Antonelli earns spot on second row at Silverstone


Red Bull KTM Ajo rider matches best qualifying result of the year with fifth place. Bo Bendsneyder finishes seventh.


The Red Bull KTM Ajo team had a positive qualifying session on Saturday at Silverstone. Both riders took places in the Top 10, with Niccolo Antonelli in fifth -equalling his best result of 2017 from Qatar. Bendsneyder confirmed his good pace from yesterday and finished seventh.

The track at Silverstone began the day with a wet surface and low temperatures typical of British GP weather. The Moto3 riders went out with cut slicks, although the track dried out and allowed some riders to switch to slicks for the final minutes. Bo Bendsneyder and Niccolo Antonelli were not amongst them and completed the entire session with the same set, finishing in fifteenth -2:26.914- and twenty-second position -2:27.472-, respectively.

Things returned to normal in qualifying and the Red Bull KTM Ajo riders were able to run slicks again. Bendsneyder was in the Top 5 from the start, while Antonelli held back. As is customary in Moto3, the top seven positions were decided on the last lap of the session. Both riders, separated from a large group, clocked great laps. Antonelli completed his best lap of the weekend to date and was fifth -2:13.466-; Bendsneyder finished seventh -2:13.578- just 1 tenth off his teammate.

Extraordinary, tomorrow’s Moto3 race will change from its usual schedule and begin at 12:40pm local time. Antonelli and Bendsneyder will try to repeat Red Bull KTM Ajo’s results from last year, when Brad Binder and the Bendsneyder himself occupied first and third positions, respectively.


Results (Qualifying session)
1. Romano Fenati (Honda) 2:12.846
2. Joan Mir (Honda) 2:12.962 +0.116
3. Gabriel Rodrigo (KTM) 2:13.049 +0.203
4. John McPhee (Honda) 2:13.398 +0.552
5. Niccolo Antonelli (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 2:13.466 +0.620
7. Bo Bendsneyder (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 2:13.578 +0.732


“We started qualifying with a little doubt because I still had the feeling in the wet in mind; I didn’t feel comfortable, so we couldn’t be as strong as we wanted. After the first trip back to the garage, the feeling I had was better and I improved my time, but the best lap we did was on the third stint. I managed to break away a little from the big group and set an almost perfect lap. I’m happy about how the session went and how the bike works in the dry; I hope tomorrow’s race will be run in the same conditions.”

“Today we had a good qualifying session. I was very consistent –especially in the first run when I put together several 2:13 laps. That’s positive. Also, the last lap was not bad either. Maybe I expected a bit more, it you always need a bit of luck during qualifying and this time we didn’t have it. I think our pace is not bad and we have a fighting spirit for the race. Tomorrow there will be a large group at the start, of between 10 and 12 riders, and from there we will see what happens.”