Red Bull KTM Ajo undertake first day in Austria amidst mixed conditions14/08/2020
Raul Fernandez and Kaito Toba take provisional spots in Q2, despite FP2 being affected by the weather.
The Red Bull KTM Ajo Moto3 team needed to keep a watchful eye on the weather as the Austrian Grand Prix got underway on Friday, and the conditions had an influence on the opening day of the World Championship’s fifth round. Raul Fernandez and Kaito Toba finished in 6th and 7th position, respectively, on the combined timesheets from the first two Free Practice sessions, provisionally earning places in Q2. The duo set their definitive times in FP1, as rain only allowed them to make the most of the first part of FP2.
Free Practice 1 was contested on a dry track, despite the threat of imminent rain. Raul Fernandez felt very comfortable, leading the way in the session, although he would crash at Turn 3 when on his fastest lap in the final minute. His personal best of his 17 attempts was a 1:37.066, giving him 6th place. Just behind teammate, Kaito Toba was 7th after stopping the clock at 1:37.067. The Japanese rider showed a noticeable improvement throughout the practice, in which he completed 20 laps – one of the most prolific competitors in Moto3.
Hours later, the Red Bull KTM Ajo Moto3 duo went back out for FP2. Conditions were dry to start with, but halfway into the 40-minute session, rain forced the riders into the pits. Raul Fernandez was only able to put in 7 laps, ending the practice 6th once again with a 1:37.489. Kaito Toba was 12th – 1:37.842 – setting his best lap on his penultimate attempt out of a total of 8.
The Red Bull KTM Ajo Moto3 riders will have a final Free Practice tomorrow morning, whilst in the afternoon the Austrian GP grid will be decided in Q1, at 12:35 pm, and in Q2, at 1 pm local time.
Results – FP1 & FP2
1. Tony Arbolino (Honda) 1:36.550
2. John McPhee (Honda) 1:36.841 +0.291
3. Jaume Masia (Honda) 1:36.916 +0.366
4. Celestino Vietti (KTM) 1:37.039 +0.489
5. Niccolo Antonelli (Honda) 1:37.057 +0.507
6. Raul Fernandez (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 1:37.066 +0.516
7. Kaito Toba (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 1:37.067 +0.517
25 RAUL FERNANDEZ
“It was a fairly good opening day. We worked very well and were always riding alone. We have a strong pace and that is an important thing. In addition, we know where we need to fix up. I had a small crash this morning, but it was just a little mistake. Now we will analyse what happened and try to improve at the part of the circuit that I’m finding most difficult. We have to continue in the same way tomorrow and we will do our best to fight for pole position.”
27 KAITO TOBA
“We had a great Friday. We need to take a step forward, especially on the second sector, which is the part of the circuit that I’m finding toughest. This afternoon we will work on that, in order to be able to apply that progress tomorrow in FP3. We will try to qualify in a good position for the Austrian GP, and for that we will do our best – like always.”