Can Öncü pleased with progress on return at Japanese GP


The Red Bull KTM Ajo Moto3 rider returned to action and participated in FP1 and FP2 at the Twin Ring Motegi today.

On the opening day of the Japanese round, the Turkish youngster was back on track with the Red Bull KTM Ajo Moto3 team after missing three Grands Prix. Despite still not being completely recovered from his left collarbone fracture, Can Öncü did a great job, completing two positive free sessions, and provisionally riding in the Top 5 in FP1.

Can Öncü used the morning practice to test his physical condition, after spending more than a month off the bike. Lap by lap, his feeling improved, and the Turkish youngster moved up to fifth towards the end of FP1. The Red Bull KTM Ajo Moto3 rider made consistent progress throughout the session, finally registering a 1:58.165 best time on his last attempt for 13th.

In the afternoon, Can Öncü confirmed his positive feeling by improving on his personal morning best by more than seven tenths. The 16-year-old rode well in the session and, on the last lap of 17 undertaken, he produced his fastest time of the day – 1:57.432 -, which placed him 17th in FP2 and on the combined Friday timesheets.

The Red Bull KTM Ajo Moto3 team have one last free practice tomorrow morning before Q1 and Q2, which will take place at 12:35 pm and 1 pm local time, respectively.


Combined practice times (FP1 – FP2)
1. Andrea Migno (KTM) 1:56.742
2. Marcos Ramirez (Honda) 1:56.839 +0.097
3. John McPhee (Honda) 1:56.877 +0.135
4. Jakub Kornfeil (KTM) 1:57.037 +0.295
5. Gabriel Rodrigo (Honda) 1:57.037 +0.295
17. Can Öncü (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 1:57.432 +0.690



“After five weeks off the bike, it’s an incredible feeling to return to action. I have been missing working with the team a lot, so I’m very happy to be back. Today was a positive day for us, we worked very well. I feel strong and I have more confidence with the bike, so I hope things continue like this tomorrow. If it doesn’t rain on Saturday, I will try to get into Q2 directly and if it does rain we will test out our options in the wet.”