Salom fourth at wet Motegi


Red Bull KTM Ajo rider takes spot on second row in wet qualifying. Zulfahmi Khairuddin on fifth line with thirteenth place and Arthur Sissis trailing in nineteenth on row seven.


The Red Bull KTM Ajo riders were finally able to turn a wheel at Twin Ring Motegi on Saturday, clinic link but had to wait until qualifying for conditions to be viable at the Japanese track. A fully wet track held the opening session of the GP, cheapest in which Luis Salom was fourth fastest forr a second row start tomorrow. Zulfahmi Khairuddin —thirteenth— and Arthur Sissis —nineteenth— will line up on rows five and seven, pharm respectively.

The Moto3 riders had 55 minutes in which to fight for grid spots for tomorrow. After not having had a chance to ride in any of the scheduled practice sessions, Salom, Zulfahmi Khairuddin and Sissis had to adapt quickly to the wet track. Rain was also present intermittently during the session, in which Salom put in his 2:10.656 best time on his penultimate lap. Zulfahmi Khairuddin’s 2:11.793 and Arthur Sissis’ 2:12.335 were both contributed on their final time around.

Dry conditions are forecast for tomorrow’s race, scheduled to start at 11am local time. Luis Salom enters the GP with a 5 point advantage in the overall standings, with 50 in play.

Results (Qualifying practice)
1. Alex Rins (KTM) 2:09.387
2. Maverick Viñales (KTM) 2:10.310 +0.923
3. Alex Marquez (KTM) 2:10.313 +0.926
4. Luis Salom (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 2:10.656 +1.269
5. Jack Miller (FTR Honda) 2:10.671 +1.269
13. Zulfahmi Khairuddin (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 2:11.793  +2.406
19. Arthur Sissis (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 2:12.335  +2.948

Luis Salom >> Audio
“The qualifying session went well. I took a long time to get a good feeling in the wet, and only got it at the end of the session.  Fourth on the grid is not bad. I wanted to do two or three more laps at the end to improve my time, but nevertheless I’m happy with the result.”

Arthur Sissis >> Audio
“The truth is that it was a very difficult qualifying session. Yesterday and today we could not ride and also today practice was cancelled, so we got on the bike for the first time at this GP in qualifying. The track was very wet and I tried to ride with care on the early laps. During the last minute I tried to push, but it rained and the track was much wetter , so I was not as fast as I would have liked. Hopefully tomorrow the race is dry and we can go quicker.”

Zulfahmi Khairuddin >> Audio (English) // Audio (Bahasa)
“At the beginning of the session it was not bad, and I felt really good on the bike. Nevertheless, at the end of the run I had strange feelings about the conditions and was not sure whether it was wetter or drier. I thought nobody was going to improve their times on the closing laps. Honestly, I expected to be in a slightly better position, but thirteenth place is not bad. Tomorrow we will try to keep improving and hopefully the weather will do so too. Hopefully, tomorrow will be our race.”

*Audio solely for radio use