Third pole of the season for Salom

12/10/2013

Red Bull KTM Ajo rider takes top spot in qualifying at Sepang. Zulfahmi Khairuddin will take off from fifth row and Arthur Sissis, ambulance capsule row seven.

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After pole positions at Qatar and Montmelo, viagra Luis Salom took top spot number three of the season on Saturday at Sepang. The Spaniard put in the fastest lap in qualifying practice —2:13.867. Teammate Zulfahmi Khairuddin again made a huge physical effort to overcome pain and take a place on the fifth row, unhealthy in fourteenth. Arthur Sissis will begin the Malaysian GP two rows back, from nineteenth.

A strong pace and a new circuit record were both achieved by Salom in the final free practice session. The Red Bull KTM Ajo man was the first rider out on track, and worked hard for the entire 40 minute session. It was on his thirteenth lap that Salom set the new circuit best, with a 2:13.280 lap. Arthur Sissis —2:15.205—, twelfth, and Zulfahmi Khairuddin —2:15.471—, fifteenth, also lowered their times from yesterday.

The mixed track conditions at the Sepang Circuit did not aid the riders in the afternoon qualifying run, but was not enough to put the Red Bull KTM Ajo men off progressing.  Salom again showed great pace, riding alone and becoming one of the two only riders to breach the 2:14 barrier. On his twelfth lap, a great final sector allowed him to set a time of 2:13.867 which nobody could match. Zulfahmi Khairuddin waited until the racing line had dried completely before going out, repeating his weekend best time of 2:15.474. Sissis —2:15.587— was unable to improve his best time so far.

The Moto3 race begins at 1pm local time. Last year, Zulfahmi Khairuddin claimed his first World Championship podium finish and a best result for a Malaysian rider in Grand Prix racing at this event.

Results (Qualifying practice)
1. Luis Salom (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 2:13.867
2. Alexis Masbou (FTR Honda) 2:13.985 +0.118
3. Niccolo Antonelli (FTR Honda) 2:14.006 +0.139
4. Miguel Oliveira (Mahindra) 2:14.067 +0.200
5. Alex Marquez (KTM) 2:14.329 +0.462
14. Zulfahmi Khairuddin (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 2:15.474 +1.607
19. Arthur Sissis (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 2:15.587 +1.720

Luis Salom >> Audio
“We improved a lot compared to yesterday —with both our setup and my riding. This is important. I took a step forward which I had been lacking at the last two races, which is something I value highly. Tomorrow we will try to continue in this way, whatever the conditions. We will give our all and try to have the best race possible, whether in the wet or in the dry. Then we shall see what result we manage to get.”

Arthur Sissis >> Audio
“That did not go as well as I had hoped. The start of the session was difficult, because the track was still wet. Later it dried out gradually. I was not able to go fast enough. It is possible that tomorrow’s race will be in the wet, so we will be starting more or less from zero. If it is dry, then we will attempt to improve and experiment with some different setups in warmup.”

Zulfahmi Khairuddin >> Audio (English) // Audio (Bahasa)
“Qualifying was very difficult. We have improved our setup a lot compared to the final free practice and I am very happy with the performance of the bike. However, at one point on the track I could not push as hard as I wanted, because my hands still lack a little strength. We will continue with the rehabilitation program in order to be as ready as possible for tomorrow. I hope that we can have a good result and be strong throughout the eighteen laps.”

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