Red Bull KTM Ajo Moto3 open 2021 season in style in Qatar26/03/2021
Masia places second on the combined timesheets for FP1 and FP2, with Acosta 14th after dominating morning practice on his World Championship debut.
The 2021 Moto3 World Championship season got underway on Friday at the Losail International Circuit, with the opening day of the Qatar Grand Prix. Jaume Masia showed why he is currently considered to be one of the strongest riders in the class, setting the second fastest time of the day – just 4 thousandths of a second off the top spot. Rookie Pedro Acosta continued to make great strides forward and, after leading the way in FP1, he was 14th overall. Both Red Bull KTM Ajo talents have earned a provisional spot in Q2.
The day started very well for the Red Bull KTM Ajo duo, as Acosta was the fastest man in FP1 and Masia held fourth position. The former continued to demonstrate his speedy adaptation to Moto3, in what was his first Free Practice session as a Grand Prix rider. The Spaniard stopped the clock at 2:05.809 at the end of his 13th and final lap. Just 3 tenths back was Masia, who set a time of 2:06.188 from his 12 laps of the Qatari track.
FP2 was held in night-time conditions, under the floodlights of the Losail International Circuit. The Red Bull KTM Ajo duo picked up from where they left off, featuring in the upper echelons of the timesheets. Masia was second with a 2:04.881, 42 thousandths off the top spot having completed 14 laps – the same number as his teammate. Acosta set his personal best of the weekend so far, with a 2:05.388 that earned him 14th.
Acosta and Masia have a final Free Practice session tomorrow morning to finalise the setup of their KTM bikes. The first Moto3 grid of the year will be decided in Q1 and Q2 of the Qatar GP, which will take place at 5:30 PM and 5:55 PM local time, respectively.
Results (Combined practice times FP1-FP2)
1. Kaito Toba (KTM) 2:04.839
2. Jaume Masia (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 2:04.881 +0.042
3. Gabriel Rodrigo (Honda) 2:04.907 +0.068
4. Sergio Garcia (Gas Gas) 2:04.935 +0.096
5. Jason Dupasquier (KTM) 2:04.938 +0.099
14. Pedro Acosta (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 2:05.388 +0.549
5 JAUME MASIA
“I’m happy that we continue to have a good feeling with the bike and the team. The times are very tight, so it was important to be in the Top 15 today, as it will be difficult to improve lap times tomorrow morning. We will work hard to ensure that we go directly through to Q2 and we will do our best to continue taking constant steps forward.”
37 PEDRO ACOSTA
“It was a positive day, especially in the morning when we were able to ride very fast. In Free Practice 2, I felt good when riding alone but, at the end of the session, I didn’t have time to set a hot lap. However, we are happy because we have secured a provisional place in Q2. Now we have to wait until tomorrow, when we will give 100% once again.”