Red Bull KTM Ajo Moto2 get Portuguese Grand Prix underway


Tetsuta Nagashima and Jorge Martin participate in the opening day of the last round of the season, with a mechanical problem reducing the latter’s track time.


The Algarve International Circuit hosted its first day of Moto2 World Championship action today, as the Portuguese Grand Prix started. The Red Bull KTM Ajo riders had mixed fortunes on Friday. Tetsuta Nagashima made great progress from morning to afternoon to place 16th overall. His teammate, Jorge Martin, suffered mechanical difficulties in FP2 and finished the opening day of the last round of the season in 23rd position on the combined timesheets.

Work in Portugal got underway with a 55-minute FP1, featuring additional time due to it being a new circuit on the calendar. Martin dedicated his 23 morning laps to learning the track and finding a good setting for his Red Bull KTM Ajo Moto2 bike. In the final part of the session, he took a big step forward and set the tenth best lap of 1:44.319, just 5 tenths behind the pacesetter. Nagashima – who has previous experience in Portugal – finished in 19th position with a 1:44.827. The Japanese put in a total of 23 laps during the morning that gave him valuable data.

FP2 was also extended by 15 minutes and Nagashima would take over a second off his morning time. His 1:43.598 put him 16th after 24 further productive laps of the Portuguese circuit. Martin had an unfortunate afternoon, as a mechanical issue at the beginning of the session meant he was unable to go out on track and thus he ended the day 23rd.

The Red Bull KTM Ajo duo will have a final Free Practice tomorrow morning. Moto2 Q1 will start at 3:10 pm local time, followed by Q2 at 3:35 pm.


Results – FP1 & FP2
1. Luca Marini (Kalex) 1:42.941
2. Sam Lowes (Kalex) 1:43.123 +0.182
3. Lorenzo Baldassarri (Kalex) 1:43.139 +0.198
4. Remy Gardner (Kalex) 1:43.222 +0.281
5. Enea Bastianini (Kalex) 1:43.257 +0.316
16. Tetsuta Nagashima (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 1:43.598 +0.657
23. Jorge Martin (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 1:44.319 +1.378


“This morning was very positive, as I felt comfortable and I had a great lap for what was my first time at this track. It was a shame that we were unable to ride in the afternoon due to a mechanical issue, as it was an important session. However, tomorrow we will go out and give everything we have, and we will work hard to make up for the time that we lost today.”


“Today was a pretty positive day. At first it was difficult for me to find my way, but in the end we succeeded. Our pace is good, since we are only 6 tenths off the best time. We just have to take one more small step forward. Although improving our position today was tough, I am very clear about the aspects that we have to fix up. Tomorrow we will work hard, and, above all, we will enjoy the last day of qualifying this season.”