Can Öncü ensures solid first day in Australia despite changeable weather25/10/2019
The Red Bull KTM Ajo Moto3 rider made a positive start on the opening day of the Australian Grand Prix in FP1 and FP2.
The first two free practice sessions of the Australian Grand Prix were held today in wet and then dry conditions respectively, with Can Öncü enjoying his first ever laps of the Phillip Island Circuit. The Red Bull KTM Ajo Moto3 rider did a good job on the opening day, focusing his efforts on adapting to a new track for him.
It was a rainy start to the Friday, so Öncü’s very first experience of Phillip Island came in wet conditions in FP1. On a cold, slippery surface, the Turkish youngster used the full 40 minutes of the practice to analyse and build up his knowledge of the Australian circuit. The Red Bull KTM Ajo rider adapted quickly, gradually reducing his lap times, despite suffering a light crash in the middle of the session. After a total of 12 laps, Can finished FP1 in 14th, with a personal best of 1:51.457.
The rain had stopped and the track had dried by the start of FP2, allowing Can Öncü to get his first experience of Phillip Island on slick tyres. The Turkish youngster focused on improving his feeling with the bike and the circuit, whilst dealing with the extra challenge of riding in strong winds. In the final part of the session the 16-year-old took a big step forward and notched his personal best of the day on his last lap – 1:37.940 – to finish 16th.
The Red Bull KTM Ajo Moto3 team have a final free practice session tomorrow morning before Q1 and Q2, which will start at 12:35 pm and 1 pm local time, respectively.
Combined practice times (FP1 – FP2)
1. Aron Canet (KTM) 1:36.809
2. Lorenzo Dalla Porta (Honda) 1:37.090 +0.281
3. Albert Arenas (KTM) 1:37.260 +0.451
4. Niccolo Antonelli (Honda) 1:37.358 +0.549
5. Tatsuki Suzuki (Honda) 1:37.443 +0.634
16. Can Öncü (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 1:37.940 +1.131
61 CAN ÖNCÜ
“It was a solid opening day. I really enjoyed my first experience riding here at Phillip Island. We have to be positive because I haven’t been here before and we did a great job. We have a strong pace and lap times are fast, so I’m happy about that. For tomorrow, if it’s dry we will push again in FP3 to try to get into Q2. I know we can do it. The setup is good, although I think we can still improve the stability of the bike somewhat. I’m looking forward to qualifying and the race, as I feel competitive here.”