Red Bull KTM Ajo overcome cold and rainy qualifying day in Portimao


Dani Holgado and Jaume Masia go straight into Q2 and qualify on the fifth row of the grid for the Portuguese Grand Prix race.


A wet surface and gusts of wind once again had a big role at the Autodromo Internacional do Algarve on Saturday, when qualifying for the Portuguese Grand Prix took place. The conditions prevented almost any rider from improving their times in FP3, so the two Red Bull KTM Ajo Moto3 competitors went directly into Q2 thanks to their Friday times. Dani Holgado qualified in 13th position, despite suffering a crash when improving his hot lap, and tomorrow he will start from the fifth row of the grid. On the same row will be his teammate, Jaume Masia, who placed 15th.

Despite the rain stopping minutes before the start of Moto3 FP3, it was held in wet conditions, although with less wind blowing across the track than yesterday. The two Red Bull KTM Ajo Moto3 riders approached the last Free Practice session very calmly and without taking unnecessary risks, especially in the final moments when the rain reappeared. Finally, Masia was eighth with a time of 2:04.598, which he achieved on his 5th lap of a total of 15. Holgado came in 17th place through a 2:05.830, from his sixth attempt of nine.

In the combined standings for the three Free Practices held this weekend, the Red Bull KTM Ajo Moto3 duo both went directly into a wet Q2. In it, Holgado was enjoying a good session, riding among the fastest competitors, but a crash with five minutes remaining ended his progress. Nevertheless, the Spaniard qualified 13th with a time of 2:05.967 and will start from the fifth row of the grid. On the same row will be Masia, 15th after stopping the clock in 2:06.532.

The Moto3 Portuguese Grand Prix is scheduled for 21 laps and takes place on Sunday at 11:20 AM local time.

Results (Qualifying session)
1. Deniz Öncü (KTM) 2:03.955
2. Mario Aji (Honda) 2:03.972 +0.017
3. Lorenzo Fellon (Honda) 2:04.447 +0.492
4. Carlos Tatay (CFMoto) 2:04.501 +0.546
5. Tatsuki Suzuki (Honda) 2:04.563 +0.608
13. Dani Holgado (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 2:05.967 +2.012
15. Jaume Masia (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 2:06.532 +2.577



“It’s been a tough day due to the track conditions. I don’t quite feel comfortable in the wet at this track, but we’ve been working with the team to find the best setup. I’m looking forward to the race, which seems as if it will be dry. If it is, we can be more competitive than in these last sessions and have a chance to fight for a good result.”


“Today was quite tough, because the conditions were somewhat worse than yesterday. It was cold and it rained a little more, making the track more delicate. However, I am happy because we have done a great job. It was a shame about the crash during Q2, when I was improving my time, but these things happen. It seems that tomorrow will be a dry race and it will be different from the conditions we have had during the weekend so far. As this is a circuit that I already know, I think I’ll be able to adapt quickly and we’ll be fighting for the positions at the front.”