Bendsneyder takes strong fourth place at Brno06/08/2017
Red Bull KTM Ajo rider claims best finish of the season so far, in very difficult conditions. Niccolo Antonelli places twenty-fourth.
The Czech Grand Prix was one of the most difficult of the year so far in terms of weather conditions. The race began on a completely wet surface, and ended with the asphalt completely dry. Bo Bendsneyder was able to adapt perfectly to the conditions, placing fourth and only missing out on the podium on the last lap. Niccolo Antonelli did not manage to get comfortable at any time, completing the contest 24th.
Rain falling before the Moto3 riders took to the grid lead to Race Direction declaring the race wet, with all the riders opting for cut slicks. From sixth position, Bendsneyder made a great start, completing the first lap in second position. The Dutchman escaped alongside Juanfran Guevara and the pair alternated spells in the lead until the final laps. With the track drier, the pair were caught by three other riders, with whom they battled for the podium. In a thrilling last lap fight for third place between three riders, Bendsneyder had to settle for fourth position.
For Niccolo Antonelli, the Czech GP was a very difficult 19 laps. The Italian, who had enjoyed a good warmup in dry conditions to place fifth, never felt comfortable in the race and was relegated to a large third group. He crossed the line 24th at Brno.
The second half of the 2017 season continues with the Austrian GP next week, a home round for Red Bull and KTM. There, Bendsneyder and Antonelli will start thirteenth -38 points- and nineteenth -16 points- in the overall standings.
1. Joan Mir (Honda) 44:41.314
2. Romano Fenati (Honda) +0.350
3. Aron Canet (Honda) +3.078
4. Bo Bendsneyder (Red Bull KTM Ajo) +4.598
5. Juanfran Guevara (KTM) +4.882
24. Niccolo Antonelli (Red Bull KTM Ajo) +25.143
Moto3 World Championship Standing 2017
1. Joan Mir (Honda) 190 points
2. Romano Fenati (Honda) 148 points
3. Aron Canet (Honda) 126 points
4. John McPhee (Honda) 93 points
5. Jorge Martin (Honda) 89 points
13. Bo Bendsneyder (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 38 points
19. Niccolo Antonelli (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 16 points
AKI AJO – TEAM MANAGER
“Today was a good race for Bo [Bendsneyder]. Unfortunately we lost out in the fight for the podium on the last lap, but in any case, I have to say that it has been a good weekend for him. He has shown very positive improvements over the last few races, and mentally every day he is getting stronger and stronger. We must continue in this way.
Niccolo [Antonelli] had a difficult race, but we have to understand that he came here having missed two races through injury. We have to wait until he recovers 100%.”
23 NICCOLO ANTONELLI
“I’m not happy with the race. It’s not that I expected to win because I’m still not fully fit, but I was hoping to add some points. I expected it, but I didn’t feel very good on the bike. I was sliding a lot when entering corners. I wasn’t comfortable in these wet conditions, although on other occasions I have been able to go fast.
The positive thing is that in the morning the bike went very well in the dry, which is important. We will do better at the next race and if it is dry, we have a good base. If it is wet we will work to understand what isn’t allowing us to be faster.”
64 BO BENDSNEYDER
“Today’s race was very difficult. The most positive thing is that the whole weekend went very well. We were competitive in all kinds of conditions. Unfortunately we finished fourth, when we had been fighting the whole race to be on the podium. The problem in the race was that on the last few laps, when the track was drying out, other riders came through at a better pace than us. It is not only a question of the bike, but also of the rider. I think this was the problem that meant we couldn’t follow them on the last two laps. In short, I gave my all, I finished fourth but in the end I think it has been a very positive weekend.”