Niccolo Antonelli inside Top 10 on first day in Austin


Red Bull KTM Ajo rider finishes the first two Free Practice sessions for the Red Bull Grand Prix of the Americas in tenth place. Bo Bendsneyder goes twenty-second fastest.


Two weeks after the most recent Moto3 round in Argentina, the series is back in action –this time in North America. The lower cylinder class riders are in the United States this week for Red Bull Grand Prix of the Americas, which takes place in Austin, Texas, and on Friday they put in their opening laps of the circuit in two Free Practice sessions. On the combined timesheet for these sessions, Red Bull KTM Ajo riders Niccolo Antonelli and Bo Bendsneyder finished tenth and twenty-second, respectively, with both lowering their times in the afternoon session.

In the first outing on track for the Moto3 field at the Circuit of The Americas, the Red Bull KTM Ajo riders only returned to the pits once during the 40 minute session. Bendsneyder was very focused from the beginning, always amongst the Top 10 fastest riders. After his only stop of FP1, he clocked a best time of 2:19.500, putting him 12th after a total of twelve laps.

Antonelli finished 17th in the first Free Practice session, making steady improvement. The Italian rider reduced his time by a second after his trip to the garage, achieving a best time of 2:19.655 after completing the same number of laps as his teammate.

Following the same strategy as in the morning session, Antonelli took little time to improve his previous best –doing so before he made a stop in the pits. However his best lap of the day was set on his penultimate attempt: A 2:18.384. Bendneyder, who made two stops, put in his best time of 2:19.029 on his final lap, improving his FP1 time by half a second and placing him twenty-second.

Qualifying for the Red Bull Grand Prix of the Americas takes place tomorrow at 12:35pm local time. Antonelli and Bendsneyder will try to improve their respective fifth and sixth row starts from the last round.


Results (Combined practice time FP1-FP2)
1. Aron Canet (Honda) 2:16.750
2. Joan Mir (Honda) 2:17.486 +0.736
3. Romano Fenati (Honda) 2:17.632 +0.882
4. Jorge Martin (Honda) 2:17.671 +0.921
5. Juanfran Guevara (KTM) 2:17.778 +1.028
10. Niccolo Antonelli (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 2:18.384 +1.634
22. Bo Bendsneyder (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 2:19.029 +2.279


“The session this morning was very difficult because I couldn’t ride the bike as I wanted. Especially under braking, I couldn’t turn when I wanted to and it was hard for me to take the rest of the corner well. In the break between sessions we made the appropriate changes and we improved a lot in this aspect. However, today I made a lot of mistakes and when we did a long run of laps I wasn’t consistent enough either. Tomorrow we will have to complete many more laps, ride fast and consistently and finish outlining the setup.”

“This morning didn’t go badly and I felt comfortable riding. In fact, I’m happy with the FP1 we had. I wanted to keep going in the same way in the afternoon. However, we started FP2 with difficulties and although we detected where the problem is, we weren’t able to solve it today. We just have to improve this aspect that is letting us down and we will make a big step forward. Now we will look at the data and everything else to analyse and see which way we have to go, in order to prepare for tomorrow.”