Husqvarna take first Moto3 World Championship podium17/08/2014
Danny Kent claims first podium of the year for Red Bull Husqvarna Ajo, fighting back from 19th place. Niklas Ajo finishes just 1 second behind the winner in twelfth.
The Czech Republic Grand Prix ended with a great result for Danny Kent and Niklas Ajo. The British rider achieved his first podium of the season with third place at Brno and Husqvarna’s first in the Moto3 World Championship. His top three finish was all the more impressive considering he had to work his way back up the order from 19th. Meanwhile, Avant Tecno Husqvarna Ajo rider Niklas Ajo concluded a tricky weekend with an meritworthy twelfth place, just 1 second behind the winner of the race.
The start did not go as expected for the Husqvarna riders, who lost positions on the first of the 19 laps of the Czech Republic GP. Despite this, they did not lose touch with the first group and stuck with the pack from the beginning. The first half of the race saw Kent and Ajo at the back of that group, consisting of as many as 17 riders, but with 9 laps to go Kent began to make his way through the field. A couple of scares dropped him to ninth with one lap remaining, but an excellent final sector allowed him to score his first podium of the season.
Ajo continued steadily at the rear of the pack. Despite trying to gain positions, contact with other riders ruled him out of any further advancement. Finally he crossed the line in twelfth place.
With the eleventh round completed, Danny Kent occupies eleventh position in the overall standings with 66 points. Niklas Ajo is fifteenth with 39 points after scoring 4 today. The next round takes place in two weeks in Great Britain -a home round for the Red Bull Husqvarna Ajo rider.
Results – Race
1. Alexis Masbou (Honda) 40:59.759
2. Enea Bastianini (KTM) +0.157
3. Danny Kent (Red Bull Husqvarna Ajo) +0.187
4. Alex Marquez (Honda) +0.200
5. Jack Miller (Red Bull KTM Ajo) +0.217
12. Niklas Ajo (Avant Tecno Husqvarna Ajo) +1.061
Moto3 World Championship Standing 2014
1. Jack Miller (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 169 points
2. Alex Marquez (Honda) 146 ponts
3. Efren Vazquez (Honda) 145 points
4. Romano Fenati (KTM) 135 points
5. Alex Rins (Honda) 125 points
11. Danny Kent (Red Bull Husqvarna Ajo) 66 points
15. Niklas Ajo (Avant Tecno Husqvarna Ajo) 39 points
Danny Kent >> Audio (solely for radio use)
“It was a very good and very tough race, because there was a very large group and on the first few laps I was struggling to overtake other riders. I lost more positions than I gained and I ended up in 19th. Gradually I managed to overtake one or two riders per lap and moved up into the first group. With two laps remaining I was fourth or fifth and felt comfortable about fighting for the victory. But I had a scare and dropped back to ninth on the final lap. I had to push hard, I nearly crashed twice more, but in the end we have our first podium of the year. It is a very good result for me, for the team and for Husqvarna, who have always worked very hard. It was about time we got on the podium!”
Niklas Ajo >> Audio (solely for radio use)
“This morning I was fourth in the warmup, because I had very good pace and a good feeling. But the race was much harder. We had a problem with our top speed. I think I did not quite work out the best way of cornering, because I’m a bit bigger than other riders. I had the opportunity to overtake people under braking, but then on the straight the smaller riders got past me again. There were also riders who were a little crazy and didn’t have any problem with making contact with you in order to make a pass. That made it a difficult race, because one of those times I lost a couple of seconds. I was always at the back of the group. I was able to latch back onto the group, but as I was always at the back it was hard to place higher.
Still, our feeling was good. At the next few races everything is possible, and we have at least shown our level today. We cannot be disappointed because on the last lap I was able to overtake a few riders and in the end we were not so far from the winner. Obviously we want better results, but we have to work especially on our cornering to try to find the top speed we lack. The goal for the next race is this.”