Wet conditions hinder qualifying for Can Öncü


A heavy storm suspends the morning activity at COTA and Can Öncü will start the Red Bull GP of The Americas from the seventh row of the grid.

The weather had a big impact on the Saturday action at the Circuit of The Americas, with heavy rain and lightning forcing the cancellation of FP3. That meant that Red Bull KTM Ajo Moto3 rider, Can Öncü, would have to compete directly in Q1. In the 15 minutes available in that session, he placed sixth, just missing the cut -as only the four fastest riders go to Q2. The Turkish rookie will take off from the seventh row of the grid on Sunday in 20th position.

Intense rain greeted the Moto3 riders in the morning, forcing the delay and eventual cancellation of Free Practice 3 for all three classes. Although it rained again at the start of the qualifying, the sessions were run normally. The Red Bull KTM Ajo rookie faced the tough challenge of riding in wet conditions at a new track for him. Can Öncü set a personal best of 2:36.490 and tomorrow he will start from 20th place on the grid.

The 17-lap Red Bull Grand Prix of The Americas starts tomorrow at 11am (local time). Red Bull KTM Ajo Moto3 team have previous podium experience at the Texan track: a victory in 2014 with Jack Miller, and a further pair of third positions, thanks to Luis Salom in 2013 and Brad Binder in 2016.

Results Moto3 Qualifying session
1. Niccolo Antonelli (Honda) 2:31.346
2. Raul Fernandez (KTM) 2:31.847 +0.501
3. Gabriel Rodrigo (Honda) 2:32.129 +0.783
4. Jaume Masia (KTM) 2:32.144 +0.798
5. Darryn Binder (KTM) 2:32.221 +0.875
20. Can Öncü (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 2:36.490 (Q1 time)


“The qualifying session was going pretty well; we were inside the positions that would have taken us into Q2, but were edged out on the final lap. However, I’m happy because we rode well in the wet. Tomorrow we will be starting from 20th position, but the race is very long -and will feel even longer if it ends up raining. We have to stay focused and relaxed. We qualified better than in Argentina and that is something positive. Regardless of the weather conditions, I will do my best to try to get a good result.”