Good performance by Red Bull KTM Ajo Moto3 on wet Friday in Valencia


Raul Fernandez and Kaito Toba finish fourth and ninth, respectively, on the combined FP1 and FP2 timesheets for the European GP.


A wet opening day of the European Grand Prix forced the Moto3 riders to compete in unfavourable conditions in both Free Practices. Raul Fernandez was fourth fastest on Friday, with teammate Kaito Toba in ninth overall. The Red Bull KTM Ajo duo were cautious, but competitive, and both secured provisional places in Saturday’s Q2 session.

FP1 was held in the wet and with light rainfall, and the Red Bull KTM Ajo Moto3 pair opted for a conservative approach. However, Toba was able to end the morning in a solid third position with a 1:50.245, set on lap 14 of his 16 in total. The Japanese rider made steady improvement to his pace throughout the session. Fernandez clocked the 17th best time on the last of his 16 attempts, putting in a 1:51.754. 

The rain stopped in the afternoon, but there was still water on the track in FP2, requiring Fernandez and Toba to run a wet setup. The Spaniard finished the session fourth, with positive feeling and confidence. On his last attempt of 13, he laid down his personal best of the day, a 1:45.850. Toba closed Friday with a 9th position, stopping the clock at 1:46.636 on his fastest lap of 15.

A final Free Practice session on Saturday is expected to be held in the wet. In the afternoon, the Moto3 starting grid for the European Grand Prix will be decided in Q1 and Q2, at 1:15 pm and 1:40 pm, respectively.


Results – FP1 & FP2
1. Celestino Vietti (KTM) 1:45.356
2. Sergio Garcia (Honda) 1:45.557 +0.201
3. Romano Fenati (Husqvarna) 1:45.575 +0.219
4. Raul Fernandez (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 1:45.850 +0.494
5. Filip Salac (Honda) 1:45.872 +0.516
9. Kaito Toba (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 1:46.636 +1.280



“This Friday was a bit tough for us. I couldn’t get a good rest last night and I noticed that when I got on the bike. With this small handicap, I preferred not to make a lot of changes to the machine, since it was working at almost one hundred percent. The wet conditions also made today more difficult, although finally we managed to finish fourth. Being in the Top 5 is important for me and for the team but, above all, it’s key because if it rains then tomorrow we would already be in Q2.”


“It was a positive start to the Grand Prix. I felt well riding in the wet, although at the end of FP2 the track was in mixed conditions. Normally I struggle a lot on days like this, but today we enjoyed a great Friday. It seems that it will rain tomorrow morning, so I hope to be able to maintain the provisional place that would take us into Q2. It’s time to stay focused and keep working to get a good grid spot for Sunday.”