Red Bull KTM Ajo begin title defense in Qatar22/03/2017
The 2017 World Championship will begin this weekend under the floodlights of the Losail International Circuit, with Niccolo Antonelli and Bo Bendsneyder on the Red Bull KTM Ajo bikes.
Sunday night in Qatar will kick off another year of Moto3 World Championship racing. The current World Champions in the class, Red Bull KTM Ajo, have a new pairing of riders for their defence, consisting of Niccolo Antonelli and Bo Bendsneyder, and a revamped look for their bikes. After a successful preseason in Valencia, Jerez and Qatar, the team start the official calendar with optimism and the desire to fight to be as high up the order as possible.
Niccolo Antonelli began last season with a win in Qatar GP -a result he will try to repeat this year. Bo Bendsneyder will also try to fight for the same goal as he starts his sophomore season, with the experience of Grand Prix podiums under his belt. After last week’s test at the Qatari circuit, the Red Bull KTM Ajo pair will hit the track this Thursday in the first Free Practice session, already thinking about Sunday’s race.
Although the weather forecasts predict rain for the whole weekend -a situation that would challenge the running of the GP- the action for the Moto3 riders will start as usual on Thursday. The race is scheduled for Sunday at 6pm local time.
Circuit information – Losail International Circuit
Length: 5.380 metres / 3.343 miles
Width: 12 metres
Left corners: 6
Right corners: 10
Longest straight: 1.068 metres / 0.664 miles
23 NICCOLO ANTONELLI
“We didn’t encounter the best conditions in the test of last week and we couldn’t finish off finding the definitive setup that we wanted. Despite this, we are happy with all the work we have done over these last few months. Here in Qatar there are still things to improve but I arrive here very calm, and also I have the best memory possible -of my victory of last year. We have three days left to finish getting the bike perfect before the race. We are close to the fastest riders in terms of times, and this gives me a lot of hope and encouragement, because I don’t think there is anyone who is above the others and in the race we want to be fighting with them. I hope it’s an entertaining race and we can get off to a good start this season.”
64 BO BENDSNEYDER
“This is one of the circuits that I like the most. Last week’s conditions were not suitable for much testing, because you couldn’t get the times you do when the track is in good shape. In preseason we have done many days of testing, we have obtained a lot of information and we have tried many things out. I can’t wait to start the competition, because I think we come in with a very good base. We will have to work hard to keep improving but we are really looking forward to it, because we can have a good weekend.”