Bad luck for Bendsneyder and Antonelli in Austria


Red Bull KTM Ajo Moto3 riders suffer crashes at Red Bull Ring, after great work throughout the weekend.

The Red Bull KTM Ajo team experienced misfortune to round off their home GP in Austria. Bo Bendsneyder and Niccolo Antonelli crashed eight and nine laps from the end, respectively, after the former had led the race in the opening stages. The result put a dampener on a positive weekend, in which the pair had enjoyed some very good practice sessions.

The race played out in a similar fashion to the Czech GP last weekend, with Bendsneyder taking the top spot on the second lap and maintaining the position during the next three laps. Part of a group fighting for the podium, Bendsneyder maintained a steady pace within the Top 10 until, with eight laps to go, he suffered a crash at Turn 1. Antonelli experienced the same bad luck, just one lap before his teammate, when another rider collided with him at Turn 4 when he was into the points and gaining places.

The Red Bull KTM Ajo riders will stay at the Red Bull Ring for a day of testing tomorrow. The next race take place in two weeks’ time, at the British GP from August 25th-27th.

Aki Ajo – Team Manager
“The final result is a shame because it had been a very good weekend in Moto3. Especially for Bo [Bendsneyder], who has proven to be very fast all the time and very consistent. Even at the start of the race he was incredibly fast. It’s a shame that he crashed, as in Moto3 you make a mistake and you pay dearly for it. It has also been a positive Grand Prix for Niccolo [Antonelli]. His fitness is better and he has been able to fight more. We have to be positive and think that last year we had a great race at Silverstone, so we have to try to repeat that.”

Results (Race)
1. Joan Mir (Honda) 37:23.124
2. Philipp Oettl (KTM) +3.045
3. Jorge Martin (Honda) +3.377
4. Livio Loi (Honda) +3.385
5. Aron Canet (Honda) +3.502
DNF. Bo Bendsneyder (Red Bull KTM Ajo)
DNF. Niccolo Antonelli (Red Bull KTM Ajo)

Moto3 World Championship Standing 2017
1. Joan Mir (Honda) 215 points
2. Romano Fenati (Honda) 151 points
3. Aron Canet (Honda) 137 points
4. Jorge Martin (Honda) 105 points
5. Fabio Di Giannantonio (Honda) 95 points
13. Bo Bendsneyder (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 38 points
20. Niccolo Antonelli (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 16 points

“I made a good start to the race, but at the second braking point another rider hit me and I almost fell down -I was lucky to stay on the bike. That put me behind, but thanks to the work done in practice I was able to recover the lost ground to the large lead group. When I was very close to reengaging with them again, another rider hit me and that time I couldn’t do anything to save the crash. I hope our luck changes at the next GP and we can take a good result.”

“The start was really good. When the group caught up with me it was very difficult to maintain the lead, because on the straight it was hard to follow them. I had to gain time on the brakes and, unfortunately, I slowed down before a corner and couldn’t avoid John McPhee. I want to apologise to him, because it was my mistake. I hope he’s ok. Overall I think it has been a very positive weekend. From this race we have learned that riding alone we are very competitive, but in group battles it is difficult for us to follow others on the straights. We need to find something that will help us to improve ahead of the next race, because the path we are following is a good one.”