Bendsneyder and Antonelli take points on farewell to 2017 season


Red Bull KTM Ajo riders close the season with 12th and 14th place, respectively, as they end both the 2017 campaign and their time with the team.

The Red Bull KTM Ajo team concluded the 2017 Moto3 season with both riders taking the chequered flag at Valencia. Bo Bendsneyder was 12th and Niccolo Antonelli 14th, as the pair took points in the season finale. It was the final race for the pair with the team, before leaving for other ventures in the World Championship.

Bendsneyder fought to pursue the podium group at the start of the race, gradually giving chase to the riders at the head of the field. Although he would not be in contention for the rostrum come the end of the contest, the Dutchman’s good pace led him to battle for a spot in the Top 10. He would eventually cross the finish line in 12th position and add 4 points to his tally for the season. Bendsneyder leaves Red Bull KTM Ajo after two years, in which he has twice been on the podium.

Antonelli began in the same group as his teammate, despite the fact that a crash by another rider in front of him created a gap. Relegated to fighting for points rather than for a podium, Antonelli bested three other riders to clinch 14th. The Italian rider also departs the Red Bull KTM Ajo team, following a season in which his best result was a second place at Motegi.

At the end of the 18-round 2017 season, Bo Bendsneyder finishes 15th overall in the Moto3 World Championship with 65 points. Niccolo Antonelli was 18th with 38 points.

Aki Ajo – Team Manager
“The positive thing about the last Moto3 race of the year is that both riders finished the race and we took points, although of course we would have liked to have placed higher. Especially in Bo [Bendsneyder]’s case, this weekend he had the potential to be in the fight for the to positions, but he lost a bit at the beginning of the race and at this circuit we lack a bit of acceleration on the straights. If we stop to analyse it, then it’s likely his height and weight are the causes. I want to thank both riders and the team for all their work, and all the partners for making this 2017 season possible. Tomorrow we will begin motivating ourselves for the next campaign.”

Results (Race)
1. Jorge Martin (Honda) 40:02.193
2. Joan Mir (Honda) +3.760
3. Marcos Ramirez (KTM) +3.877
4. Romano Fenati (Honda) +3.953
5. Enea Bastianini (Honda) +3.999
12. Bo Bendsneyder (Red Bull KTM Ajo) +6.633
14. Niccolo Antonelli (Red Bull KTM Ajo) +16.100

Moto3 World Championship Standing 2017
1. Joan Mir (Honda) 341 points
2. Romano Fenati (Honda) 248 points
3. Aron Canet (Honda) 199 points
4. Jorge Martin (Honda) 196 points
5. Fabio Di Giannantonio (Honda) 153 points
15. Bo Bendsneyder (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 65 points
18. Niccolo Antonelli (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 38 points


“We weren’t able to be too fast this weekend. I’m not too happy with the result either, but I gave everything I had to try and have a good race. During the first six or seven laps I stayed with the group, although after a crash by another rider I lost contact a bit and then it was hard for me to close back the gap. I am very satisfied with my experience with Red Bull KTM Ajo. It has been a tricky season and we have struggled sometimes, but we have taken positives from those moments of suffering. I want to thank the whole team for this year. Now a new adventure begins for me, and I wish them all the best.”

“If we look at the times and the pace, then we had a good race. When Mir caught up I was able to follow him and reach the next group, although afterwards it was very difficult to overtake because I lost a lot of time on the straights. The feeling with the bike was very good and, although this was not the result we had been hoping for, it has been without doubt one of our best weekends. I want to thank all the Red Bull KTM Ajo team; I’ve learned a lot from them. We have experienced good moments and some bad ones too, but they have been there supporting me at all times. Now I have to take all of this experience and try to apply it to Moto2 next year.”