Can Öncü solid on hot Friday at Jerez


Young Turkish rider completes two positive Free Practice sessions on the opening day of the Red Bull Grand Prix of Spain.

Sun and high temperatures had an impact on proceedings on Friday at Jerez, the first day of the Red Bull Grand Prix of Spain. Can Öncü nevertheless completed the first two Free Practice sessions in encouraging fashion, and continued to make progress throughout. He was just 1 second off the top time on the combined timesheets.

Can Öncu used a two-stop strategy in the 40-minute FP1 session, lowering his lap times on each stint. The Red Bull KTM Ajo Moto3 rider completed a total of 16 laps, setting a best time of 1:47.843 on his final attempt at moving up the order.In FP2, 25ºC ambient temperature and 41ºC on the ground made riding sweltering work for the Turkish rookie, although he would still gain valuable experience in the afternoon practice. He stopped the clock in 1:48.087 in that session and placed 23rd overall, thanks to his time from FP1.

Tomorrow morning, Can Öncü will have one last Free Practice in which to put more laps under his belt. In the afternoon, the starting grid for the Spanish showdown will be decided in qualifying at 12:35pm (Q1) and 1pm (Q2).

Results (Combined practice times FP1 – FP2)

1. Niccolo Antonelli (Honda) 1:46.795
2. Tatsuki Suzuki (Honda) 1:46.888 +0.093
3. Raul Fernandez (KTM) 1:46.953 +0.158
4. John McPhee (Honda) 1:47.052 +0.257
5. Aron Canet (KTM) 1:47.076 +0.281
23. Can Öncü (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 1:47.843 +1.048


It was a tough day because of the heat. However, we have been able to take a big step forward compared to other circuits. I know the European tracks better, so we could take advantage of that knowledge to keep progressing. I’m learning more about the bike all the time and the understanding I have with the team is constantly improving, which is very positive. In general, I’m satisfied with the work we have done today and how the day went. We lack experience, but we still have tomorrow to go. I can’t wait to get back on track and give it my best.”