Tough day for Can Öncü in the cold and rain at Le Mans


The Red Bull KTM Ajo Moto3 rider participated in Q1, where a crash prevented him from making progress.


The second day of the French Grand Prix took place in cool temperatures and with fine rain falling at the Le Mans Circuit. Can Öncü had to go into Q1, as there was no improvement on the Friday lap times by any of the Moto3 riders during FP3. After a light crash in the first qualifying session, he will start from the ninth row on the grid tomorrow.

In the last free practice session, held in wet conditions, the Red Bull KTM Ajo rookie completed a total of 18 laps with just one stop at his pit box, as he tried to get as many kilometers as possible under his belt at the demanding French race track. Can Öncü gradually improved his pace from the beginning of the session and finished 15th, with a personal best of 1:54.318.

In Q1, Can Öncü was provisionally positioned amongst the top four on the timesheet – with Q2 in his sights. Unfortunately, the young Turkish crashed at Turn 3 with just 2 minutes remaining and therefore was unable to make any further improvement. The 15-year-old rider ultimately qualified in 27th place – 1:45.796 – for tomorrow’s race.

The Red Bull KTM Ajo Moto3 rider will be ready for action when tomorrow’s 22-lap French Grand Prix race gets underway at 11am local time.


Results (Qualifying session)
1. John McPhee (Honda) 1:42.277
2. Tony Arbolino (Honda) 1:42.467 +0.190
3. Ai Ogura (Honda) 1:42.515 +0.238
4. Tatsuki Suzuki (Honda) 1:42.567 +0.290
5. Gabriel Rodrigo (Honda) 1:42.743 +0.466
27. Can Öncü (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 1:45.796 (Q1 time)



“It was a tough qualifying day, due to the cold and the fine rain. We still have work to do, as we have to understand what we need in order to go a little faster. However, we can’t forget that it’s my first year and that the most important thing is to gain more experience. For tomorrow’s race, we need to look for that bit of speed that we are missing, but we have to go step by step, stay calm and be smart. I will give it my all.”