Bendsneyder and Antonelli get back in action in Valencia


Bendsneyder sets fastest lap of two days of testing in Valencia, whilst Antonelli takes big steps forward in his adaptation to the KTM machine.

The current Moto3 Team World Champions returned to action this week at the Ricardo Tormo Circuit in Valencia, where they completed their most recent preseason test last November. Bo Bendsneyder and Niccolo Antonelli were satisfied with their work, with the Dutchman being the fastest of all the participants in the test with a 1:39.756 lap.

The pair had a difficult first day on Wednesday, with high winds and poor track conditions in the early hours of the test. Despite this, they completed 43 and 42 laps, respectively. With much more favourable weather on Thursday, both Red Bull KTM Ajo riders improved their times on Day 2. Antonelli -64 laps- was very happy with the behaviour of the bike, which he rode despite not being one hundred percent fit yet. Over the course of 74 laps, Bendsnedyer had a good feeling that is positive for the coming season, and on his final run clocked the fastest time of the test.

Content with their first contact of the year with the new KTM bike, the young pair of riders will be putting in further laps at the end of the month at the Jerez Circuit.

Aki Ajo – Team Manager
“I’m glad to be back at work and getting out on track again. We have been lucky with the weather; here in Valencia you never know what the weather is going to do in February. Yesterday it was very windy, but it was not bad conditions to start off the year. We had begun our testing with the new riders and the new bike in November, so we weren’t starting from scratch. Today, on the second day, there was much less wind. I am very satisfied with how we’ve started 2017; we’ve put a lot of kilometres in and got a lot of useful information for the next test at Jerez.”

#23 Niccolo Antonelli
“The test was good, but in the end we weren’t able to set a fast time. The most positive thing is that we have been able to try out many things, and this will work out very well for us. I’ve worked hard but it is still not enough, because my shoulder is not at 100%; we will see how it evolves ahead of the start of the season. The bike from now and that from November are very similar; things have changed as we have been testing things and introducing modifications. The KTM is a very good bike, but I still have to work more to understand it better.”

#64 Bo Bendsneyder
“The test went well. We had already tested the new bike in the test last year, so we were a little more prepared. The feeling is very good with this bike; the chassis allows for a smoother riding style and I think it suits my way of riding a bit more. I like it very much. We tried many things today and at the end of the day we had some problems that we were able to solve. We have set quite good times, so I’m happy. In the afternoon, as the temperature lowered, we tried to set a fast lap time but it was getting harder every time, even with new tyres. However, the pace was very good.”