Zulfahmi Khairuddin lands his best grid position of the year


The Malaysian Red Bull KTM Ajo rider will start tomorrow in fourth position at Misano, while Luis Salom will start from the fourth row and Arthur Sissis from the sixth.


It was a great qualifying session for Zulfahmi Khairuddin, who, for the first time this season, will start from the second row of the grid at the San Marino and Riviera di Rimini Grand Prix. The Red Bull KTM Ajo rider achieved the fourth best time with a 1:43.657. Current championship leader Luis Salom continued to work while thinking about the race to land the tenth fasted time, giving him a fourth row start for tomorrow. Two places back from Salom will be Arthur Sissis, who landed the eighteenth spot on the grid.

The morning session saw Arthur Sissis pace seventh fastest, proving that he had done his homework since yesterday by improving his pace significantly in the first sector of the San Marino track, a stretch where he was losing time the first practice day. Thanks to this improvement, the Australian rider found a good pace and on the last trip out of the box during qualifying put his name in the top ten with a 1:43.967. Zulfahmi Khairuddin lowered his best time from the day before by half a second to put him thirteenth.  Meanwhile Luis Salom paced in sixteenth position with a best time of 1:44.616, taking advantage of the practice to test various setup changes and to recover lost time after a crash yesterday .

The qualifying practice did not start well for Zulfahmi Khairuddin, who fell in turn 11 on the third lap. This did not slow him down, and the Malaysian rider returned to the garage and got quickly back on track. He used the remaining time to an excellent result, demonstrating an almost perfect lap and superb pace on his final lap pace to clock a best time of 1:43.657. Luis Salom clocked in at 1:43.960 and Arthur Sissis at 1:44.405 in qualifying and both are waiting for tomorrow’s warm up session to iron out some final configuration points on the KTM for the race .

The twelfth Moto3 round of the year starts tomorrow at 11.00h. In last year’s San Marino GP, Salom placed second.


Results (Qualifying practice)
1. Jonas Folger (Kalex KTM) 1:42.707
2. Alex Rins (KTM) 1:42.768 +0.061
3. Maverick Viñales (KTM) 1:43.171 +0.464
4. Zulfahmi Khairuddin (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 1:43.657 +0.950
5. Niccolo Antonelli (FTR Honda) 1:43.727 +1.020
10. Luis Salom (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 1:43.960 +1.253
18. Arthur Sissis (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 1:44.405 +1.698


Luis Salom >> Audio
“Overall today I felt more comfortable than yesterday after the crash. We have to find the right way forward still, but I am calm because we are pretty clear about what we need to do and how. Even though this morning I didn’t find the feeling like I had before, we are on the right path. We know that tomorrow will be a very hard race and very difficult, but we will try. I will give everything to make it a good race.”

Arthur Sissis >> Audio
“The qualifying practice didn’t go too well, this morning I was much faster in the final practice session. During the last part of qualifying, with new tires, Luis [Salom] and I went out together to try to help each other out, but we didn’t get the same times as the morning session. But with the lap times we had this morning, we know we can do well in the race. We just need to make a good start and twist the throttle.”

Zulfhami Khairuddin >> Audio (Eng) // Audio (Bahasa)
“In the free practice sessions we were pretty good and in the qualifying, we made a good lap that put us in fourth. We had a good strategy with the tires and I only made one mistake in the first time out, which led to a crash. I’m very happy because this is the result of hard work from the whole team, who came together to figure out the best setup and basically let me concentrate on my riding. This fourth position gives me confidence for the rest of the season. I hope to finish the weekend fighting in the leading group and finishing the race in a good position.”


*Audio solely for radio use