Three rider Red Bull KTM Ajo lineup to ride at Le Mans17/05/2017
Niccolo Antonelli and Bo Bendsneyder will be joined for the French GP by Danny Kent, who will ride at the historic Le Mans circuit as a wildcard.
Known for its famous 24 hour motorsport events, Le Mans will open its doors for the Moto3 World Championship this weekend. A newly resurfaced Bugatti circuit, 4.185km in length, awaits the riders. The Red Bull KTM Ajo team come to the French GP with a one-off addition to their rider lineup, as regular riders Niccolo Antonelli and Bo Bendsneyder are joined by Danny Kent in a wildcard appearance.
A mistake on the opening lap and later contact with another rider at Jerez ended the chances of Antonelli getting the good result for which he had worked throughout the weekend. After a positive day of testing at the Andalusian circuit on Tuesday of last week, the Italian hopes to finish the race in France in the top group. Le Mans is a circuit that Antonelli likes, and his best result there is a fourth place from his rookie season in 2012.
Bendsneyder comes into the second European event of the season having taken his first points of the year at Jerez. In his first race at Le Mans last year, the Dutchman placed just outside the points, in sixteenth position. However, his main objective this weekend will be to do an excellent job in the Free Practice sessions and in qualifying, to allow him to fight for a top result in the race.
Red Bull KTM Ajo run a one-off third bike this weekend. Danny Kent returns to the structure where he raced in 2012 and 2014. After testing the KTM in last week’s test, the Briton will be able to continue helping the team in a Grand Prix scenario. This will be the first race in Moto3 for Kent since the Valencia GP in 2015.
The schedule for the French GP will follow European protocol, with the Moto3 race scheduled for 11am on Sunday. Last year, the Red Bull KTM Ajo team were victorious through Brad Binder.
Circuit information – Le Mans
Length: 4.185 metres / 2.600 miles
Width: 13 metres
Left corners: 5
Right corners: 9
Longest straight: 674 metres / 0.419 miles
23 NICCOLO ANTONELLI
“Le Mans is a circuit that I like. I like the layout and I am eager to try out the new asphalt to see how it behaves. We hope that the weather will be favourable, because traditionally it is a GP where rain makes its presence felt. The goal is always to strive to place as high as possible and we want to forget the mistakes we made at the last race. We have to be smart, not rush and be calm onboard the bike. I can’t wait to start the race weekend.”
64 BO BENDSNEYDER
“On Sunday at Jerez we took an important step forward, but we still didn’t finish where we would have liked to be. We have to keep working to consistently be in the front group. Little by little we will get there. The Le Mans circuit is one I like. Last year we didn’t get into the points, but I think it’s a track that can work out well for me. I hope we can get the same position we achieved at Jerez. For that to happen, it will be key to improve our work in the Free Practice sessions and in QP.”
52 DANNY KENT
“I’m really looking forward to the French GP. I like the Le Mans circuit and I enjoy riding there. Last week I was able to test in Jerez, to prepare for this wildcard appearance and familiarise myself with both the KTM and the team again. It is clear that I need a little more time to fully adapt to the bike, but considering that I only rode for one day, I think we did a great job. I will try to push at 110% and give the team a great result. I want to thank Red Bull, KTM and Aki [Ajo] for giving me this great opportunity.”