Red Bull KTM Ajo contend with mixed conditions on Friday of Dutch GP25/06/2021
Pedro Acosta and Jaume Masia take provisional spots in Q2 at Assen after finishing eighth and ninth, respectively, in the combined FP1 and FP2 standings.
The Dutch Grand Prix, the ninth round of the 2021 season, began on Friday at the legendary Assen circuit with two Free Practices for the Moto3 class. The Red Bull KTM Ajo riders both secured provisional places in Saturday’s Q2 session, despite rain in the afternoon. Pedro Acosta finished in eighth place on the combined FP1 and FP2 timesheets, just ahead of teammate Jaume Masia, who was ninth.
FP1 was held in dry conditions and with optimal track temperature, enabling the riders to focus on the task at hand. Acosta dedicated the session to adapting to the Dutch track with his KTM machine, steadily improving his times until registering a 1:42.357 on his 15th and final attempt, putting him seventh. Masia was leading the practice when he suffered a big crash at Turn 9 with 15 minutes remaining. The Spaniard placed 17th with a time of 1:43.254, after 10 laps completed.
In the afternoon, the pair had to face mixed track conditions in FP2, not helped by the appearance of rain in the second half of the session. Masia was fifth after stopping the clock at 1:42.421 and completing 13 laps. The shower sent Acosta to the ground in a small crash with 17 minutes remaining. Nevertheless, he was 13th fastest, courtesy of a 1:42.697 lap on his penultimate attempt of 10.
Tomorrow morning, Acosta and Masia will ride in the final Free Practice for the Dutch Grand Prix, before qualifying takes place. Moto3 Q1 will start at 12:35 PM local time, followed by Q2 at 1 PM.
Results (Combined practice times FP1-FP2)
1. Tatsuki Suzuki (Honda) 1:41.568
2. Darryn Binder (Honda) 1:41.657 +0.089
3. Dennis Foggia (Honda) 1:41.748 +0.180
4. Andrea Migno (Honda) 1:42.086 +0.518
5. Romano Fenati (Husqvarna) 1:42.213 +0.645
8. Pedro Acosta (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 1:42.357 +0.789
9. Jaume Masia (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 1:42.421 +0.853
5 JAUME MASIA
“It was a tough day for us, as we suffered a big crash in FP1. I’m happy to have been able to compete in FP2 and to have used the session to find a path forward. We have yet to test the soft tyre, but on Saturday we will continue to work hard to fine-tune some things. I’m looking forward to tomorrow; we will see what the always changeable weather has in store for us. I feel prepared for the rest of the weekend.”
37 PEDRO ACOSTA
“It was a positive day, as we rode fast times with a hard tyre. We are working on our pace, because it will be an important factor on Sunday. Overall, I’m happy with how Friday went. In FP2 we had a crash that, luckily, didn’t leave me hurt. I can take away the good feeling we had today, and the fact that, for the time being, we are provisionally into Q2. Tomorrow we will do our best to get a great position on the grid.”