Öncü battles through heat and humidity on first day of Malaysian GP


The Red Bull KTM Ajo Moto3 rider worked hard in FP1 and FP2 on Friday at the Sepang International Circuit.

The first day of track activity at the Malaysian Grand Prix on Friday saw the Red Bull KTM Ajo Moto3 team and their rider, Can Öncü, working diligently in preparation for the 18th and penultimate 2019 World Championship race, to be held on Sunday. The Turkish youngster only went out for the last 20 minutes of FP1, a session that had started with a wet track which would gradually dry out. He was able to continue improving in FP2, lowering his times with each run.

At the beginning of FP1 there were mixed track conditions following overnight rain, so Öncü decided to wait for the track to dry out as much as possible before exiting the pits. The Turkish talent ultimately took advantage of the last 20 minutes of the session to start testing his feeling at the Malaysian circuit. Can lowered his times with each lap, to set his personal best on his last attempt: 2:26.770, thus finishing in 17th position.

In FP2 there were high temperatures and humidity to contend with, as Öncü continued to build up his knowledge of the Sepang track on his Moto3 KTM. On the now completely dry asphalt, the 16-year-old improved on his best morning time promptly and, after 13 laps, he concluded the session in 23rd – 2:13.781.

Tomorrow morning the Red Bull KTM Ajo Moto3 team have one last free practice session to prepare for qualifying, which takes place at 12:35 pm (Q1) and 1 pm (Q2).


Combined practice times (FP1 – FP2)
1. Kaito Toba (Honda) 2:12.466
2. Tatsuki Suzuki (Honda) 2:12.701 +0.235
3. Darryn Binder (KTM) 2:12.724 +0.258
4. Ayumu Sasaki (Honda) 2:12.777 +0.311
5. Andrea Migno (KTM) 2:12.811 +0.345
23. Can Öncü (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 2:13.781 +1.315



“Today it was a tough day, as we struggled quite a bit. Initially FP1 went pretty well even though we didn’t have much time out on track. However, in FP2 it was difficult because the temperatures were very high and that made it hard to find a good direction to go in. This circuit is one of my favourites and I really enjoy riding here, so I’m looking forward to tomorrow, because I think we can turn things around and it can be a good weekend for us.”