Third row for Bo Bendsneyder in Germany


Red Bull KTM Ajo rider to start from eighth at Sachsenring after a qualifying session with changing conditions. Danny Kent, 16th in the session, will take off from 28th after receiving a penalty.

The Red Bull KTM Ajo riders faced qualifying for the German GP on Saturday afternoon, and had tricky conditions to contend with in their quest for a strong position on the grid. The session was interrupted with 15 minutes remaining due to a brief downpour, after which Bo Bendsneyder –who had started well– was able to take advantage and set his fastest lap, finishing 8th. Danny Kent, who is standing in for Niccolo Antonelli in Germany, continued his good performance and finished 16th, although tomorrow he will start from 28th –tenth row– after a 12-place penalty incurred in FP1 yesterday.

The pair made a good start to the day, working on their pace with used tyres. Conditions remained dry in FP3, and both Bendsneyder and Kent remained within the Top 10 in the first ten minutes. On their last stint they ran new tyres, which allowed them to set their best lap times, with Bendsneyder 2nd –1:27.504– and Kent 6th –1:27.890.

With a high risk of rain in qualifying, the riders attempted their definitive laps early on in the session. It was a strategy that allowed Bendsneyder to place 5th in the opening stretch, although the Dutchman struggled to lower his time on his next stint. Fifteen minutes from the end, a few minutes of rain meant all riders returned to the pits, but as the surface dried it allowed for a final attack. Bendsneyder, who was among the first to go back out, took advantage to set his best time –1:27.297– and finish 8th in the session. Kent also set his 1:27.539 top time after the brief downpour and placed 16th, but will start from 28th on the grid. He was sanctioned yesterday for riding too slowly during FP1.

Tomorrow’s Moto3 race will be held at 11:00am local time. The last Red Bull KTM Ajo victory at Sachsenring was achieved by Jack Miller in 2014.

Results (Qualifying Practice)
1. Aron Canet (Honda) 1:26.688
2. Joan Mir (Honda) 1:26.933 +0.245
3. Nicolo Bulega (KTM) 1:26.981 +0.293
4. Marcos Ramirez (KTM) 1:27.186 +0.498
5. Tony Arbolino (Honda) 1:27.228 +0.540
8. Bo Bendsneyder (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 1:27.297 +0.609
16. Danny Kent (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 1:27.539 +0.851

“I am very happy with today. I’m pleased because the time in QP was set riding alone, without catching any slipstream. Also, after setting my fast lap I put in some more 1:27 laps. We have a good feeling for tomorrow’s race, so I’m motivated. I also have to say that, bearing in mind how the qualifying session went, I am satisfied with this eighth position. Tomorrow I think the start will be very fast and then the times will fall –a lot more than usual. I’ll do my best to try to finish at the front.”

“Honestly, I’m quite disappointed with sixteenth position in today’s qualifying. In the morning we had taken a step forward and I have a good feeling with the race tyre. In contrast, when it was time to look for a quick lap with the softer tyres we had more problems; I didn’t feel as comfortable riding. Also, after yesterday’s penalty we have lost 12 positions, so unfortunately we will be starting from very far back on the grid. There is no doubt that I will give my 110% in the race to climb as many positions as possible.”