Salom second place extends Championship lead


Red Bull KTM Ajo rider takes eighth consecutive podium and extends his lead in the Moto3 World Championship standings to 14 points. Top ten for Arthur Sissis and sixteenth position for Zulfahmi Khairuddin at Sachsenring.

In a spectacular eighth Moto3 race of the season, Luis Salom took second place for the Red Bull KTM Ajo team. The Spanish rider goes into the summer break with a perfect podium record so far this season, and with a 14 point lead over second-placed Maverick Viñales in the overall standings. Arthur Sissis, tenth, achieved his third consecutive top ten finish, whilst Zulfahmi Khairuddin —sixteenth— came close to the points.

The current World Championship leader held his starting position —second— on the first lap of the race. Patient, the Red Bull KTM Ajo rider rounded off the leading group, joining Alex Rins and Viñales as he decided upon his strategy. With four laps remaining, Salom launched a strong attack on Rins, although on the on the penultimate corner of the race his rival got past him for the victory.

Arthur Sissis and Zulfahmi Khairuddin had a good first leg of the race, riding in the third group. A pack of up to eight riders battled over the course of 27 laps for ninth place. After intense riding and hard overtaking, Sissis repeated his top ten finishes from Catalunya and Assen, adding six points to his tally. Meanwhile, Zulfahmi Khairuddin came home in sixteenth position.

After this race, the Moto3 World Championship takes a summer break of almost five weeks —with Luis Salom leading the class with 4 wins and a total of 8 podiums and 172 points. Zulfahmi Khairuddin, eleventh, has 40 points, one more than teammate Arthur Sissis in twelfth.

Results (Race)
1. Alex Rins (KTM) 39:34.735
2. Luis Salom (Red Bull KTM Ajo) +0.232
3. Maverick Viñales (KTM) +0.248
4. Miguel Oliveira (Mahindra) +4.982
5. Alex Marquez (KTM) +5.201
10. Arthur Sissis (Red Bull KTM Ajo) +18.447
16. Zulfahmi Khairuddin (Red Bull KTM Ajo) +23.845

Moto3 World Championship
1. Luis Salom (Red Bull KTM Ajo)   172 points
2. Maverick Viñales (KTM)   158 points
3. Alex Rins (KTM)   142 points
4. Jonas Folger (Kalex KTM)   81 points
5. Alex Marquez (KTM)   70 points
11. Zulfahmi Khairuddin (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 40 points
12. Arthur Sissis (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 39 points

Luis Salom >> Audio
“I think we can be very happy, because we have eight podium finishes from eight races and four wins. It was a shame not to win today, but I still think I have to improve as a rider from here to the end of the season, because today it was my fault that I lost the race. I never fully got used to the first sector, which needed improvement. In this category all victories are tight and your strategy does not always work. Today it was like that, so I’ll have to think a little more in the following races. All three of us have the same bike and are very fast, so it’s hard trying to escape. I thought I could save the tyres a little, but they ended up very similar to those of the others.”

Arthur Sissis >> Audio
“It was not a bad race, but the problem is that starting from the fifteenth position really was a handicap. The opening laps did not go quite right, I lost a lot of time, but when I caught the group I I felt better and I rode pretty well after that. Folger was not far away from us and when I caught him I tried to pass —but it was not possible. I believe that if we had started from a better grid position, I could fight to finish higher up. Now I have to fight to get a better qualifying spot for the next race.”

Zulfahmi Khairuddin >> Audio (English) // Audio (Malaysian)
“Early in the race I rode pretty well in the group, but from mid-race onwards I started to have some problems on the slow corners. Many riders overtook me and I had to stay with them, because I could not keep my pace up. I ended up losing touch of the group and I am disappointed with this result, but I want to stay positive and I am sure that after the summer break, on our return for the Indianapolis Grand Prix, we will be back with the front riders.”

Aki Ajo >> Audio (English) // Audio (Finnish)
“Again it was a great Moto3 race and also a great performance by Luis [Salom]. We must be very grateful and happy to be once again on the podium. Eight podiums and four wins —you cannot ask for more. When it seems that your goal is winning, a second position is not sufficient, but we must be very satisfied with the result today and learn from it. For the championship this has been a good race, since we leave Germany in better shape than before arriving here. Now have before us a lot of work in this summer break, to try to be even stronger in Indianapolis. I am very happy with Arthur [Sissis] because this weekend, and in recent races, we have made an important step forward. He is consistent, with a good pace. The first laps were difficult, but when he caught the group he was fast. Arthur just has to be concentrate on qualifying better and starting better. If he does that, he’ll be up at the front. Fahmi [Zulfahmi Khairuddin] has also turned things around, after a heavy crash and difficult weekend in Assen. He has improved a lot and I’m happy with his start. Something happened as the laps went on, which we need to analyse. He had some good lap times, but not for the whole race. We will try to improve that.”

*Audio solely for radio use