Bo Bendsneyder starts Austrian GP in the Top 5


Dutchman finishes 5th on day of contrasts at Red Bull Ring, with FP1 taking place in the dry and FP2 in mixed conditions. Niccolo Antonelli places 17th.

The Red Bull KTM Ajo team started their home GP in Austria on Friday -a special event for partners such as Red Bull and KTM. Bo Bendsneyder maintained his good form from recent GPs, finishing the day as the fifth fastest rider. Teammate Niccolo Antonelli had more difficulties at the Red Bull Ring, closing day 17th. The afternoon session was affected by intermittent rainfall.

Rain held off in the first Free Practice session of the weekend, and the Red Bull KTM Ajo Moto3 riders were able to test some of the developments that KTM brought to Brno but had not tried out due to weather conditions. Bo Bendsneyder -fifth, with a 1:38.273 lap- continued his great form from recent GPs, always around the Top 5. Antonelli, on his first laps with a KTM at the Red Bull Ring, was not so comfortable, finishing seventeenth -1:38.854.

FP2 started with the track still partially wet after the rain that had fallen during Moto2 FP1. With wet weather tyres, Antonelli and Bendsneyder completed a very positive first stint, in which the Italian led the way before re-entering the pits. After a break to change to slick tyres, both riders improved as the track dried out, ending the session with Bendsneyder 11th -1:40.284- and Antonelli 14th -1:40.457. Despite this and due to some corners still being wet, they and the rest of the grid were not able to lower their morning times.

Tomorrow the Red Bull KTM Ajo riders will take part in qualifying for the Austrian GP, at 12:35pm local time.

Results (Combined practice time FP1-FP2)
1. Joan Mir (Honda) 1:37.549
2. Aron Canet (Honda) 1:37.903 +0.354
3. Marcos Ramirez (KTM) 1:38.013 +0.464
4. Enea Bastianini (Honda) 1:38.220 +0.671
5. Bo Bendsneyder (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 1:38.273 +0.724
17. Niccolo Antonelli (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 1:38.854 +1.305

“The truth is that I’m quite happy. Today in FP2 I had a good feeling with a wet track, which was important because in Brno we found it tough in these conditions. When we put slicks on I didn’t feel as comfortable because there were still wet patches on track and I had to be cautious. Like in the morning, we have lacked a little something to be able to go a little faster. I think tomorrow we can be stronger. I hope qualifying is dry and we can show an improvement in these good conditions.”

“FP1 went very well. From the beginning we maintained a good pace and we were very fast, so I’m quite happy. We improved step by step and we got back in the Top 5; It’s a very positive result after the good weekend in Brno. In the afternoon session, in the wet, things didn’t go badly, but I didn’t want to take risks while the track dried out. When we switched to slicks we were close to the Top 10, so I am very satisfied with this first day. Today we tried new developments for the bike and I felt more comfortable, so tomorrow we will use it again, without a doubt.”