Misfortune in qualifying for Can Öncü


Red Bull KTM Ajo Moto3 rider to start from eighth row of the grid in Argentina, after crash at end of Q1.

Attempting to build on a positive first encounter with the Termas de Rio Hondo circuit the previous day, on Saturday Can Öncü and the Red Bull KTM Ajo Moto3 team took part in qualifying for the Argentina Grand Prix. The young Turkish rider managed to improve on his personal best from Friday by almost a second, but a crash in the final part of Q1 halted his progress. He will begin Sunday’s race from 23rd on the starting grid.

Before qualifying, the Moto3 field enjoyed a third Free Practice session in the morning, and at the beginning of that session Can Öncü had already managed to lower his previous best lap time. The Red Bull KTM Ajo rookie eventually put in a total of 15 laps, the best of which was a 1:50.425. Whilst he continued to adapt to a new track, his time placed him 23rd, and thus he would have to participate in Q1.

In fourth place heading into the final minutes of the Q1 session, the Turkish rider suffered an untimely crash that left him outside the cut-off point for Q2. He was ninth on the timesheet with a time of 1:50.234, meaning that he will start from 23rd on the grid.

The 21-lap Moto3 Argentina GP gets underway at 12pm local time on Sunday, it’ll be the second race of the 2019 season.

Results Moto3 Qualifying session
1. Jaume Masia (KTM) 1:48.775
2. Aron Canet (KTM) 1:49.094 +0.319
3. Tony Arbolino (Honda) 1:49.122 +0.347
4. Lorenzo Dalla Porta (Honda) 1:49.128 +0.353
5. Niccolo Antonelli (Honda) 1:49.160 +0.385
23. Can Öncü (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 1:50.234 (Q1 time)


“The qualifying was quite difficult for us. We weren’t able to ride faster and tomorrow we will start from 23rd. We were hoping for a better position but we must be positive; today we have gained experience at the Termas de Rio Hondo circuit and put in further kilometres with my bike. We mustn’t forget that I’m a rookie. Tomorrow I will give my all; I’m looking forward to taking a good result.”