Red Bull KTM Ajo return to work on wet Friday at Brno


Bo Bendsneyder and Niccolo Antonelli end opening day of practice for the Czech GP twelfth and twenty-first, respectively, in wet conditions.


The Moto3 World Championship season resumed this Friday at the Automotodrom Brno, bringing an end to the summer break. Red Bull KTM Ajo riders Bo Bendsneyder and Niccolo Antonelli did not have an easy day, due to rainfall throughout their allotted track time. Both improved their lap times in the afternoon session, and Bendsneyder placed twelfth and Antonelli twenty-first. The latter was back onboard his KTM bike for the first time since an injury ruled him out of action at Assen and Sachsenring.

Rain had a considerable effect on the Red Bull KTM Ajo Moto3 riders’ plans in FP1, right from the start. Bo Bendsneyder and Niccolo Antonelli went out with cut slicks in order to find a good feeling in this conditions, and were always amongst the Top 10 -albeit with different strategies. The Dutchman went on a continuous 16-lap run, whilst the Italian made one return to the garage to adjust his setup. Bendsneyder was seventh -2:23.971- and Antonelli eleventh -2:24.749-.

Free Practice 2 was a tougher session. Both riders struggled to improve their lap times, and were unable to do so until the final 15 minutes, in which they put on new wet tyres. The track dried out on the final laps, although the surface presented a high risk of crashes. The Red Bull KTM Ajo pair were twelfth -Bendsneyder with a 2:22.762- and twentieth -2:23.556 for Antonelli-.

The weather forecast for Saturday is for clear skies. Qualifying takes place at 12:35pm local time, and Niccolo Antonelli has experience of taking pole position at Brno: He did so for the 2015 Czech GP.


Results (Combined practice time FP1-FP2)
1. Joan Mir (Honda) 2:20.819
2. Aron Canet (Honda) 2:21.288 +0.469
3. Adam Norrodin (Honda) 2:21.331 +0.512
4. Andrea Migno (KTM) 2:21.657 +0.838
5. Manuel Pagliani (Mahindra) 2:21.763 +0.944
12. Bo Bendsneyder (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 2:22.762 +1.943
21. Niccolo Antonelli (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 2:23.556 +2.737


“I felt ok physically in these wet conditions, although I feel that I lack some strength in my right arm. We will have to see if I feel the same way in the dry, or if I struggle more. I think that we gave a fairly good showing today, so we’re happy with this first day of practice. The work we did today will help us if it rains on Sunday, as the forecasts say. I think it will be easy for me to adapt because in the rain I ride well; in mixed conditions not so much, but we will work on this. Now we have to wait and see what the weather is like tomorrow.”

“Today didn’t go badly; FP1 was good. FP2 was more difficult because the track was drying out and I didn’t feel the same as this morning, but overall it was a positive day. We couldn’t use slicks during the last few laps because there were areas that were still wet. In theory we will ride in the dry tomorrow, so we will start from scratch, but we hope to do a good job. The forecasts for Sunday are for rain, so if all the forecasts are right we will set up the race prepared for any conditions. We’ll see what happens.”