Niccolo Antonelli performs at his best in Aragon


Italian Red Bull KTM Ajo rider enjoys his best Friday of the season, with third place on the first day of the Aragon GP. Bo Bendsneyder enters the Top 10 in eighth position.

The fourteenth Grand Prix weekend of the year began with Niccolo Antonelli showing his best form of the season. The Italian was third fastest in FP1 and fifth in an FP2 affected by the mixed conditions of the track at MotorLand Aragon. Bo Bendsneyder, in eighth, also had a good FP1, but did not want to risk things in the last session of day one at the Spanish track.

The overcast skies contained themselves early in the morning and let the Moto3 riders put in laps on a dry track for the opening 40 minutes. Antonelli and Bendsneyder started particularly well. The Italian had his best FP1 of the season, going third fastest -1:59.353- and, along with his teammate, keeping in the Top 10 at all times. Bendsneyder, eighth -1:59.701- after 17 laps, was also satisfied with the first session.

In the afternoon, both went out on track with cut slicks. They completed few laps, however, before returning to the pits to change to full slicks and a dry setup. On a track that continued to dry out as the minutes went by, Antonelli adapted best and finished the day with fifth position -2:00.077. The condition of the asphalt prevented both he and Bendsneyder -22nd, 2:01.026-, from lowering their morning times.

Moto3 qualifying takes place on Saturday from 12:35pm.

Results (Combined practice times FP1-FP2)
1. Aron Canet (Honda) 1:59.114
2. Joan Mir (Honda) 1:59.123 +0.009
3. Niccolo Antonelli (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 1:59.353 +0.239
4. Enea Bastianini (Honda) 1:59.406 +0.292
5. Jorge Martin (Honda) 1:59.429 +0.315
8. Bo Bendsneyder (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 1:59.701 +0.587


“I think this was the best Friday of the season, since I finished 3rd in the morning and 5th in the second session. In the first session everything went great, while in the second we only put in a very good fast lap, because with the track in mixed conditions I didn’t want to take too many risks. I’m focused on improving tomorrow, because some riders have been faster than us so far, and on being very strong in qualifying with the goal of getting back into the Top 10.”

“FP1 went very well; we were consistent and we set a good pace. In the afternoon it was more difficult to draw conclusions. We went out halfway through the session with dry tyres and we used them during the rest of session, completing more laps than race distance; in the end they were very worn down. I thought that it was not the best session to change tyres in, although many riders did so and improved a lot. The truth is that in the end the track was practically dry, but I preferred to be conservative and save giving my all for tomorrow. I don’t think we should look too much at FP2; we just have to take away that with a completely dry track we have been fast.”