Salom works hard for Phillip Island podium20/10/2013
Red Bull KTM Ajo rider takes third at Australian GP and maintains World Championship lead. Zulfahmi Khairuddin places eleventh and Arthur Sissis sixteenth.
There was another podium finish for Luis Salom in the Moto3 World Championship —his twelfth of the season. The Red Bull KTM Ajo rider took third in a close Australian Grand Prix, retaining his lead in the overall standings with a five-point advantage over his nearest rival. Zulfahmi Khairuddin, who turns 22 today, returned to the points after missing the Sepang race, and Arthur Sissis finished his home GP in sixteenth position.
Salom made an excellent start from pole position and decided to attempt to pull away. After leading the first six laps, the Spanish rider then chose to hang back in the leading group. On the closing laps, Salom began to pick off his rivals, but a scare on the final lap took away his chances of the win and he crossed the finish line in third.
Zulfahmi Khairuddin moved up two places at the start, but conceded them again as he swerved to avoid another rider. Despite this, the Red Bull KTM Ajo man was part of the group in the struggle for the ninth, in the end taking five points for his season tally with eleventh place. Arthur Sissis, who recovered six places on the opening sector of Lap 1, reached the group containing his teammate and finished just outside the points, in sixteenth place.
The Moto3 World Championship heads to Japan next week, with Luis Salom leading the overall standings by 5 points over Alex Rins. Zulfahmi Khairuddin is tenth —65 points— and Arthur Sissis twelfth —59 points.
1. Alex Rins (KTM) 37:40.375
2. Maverick Viñales (KTM) +0.003
3. Luis Salom (Red Bull KTM Ajo) +0.178
4. Alex Marquez (KTM) +0.502
5. Jack Miller (FTR Honda) +0.601
11. Zulfahmi Khairuddin (Red Bull KTM Ajo) +15.974
16. Arthur Sissis (Red Bull KTM Ajo) +16.665
Moto3 World Championship
1. Luis Salom (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 300 points
2. Alex Rins (KTM) 295 points
3. Maverick Viñales (KTM) 278 points
4. Alex Marquez (KTM) 175 points
5. Jonas Folger (Kalex KTM) 147 points
10. Zulfahmi Khairuddin (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 65 points
12. Arthur Sissis (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 59 points
Luis Salom >> Audio
“It was a very good race, very fun. However, on the final lap I had a problem and almost fell. Despite that, we were able to get on the podium and that is the important thing. These points are going to be very important for the championship and that is why we are working so hard. We have two races remaining and it will be a hard end to the season, but we will be fighting on every lap left.”
Arthur Sissis >> Audio
“The truth is that it was a very difficult race. I made a very good start and was amongst the top ten on the first few corners, but at Turn 4 Oliveira fell and another rider touched me. That set me back and I struggled to regain lost ground in the second group, because at this circuit it is very difficult. Eventually I got there, but if I had more laps remaining I could have improved my position.”
Zulfahmi Khairuddin >> Audio (English) // Audio (Bahasa)
“I think I had a reasonably good start, but on the fourth corner of the first lap there was a crash in front of me and a large group of riders almost stopped. I got back to the leading group, but then the others began overtaking and lap after lap I lost ground. The positive thing is that I’m well recovered physically, so I want to thank the doctors and physiotherapists. Also I need to thank the team, because the bike worked very well and the times were what we wanted. Looking ahead to the next races, I have to improve my first lap to keep with the front group and be more prepared for the race. I hope to be just as strong in Japan.”
Aki Ajo >> Audio
“This was a good race for Luis [Salom], who was fighting all the way. As at every race this year, it was a tough battle, because there were many riders in the leading group and several had possibilities of winning the title. Unfortunately, this time Luis did not win, but you cannot always be at the top of the podium. We have to be content with the third position and the fact that we did our best. It seems that on the last slow corner he had a problem with the front and lost the chance of the win. I’m happy for Fahmi [Zulfahmi Khairuddin], because he’s had a hard time since the crash at Aragon and was very strong again. This has been one of the best weekends of the year for Fahmi. We hope to continue in this way at the two remaining races. Arthur [Sissis] made very good start and, like Fahmi, was slowed down when avoiding another rider. He made a great effort to recover the distance and managed to catch the second group.”
*Audio solely for radio use