Red Bull KTM Ajo Moto3 shine on 2020 season’s opening day06/03/2020
Raul Fernandez is the fastest rider overall after FP1 and FP2, with Kaito Toba closing out the Top 5 at the Qatar GP.
The work done by Red Bull KTM Ajo Moto3 in preseason paid off on the first day of the 2020 season, as the team topped the timesheets thanks to Raul Fernandez. Kaito Toba also had a promising opening to the Qatar Grand Prix, ending Friday inside the Top 5 overall.
FP1 saw high temperatures reaching 44ºC on track at Losail. Toba adapted well to the conditions, and rode amongst the Top 5 riders for most of the session. Kaito improved on each run to set his personal best on his 12th and final lap – a 2:06.000 to finish seventh. Fernandez would make solid progress, lowering his times by more than 1.5 seconds from the start of the practice to the chequered flag. After putting in a total of 13 laps, the Spaniard was 15th with a 2:06.337.
In the afternoon, the Red Bull KTM Ajo duo led the standings for most of FP2. During a very tight finale, Fernandez clocked the fastest time of Friday, with an impressive 2:04.577. A 2:04.988 for Toba meant the fifth best time of the session and of the day, only 4 tenths off his teammate. Both the Spaniard and the Japanese talent completed 12 laps in FP2.
The two Red Bull KTM Ajo riders will contest FP3 tomorrow, before the Moto3 field battle for the first pole position of the season in Q1 (5:05 pm local time) and Q2 (5:30 pm local time).
Combined practice times (FP1 – FP2)
1. Raul Fernandez (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 2:04.577
2. Darryn Binder (KTM) 2:04.698 +0.121
3. Sergio Garcia (Honda) 2:04.723 +0.146
4. Ai Ogura (Honda) 2:04.922 +0.345
5. Kaito Toba (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 2:04.988 +0.411
25 RAUL FERNANDEZ
“It’s been a very positive day. All the work we did during the preseason has shown. I’m very happy with how it went – not only for the time that we set, but especially for how I felt on the bike. Today we were competitive with both qualifying tyres and our race option; we are constantly moving forward and that is very important. Tomorrow we will have to stay focused and work with Sunday’s contest in mind. If we keep up the pace that we had today, we can ensure that we go straight into Q2.”
27 KAITO TOBA
“The first two Free Practice sessions were very positive. I’m happy with the start of the Qatar Grand Prix, however we have to finish fine tuning some aspects. The important thing is that we have a good pace, even when riding alone. Tomorrow we will work hard in the last Free Practice, in order to be able to qualify well on the grid during the afternoon.”