Deniz Öncü learning quickly at San Marino Grand Prix


The Red Bull KTM Ajo Moto3 rider improved on his best Friday time by two and a half seconds today and will start from the eighth row on the grid.

Having accepted the challenge of taking over from his brother Can after he broke his collarbone yesterday, Deniz Öncü had a successful qualifying day at the San Marino Grand Prix. The Red Bull KTM Ajo Moto3 rider took a big step forward, improving on his best Friday lap time by two and a half seconds and, after finishing 10th in Q1, he will start from the eighth row of the grid tomorrow.

With the sun shining brightly from early in the morning, the Turkish talent took advantage of the 40 minutes of FP3 to continue accumulating experience and keep finding his way forward with the bike and the team. The Red Bull KTM Ajo rider made steady progress throughout the session, improving on his best Friday time immediately, on his first run. Finally, Deniz finished the practice in 27th with a personal best of 1:43.818, which he registered on the 14th of 15 laps.

The Turkish youngster then went into Q1, with this being only the third time he experienced this type of qualifying procedure. It was a challenge Öncü would rise to admirably as he produced a 1:43.963 lap to end the session in tenth position, just four tenths off a Q2 spot. The 16-year-old will therefore start from 24th on the grid for tomorrow’s race.

The 23-lap San Marino Grand Prix race will begin tomorrow at 11:00 am local time.


Results (Qualifying session)
1. Tatsuki Suzuki (Honda) 1:42:844
2. Aron Canet (KTM) 1:42.965 +0.121
3. Tony Arbolino (Honda) 1:42.971 +0.127
4. Jaume Masia (KTM) 1:43.051 +0.207
5. Celestino Vietti (KTM) 1:43.094 +0.250
24. Deniz Öncü (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 1:43.963 (Q1 time)



“Yesterday was quite hectic, as my brother crashed and broke his collarbone. Then at the last minute we decided that I would replace him for the rest of the weekend. It was the first time I had ridden the 2019 bike. It was hard to find a good feeling, but now I’m starting to understand the machine more. This morning I rode much better and then I had my best ever qualifying result in the World Championship, so we are happy. I am not totally satisfied, but just improving session by session is very positive. The goal for tomorrow is to have a good race and finish as high up as possible.”