Bendsneyder starts official test in Top 5


Red Bull KTM Ajo sets fourth best time on first day of opening official test of 2017 preseason. Niccolo Antonelli, nineteenth, continues his adaptation to the KTM at the Jerez Circuit.

A week after finishing three days of private testing in Jerez, the Red Bull KTM Ajo riders were back at the Spanish track today to start the first official preseason test for the Moto3 class. For the first time this year, Bo Bendsneyder and Niccolo Antonelli were able to ride alongside all of the rivals that they will face over the coming months.

As in private testing, the Dutchman was again one of the fastest riders, with the fourth best time of the day. Antonelli finished nineteenth after improving his fastest lap in the last hour.

A completely sunny day with high temperatures allowed the Red Bull KTM Ajo riders to go fast from the get-go in the first of three sessions. It was in this first hour that Bo Bendsneyder set his best lap -1:47.062. Content with the setup of his KTM, the Dutchman dedicated the next two sessions to testing new front end setups. A light crash at Turn 9 in the second session did not stop him from resuming his work completing the day.

Antonelli put important kilometres under his belt with 59 laps onboard his KTM. The Italian became more comfortable as the day progressed, and set his top time in the third session with a 1:47.785. Antonelli aims to improve his lines at Turns 4 and 7.

Tomorrow Bendsneyder and Antonelli will be back onboard their machines for the second of the three days scheduled for this week in Jerez.

Results – Combined Standings Day 1
1. Aron Canet (Honda) 1:46.465
2. Romano Fenati (Honda) 1:46.738 +0.273
3. Jorge Martin (Honda) 1:46.906 +0.441
4. Bo Bendsneyder (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 1:47.062 +0.597
5. Juanfran Guevara (KTM) 1:47.221 +0.756
19. Niccolo Antonelli (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 1:47.785 +1.320
#23 Niccolo Antonelli,
“It was a good first day. Putting in a lot of laps allows me to understand many things about how the KTM works. I’m happy with how the first day went, but there’s still a lot to do. Jerez has always been a track I’ve found a little difficult. If we change some things then we can go even faster tomorrow; the team are working well and I like the bike. I just need to find the ideal line on some corners, where I’m losing time.”

#64 Bo Bendsneyder,
“Today went rather well. In the first session, using the base setup, we were very happy with how things went. After that, we made some changes and it was a little harder for us. We will go back to the original setup tomorrow; we know it’s good and it allowed me to set a fast time easily, although at the end it was more difficult. Overall I’m happy with how the day went. We know what we have to work on; tomorrow we will try a long run with the base setup and try to improve our time and pace from today.”