First contact for Husqvarna riders with Le Mans16/05/2014
Danny Kent and Niklas Ajo undertake first two practice sessions for French Grand Prix and conclude twenty-first and fifteenth, respectively.
The rain typical of the French Grand Prix this year gave way to a sunny first day of practice at Le Mans. Danny Kent and Niklas Ajo experienced completely different days on track; whilst the Briton was unable to find the best setup for his bike by the end of the afternoon, the Finn felt comfortable from the first free practice session onwards. Kent and Ajo concluded Friday in twenty-first and fifteenth, respectively.
For Danny Kent, today’s workload was focused on adjusting the setup of his bike. Throughout the day, the Red Bull Husqvarna Ajo rider continuously tested out options to offer him improved feeling on corner exit. In the opening session he was twentieth with a time of 1:45.700. In the afternoon he would reduce that by more than a second for a 1:44.538 and twenty-first place.
The Avant Tecno Husqvarna Ajo rider adapted to the favourable track conditions quickly and, from the first minutes of free practice onwards, was up amongst the ten fastest riders in the first session. He claimed ninth with his final lap, a 1:45.149. In the afternoon, Ajo would shatter that time with a 1:44.251, putting him fifteenth. He also set a 1.44 pace for five consecutive laps –impressive for a first day.
Tomorrow morning will see the final Moto3 practice session at the historic French track, and afternoon qualifying session starting at 12.35pm local time.
Results (Combined practice time FP1-FP2)
1. Alex Marquez (Honda) 1:43.395
2. Alex Rins (Honda) 1:43.436 +0.041
3. Jack Miller (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 1:43.443 +0.048
4. Isaac Viñales (KTM) 1:43.529 +0.134
5. Enea Bastianini (KTM) 1:43.545 +0.150
15. Niklas Ajo (Avant Tecno Husqvarna Ajo) 1:44.251 +0.856
21. Danny Kent (Red Bull Husqvarna Ajo) 1:44.538 +1.143
Danny Kent >> Audio (only for radio use)
“To be honest, this hasn’t been our best start to a Grand Prix, because we are struggling with the setup. We had a few difficulties with exiting the corners, which is something that has already happened to us a few times this season. We will sit down to try to solve the problem ahead of tomorrow. We can’t be outside the Top 20 –we need to demand more from ourselves. We know where the problem lies, so tomorrow we will need to work hard. I am sure that we will be back on top this weekend.”
Niklas Ajo >> Audio (only for radio use)
“In the second practice session I felt better than in the first, because the pace was much faster. I am less than a second off the top, which is not much. We need to resolve a problem on Turn 8. I think that I need to change my line, because every year the same thing happens to me; it’s a tough corner for me, so we need to find a better way of taking it. We could also do a little better with the front end. We have had some problems under braking, but there has been a lot of improvement. I am happy with the pace, it’s only the first day and we are already close to the frontrunners.”