Bendsneyder and Antonelli sign off Jerez test satisfied


Red Bull KTM Ajo Moto3 riders complete first official preseason test with 11th and 16th best times, respectively, on the combined timesheet.

Bo Bendsneyder and Niccolo Antonelli took a further new step forward with the setup of their KTM bikes on Friday, in preparation for the first race of the season in Qatar in two weeks’ time. Despite the high temperatures at the Spanish track, the Italian in particular made big progress. On the combined final standings for the three days of testing, Bendsneyder was 11th and Antonelli 16th.

Both Bendsneyder -1:46.869- and Antonelli -1:47.052- completed their best laps in the first hour, just before temperatures started to rise. Both focused their work on front end setup, and Antonelli also looked at his seating position. His 1:47.174 lap in the second session, which saw temperatures hit 45ºC, put him third. He would sit out the final afternoon session.

Next week Red Bull KTM Ajo will travel to Qatar for the final three days of official testing this preseason, on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

Results – Combined Standings Day 3
1. Nicolo Bulega (KTM) 1:46.264
2. Aron Canet (Honda) 1:46.338 +0.074
3. Jakub Kornfeil (Peugeot) 1:46.473 +0.209
4. Marcos Ramirez (KTM) 1:46.506 +0.242
5. Gabriel Rodrigo (KTM) 1:46.519 +0.255
12. Bo Bendsneyder (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 1:46.869 +0.605
15. Niccolo Antonelli (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 1:47.052 +0.788

Results – Combined Standings Days 1-2-3
1. Nicolo Bulega (KTM) 1:46.232
2. Aron Canet (Honda) 1:46.338 +0.106
3. Jorge Martin (Honda) 1:46.415 +0.183
4. Jakub Kornfeil (Peugeot) 1:46.473 +0.241
5. Romano Fenati (Honda) 1:46.486 +0.254
11. Bo Bendsneyder (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 1:46.806 +0.574
16. Niccolo Antonelli (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 1:47.052 +0.820

Aki Ajo – Team Manager: “Although we had the new bike very early in the preseason, the new parts have been arriving with time and we have tried out many things in the different tests. The conditions that we have encountered here at Jerez have not been easy, with a lot of heat on the track, but they have given us a lot of information. I’m happy because this will help us prepare for the coming races, where we will find hotter conditions.”

#23 Niccolo Antonelli: “In the last session everything went better and we took a step forward; that’s important because on the first few days we weren’t so happy. There is a lot of work still to do, but I think we know what we need to work on, and we are clear that although we can’t improve so much from one day to the next, we are on the right path. The bike has improved, I have improved and the team have also understood very well where we had to work. We have hit the right spot and that is a very positive thing. I am satisfied with the test overall, even though on the first few days we struggled a little.”

#64 Bo Bendsneyder: “The feeling on the bike is very good. In the morning we tried many things and it went well -we set a good hot lap and were also very consistent with our times. We found things hard in some places and we had to fight a lot. We didn’t do a “time attack”, because we had so many things to try. At Qatar we will have other things to work on; it’s a different circuit, with many fast corners, and we will try to prepare well for that.”