the most important thing, because it was in the session in which the conditions are most similar to those in the race. I think I could have gone a little faster, because I felt very comfortable, so tomorrow I will try to do that. Also I found the secret I needed to go quicker in the first sector, which was always hard for me. I’m happy and calm, because we are all trying to do the best job possible.”

Arthur Sissis >> Audio
“It was not a bad first day to this Grand Prix. In fact, I think from now on I will like this circuit a little more. In the first session I was pretty fast and I got some good times, and I found a quick pace right from the start of the session. Over the next 40 minutes we made some changes on the bike to try things out, but it has not given us a better feeling than we had in the morning session. So tomorrow we’ll switch back to the settings from the first practice session and I think we will go better.”

Zulfahmi Khairuddin >> Audio (English) // Audio (Malaysian)
“Without a doubt, I’m happy. We found a good setup for the KTM in the second free practice session and I could push from the beginning to the end. The bike is working very well and I am very satisfied with how my team is working. I think we can improve a bit on our best time. It is true that the two riders at the top are a little faster than the rest, but hopefully we can improve at least half a second on our times –I think it can be done.”

*Audio solely for radio use