Salom flies for pole at Phillip Island19/10/2013
Red Bull KTM Ajo rider takes second consecutive pole position. Zulfahmi Khairuddin claims spot on third row and Arthur Sissis on row six.
A magnificent qualifying session for Moto3 World Championship leader Luis Salom at Phillip Island gave the Red Bull KTM Ajo rider the top spot on the grid, with a time of 1:36.890. It is a second consecutive pole position and a fourth of the season for the Spaniard. Zulfahmi Khairuddin, ninth, will start from the third row after missing the last five minutes of the session and Arthur Sissis, sixteenth, will take off from row six.
In the third and final free practice of the weekend, the Red Bull KTM Ajo riders looked to put the finishing touches to their setups. Luis Salom and Zulfahmi Khairuddin waited until the final part of the session to improve their times from yesterday, whilst Arthur Sissis did so in the first twenty minutes. Salom set the fifth fastest time —1:37.530—, Zulfahmi Khairuddin was eleventh with a 1:37.775 and Sissis was seventeenth —1:38.046.
Luis Salom was one of the fastest on track right from the early stages of qualifying. In the decisive session of the day, the Red Bull KTM Ajo rider found a gap in traffic and clocked two excellent closing laps. Zulfahmi Khairuddin, ninth with a time of 1:37.685, could not complete the session after crashing with five minutes remaining, whilst Arthur Sissis was eventually sixteenth —1:38.111.
The fifteenth race of the year will begin tomorrow at 1PM local time. Luis Salom will be seeking his second consecutive win, Arthur Sissis to repeat his podium from last year. Zulfahmi Khairuddin will participate in the race after not having been able to do so in Sepang.
Results (Qualifying practice)
1. Luis Salom (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 1:36.890
2. Jonas Folger (Kalex KTM) 1:37.268 +0.378
3. Efren Vazquez (Mahindra) 1:37.292 +0.402
4. Maverick Viñales (KTM) 1:37.361 +0.471
5. Alex Rins (KTM) 1:37.382 +0.492
9. Zulfahmi Khairuddin (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 1:37.685 +0.795
16. Arthur Sissis (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 1:38.111 +1.221
Luis Salom >> Audio
“I’m happy, because after yesterday’s session with which I ended up not very satisfied, today I got what I wanted: A good pace for the race. I think we put in a good lap in the qualifying session, although it could have been better because I made a mistake in the final sector. We have the pace that we wanted, although I’m sure tomorrow it will be a difficult race and we shall have to fight hard on every lap.”
Arthur Sissis >> Audio
“This morning went pretty well, although I only rode with used tyres. The pace was steady and strong. This afternoon I did not feel equally comfortable and I was not fast enough.
Hopefully I can finish deciding on a setup in the warm up tomorrow and get back to a good pace. I want to have a good race in front of the fans.”
Zulfahmi Khairuddin >> Audio (English) // Audio (Bahasa)
“This was one of the best qualifying sessions I’ve had in the World Championship, but it is just a shame that I had that small crash late on which prevented me from completing it. I’m very happy with this ninth place, but will see if tomorrow we have some luck, make a good start manage to progress in the race. Hopefully we can keep up the pace we have set in qualifying.”
*Audio solely for radio use