Unhappy ending to an excellent season


Luis Salom just misses out on Moto3 title after crashing out in fight for victory. Red Bull KTM Ajo rider finishes in fourteenth, just behind teammate Zulfahmi Khairuddin. Arthur Sissis places eighteenth.


Luis Salom suffered misfortune in the final race of the Moto3 World Championship in Valencia today. The Spanish rider crashed on lap 15 of the race, leaving him out of the battle for the title. Salom got back on track to cross the line in fourteenth place, just behind teammate Zulfahmi Khairuddin. Arthur Sissis was eighteenth.

 An excellent start from the Spanish rider put him in the lead on the opening corner. With 24 laps ahead, a frenetic finish was predicted. Salom exchanged the lead with Maverick Viñales, up until Turn 5 of lap 15 –when he lost front end grip and went to ground. The Red Bull KTM Ajo rider picked his bike back up to finish the race, but only pride was at stake by that point. He came in fourteenth ahead of his home fans.

 Zulfahmi Khairuddin also made a strong start, sticking in ninth place. After keeping the position throughout the race, late on he experienced pain from his recent injury and was forced to drop his pace. His teammate, Arthur Sissis, took off from 23rd, but moved up through the order to finish in eighteenth.

 The 2013 season ends with Luis Salom third overall, with 302 points. He was the rider with the most victories in the class this year. Zulfahmi Khairuddin concludes the year twelfth, with 68 points. Arthur Sissis takes fifteenth with 59 points.

Luis Salom >> Audio
“It’s been a really nice season –very special. I want to thank all of my team for what has been the best year of my life. I’ve learnt a lot in this team. I also want to thank Maverick [Viñales] and Alex [Rins], because I have grown enormously as a rider. They deserved the title just as much as I did. I am happy to have won the most races this season –it’s a big thing for me. This year has been great and I want to thank everyone for their support and for being by my side. I can’t say much more, because this has been a hard end to the season.”

 Arthur Sissis >> Audio
“It wasn’t a good race for me. I made a good start, but on the first lap I lost a lot of time with the riders I had ahead of me. As the races went by I felt better and found more feeling. I set my fastest time on the final lap. It wasn’t my best season this year, but I enjoyed myself a lot. I want to thank Aki Ajo and all of the Red Bull KTM Ajo team for the opportunity that they have given me. These two years have been the best of my life and I wouldn’t change them for anything. Everyone has helped me, I’ve grown as a rider and believed in myself. Thank you.”

 Zulfahmi Khairuddin >> Audio (English) // Audio (Bahasa)
“I made a good start, sticking in ninth place at the start of the race and then tried to reach Antonelli. In the end I wasn’t able to catch the group ahead and was riding alone. On the final laps I was a little lost and had some pain in my hands –above all in my right wrist. However, that’s not an excuse for me. I have enjoyed myself a lot with this team and want to thank everyone, because I have spent some of my best moments with Ajo Motorsport from 2011 to now. I have grown a lot as a rider and learnt a lot. Thanks to everyone at Ajo Motorsport, and Aki (Ajo) in charge of the structure, because they have worked very hard. Congratulations to Luis Salom for this year, because he has had a very good season. Thanks to everyone.”

Aki Ajo >> Audio (English) // Audio (Finnish)
“This season has been very good and both Luis (Salom) and the team have improved a lot, but obviously I am very disappointed. I’m not disappointed with Luis, but the whole team is feeling down. We had the chance to win and this time we didn’t manage it. This year has been really great, he has done a very good job and we have enjoyed working together, because he is a great guy. I am sure that within a few hours we will feel much more positive and be able to enjoy the season that we have had. We’ve learnt a lot from each other.

 Zulfahmi Khairuddin and Arthur Sissis maybe didn’t have their best race of the year and they are a little disappointed, but they have also had a great season. Things have turned out that way and we have to put things in perspective, so I am grateful to the team, the riders and our partners, because I think that once again we have had a great campaign. We will keep working hard in 2014 and will be even stronger.”

*Audio solely for radio use