Tough qualifying day for the Öncü twins at the Austrian GP


Can and Deniz Öncü improved on their times in FP3, to finish 14th and 15th respectively in Q1.

After a solid beginning to the Austrian Grand Prix, the Red Bull KTM Ajo Moto3 team continued to take steps forward on Saturday, with both riders improving on their Friday’s times. Can and Deniz Öncü finished 14th and 15th, respectively, in Q1 and will start from the 9th and 10th row of the grid tomorrow.

This morning the Öncü twins resumed their work where they left off yesterday, as they continued to fine tune their set-ups and improve their feeling at the Austrian track. Can and Deniz both bettered their Friday times in the last free session, demonstrating solid progress. The Red Bull KTM Ajo Moto3 wildcard completed a total of 17 laps and, on the number 14, he achieved his personal best of the weekend – 1:37.260 – to finish FP3 in 23rd place. For his part, Can Öncü ended the practice 26th – 1:37.433 -, notching up 16 more laps of the Red Bull Ring circuit.

With those results the Turkish brothers had to go through Q1. The Red Bull KTM Ajo twins rode together on track and both opted for a two-run strategy, with one pit stop to change tyres. Ultimately, Can Öncü achieved the 14th time – 1:37.876 -, while his brother Deniz was 15th, with a personal best of 1:38.022. Due to a sanction incurred by another rider the pair each gained a position and tomorrow they will start from 27th and 28th, respectively.

The 23-lap Moto3 race kicks off tomorrow at 11 am at the Red Bull Ring.

Results (Qualifying session)
1. Romano Fenati (Honda) 1:36.460
2. Jaume Masia (KTM) 1:36.689 +0.229
3. John McPhee (Honda) 1:36.690 +0.230
4. Kaito Toba (Honda) 1:36.762 +0.302
5. Tatsuki Suzuki (Honda) 1:36.788 +0.328
27. Can Öncü (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 1:37.876 (Q1 time)
28. Deniz Öncü (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 1:38.022 (Q1 time)



“Qualifying was harder than the two free practice sessions yesterday. Things are turning out to be much tougher at this circuit. However, most importantly this weekend we are learning a lot. Tomorrow we have to stay focused because it will surely be a group race and, although fighting back will be difficult, it’s not impossible. I will do my best to get into the points.”


“The qualifying day was quite complicated for us, because we made a small mistake and we weren’t able to set a competitive fast lap. Tomorrow we will give our best to do a good job in the race. The positive part is that today I learned that with this qualifying system you have to be smart, you have to know when to push. The goal for the race is to give 100% and be as close as possible to the points.”