Deserved fifth row for Fernandez at Sachsenring

14/07/2018

Red Bull KTM Ajo stand-in qualifies fourteenth on the grid for Sunday’s German GP.

Raul Fernandez had an excellent qualifying session in Germany on Saturday, carrying on from a good start to the round at Sachsenring. After a FP3 session in which he looked to improve his pace, in the afternoon he clocked his best lap of the weekend so far to claim fourteenth on the grid. He will start from the fifth row, courtesy of his best qualifying result in the 6 Grands Prix he has contested to date.

In the morning, Fernandez focused on finding a good pace with used tyres, with Sunday’s race on his mind. In addition, significant track time allowed him to further learn the nuances of his KTM bike. After 19 laps, his top time was a 1:28.008 that put him 24th in the session.

In the qualifying session the Spaniard maintained his progress, keeping close to the Top 15 throughout. After two pit stops, on his third and final stint and with 6 minutes remaining, he made the most of his new tyres to set a best lap of 1:27.027 on his final attempt, clinching 14th on the grid.

With this great qualifying result, the Red Bull KTM Ajo rider hopes to round off the good work done with the team throughout the weekend in the 27-lap race, which will start at 11.00am local time tomorrow. The Red Bull KTM Ajo team won the Moto3 German GP in 2012 and 2014.

Results (Qualifying Practice)
1. Jorge Martin (Honda) 1:26:434
2. Marcos Ramirez (KTM) 1:26.494 +0.060
3. Enea Bastianini Honda) 1:26.499 +0.065
4. Jaume Masia (KTM) 1:26.696 +0.262
5. Aron Canet (Honda) 1:26.740 +0.306
14. Raul Fernandez (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 1:27.017 +0.583

#25 Raul Fernandez
“I am very happy with the result today. Yesterday we saw that we could improve, but today in FP3 we struggled a bit despite confirming that we have a good pace with used tyres. That made me go into qualifying with some doubts. The last lap in qualifying was not perfect, especially on the last sector went I got caught up with another rider, but I am happy with the result and the lap time we set. It’s my first time with this team and I want to thank them for the opportunity, because I’m having a great weekend. It is difficult to know how to handle these qualifying sessions, as there is a lot of strategy involved. I’ve come here from riding in the FIM CEV at a circuit where slipstreams are important, and I had the mentality that in the World Championship it would be the same, but as Aki [Ajo] says, here at Sachsenring you can ride by yourself just fine. I need to listen to the team a little more and enjoy tomorrow. My goal will be to enter the Top 10 and not let the front group get too far away.”

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