Bo Bendsneyder to start last race of the year from fourth row


The Dutch rider will start 10th in Valencia, with his teammate Niccolo Antonelli starting a row further back, from 14th position.

The Red Bull KTM Ajo team undertook their final Moto3 qualifying session of the 2017 season this Saturday, amidst favourable conditions at the Ricardo Tormo Circuit. Bo Bendsneyder obtained tenth position on the grid, to start from the fourth row, whilst Niccolo Antonelli’s 14th position put him on the fifth row. Both improved their times from Friday.

The Moto3 riders encountered better conditions this morning than yesterday in FP1, and both Bendsneyder and Antonelli lowered their previous best times by at least half a second in the session. The Dutchman was back into the top positions, leading the timesheets with 15 minutes to go. He would eventually place fifth -1:39.504. Antonelli was twentieth -1:40.299.

The duo put on fresh tyres for qualifying, ready to look for a fast lap from the start. Bendsneyder took the lead twice during the session, and on his last outing he matched his morning time to take tenth place. Antonelli steadily improved, clocking his best time of the weekend -1:39.826- on his penultimate lap. He finished 14th, and will start from one row behind his teammate.

Tomorrow Bendsneyder and Antonelli will look to extend the Red Bull KTM Ajo Moto3 team’s good record at the Ricardo Tormo Circuit, where they have four victories from the last five races. The last race of the year will be held at its usual time of 11:00am local time.

Results (Qualifying)
1. Jorge Martin (Honda) 1:38.428
2. Joan Mir (Honda) 1:38.873 +0.446
3. Gabriel Rodrigo (KTM) 1:38.976 +0.548
4. Tatsuki Suzuki (Honda) 1:39.308 +0.880
5. Enea Bastianini (Honda) 1:39.319 +0.891
10. Bo Bendsneyder (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 1:39.536 +1.108
14. Niccolo Antonelli (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 1:39.826 +1.398


“I’m not too happy, since we were not able to go as fast as we would have liked. The positive thing is that we have set fairly consistent times, and that is positive for the race. We will try to improve our cornering tomorrow, even though we have to improve little in other aspects. Here it will not be easy to ride in the top positions, although we will seek to be among the Top 10 and will do our best in this farewell to the team.”

“I’m happy with the pace we had in qualifying, since I set my best time alone, although I’m a bit disappointed by the final position. We just didn’t have the luck to get a slipstream on the last laps. I had the feeling that having a rider ahead of us could have made a difference. In the end, 10th position riding alone is not bad and our pace is similar to that of some of the fastest riders. Tomorrow I would like to get on the podium; It’s my last race with the team and in Moto3, and I have the feeling that we can have a good race. In this class you never know what can happen, so we’re going to try everything.”