Promising start for Can Öncü at the Barcelona-Catalunya Circuit


The Red Bull KTM Ajo rider finished the first day of the Catalan Grand Prix in seventh place, provisionally placing into Q2.

The seventh round of the World Championship, the Catalan Grand Prix, got underway on Friday with the first two free practice sessions of the weekend. The Red Bull KTM Ajo Moto3 team and Can Öncü produced a solid performance in both sessions, finishing in the top 5 in the morning and concluding Friday in seventh position on the combined timesheets.

Can Öncü started the day in a good shape, lowering his times and steadily approaching the top positions of the provisional classification. On his second run out on track, the young Turkish rider took a big step forward and, on the 14th of 15 laps, he set down a 1:49.465 marker, which put him fifth, just two tenths of a second off the fastest rider.

In FP2, Can Öncü concentrated on maintaining his positive run from the morning session. He worked on his rhythm on used tyres, before rain at the end of the practice prevented him from further improving his lap time. Eventually, he finished in 19th position – 1:50.179 – in the afternoon outing, leaving him seventh on the combined Friday timesheets thanks to his best effort in FP1.

With today’s result the Red Bull KTM Ajo Moto3 youngster would provisionally go straight through to Q2, with FP3 to come tomorrow morning. The Moto3 Q1 session takes place at 12.35 pm local time on Saturday, followed by Q2 at 1.00 pm.

Results (Combined practice times FP1 – FP2)
1. Alonso Lopez (Honda) 1:49.167
2. Sergio Garcia (Honda) 1:49.184 +0.017
3. Lorenzo Dalla Porta (Honda) 1:49.213 +0.046
4. Gabriel Rodrigo (Honda) 1:49.214 +0.047
5. Tatsuki Suzuki (Honda) 1:49.375 +0.208
7. Can Öncü (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 1:49.465 +0.298


“The first day went very well. In FP1 we did a very good job, we completed many laps with the old tyres and, when we put the new rubber on, we tried to push and we set a fast time. In FP2 we went out with the old tyre on once more, as we wanted to understand how it works over longer distances. When we changed to a new one, it started to rain and that prevented us from lowering our lap time. Even so, I am very happy because we started to have more confidence and today we managed to finish in a great position. Tomorrow we will continue working hard to maintain the good feeling from today and we will try to keep that position in Q2. I will give it my best.”