Red Bull KTM Ajo Moto3 take first steps at Argentina Grand Prix31/03/2023
Deniz Öncü finishes practice on Friday 15th, with Jose Antonio Rueda 17th.
The Red Bull KTM Ajo Moto3 duo kicked off the Argentina Grand Prix with the first practice sessions of the weekend. Amidst delicate track conditions, Deniz Öncü completed two productive sessions and finished fifteenth. Jose Antonio Rueda had his first contact with the circuit, and was seventeenth.
Moto3 Practice 1 started Friday with overcast skies and unpredictable weather conditions. Öncü and Rueda both worked to get a good setup and find a positive feeling. The Turkish Red Bull KTM Ajo rider continuously upped his pace, although light rain in the last few minutes forced him to end the session ahead of schedule. With a time of 1:51.069 on his penultimate lap, Öncü finished in ninth position. Rueda faced the Termas de Rio Hondo circuit for the first time and focused on adapting to the track. He progressively improved his feeling and has placed nineteenth, with a time of 1:51.792, set on lap 7 of 13.
In the afternoon session, Öncü and Rueda had to adapt to delicate track conditions due to rain that had fallen earlier. The Red Bull KTM Ajo Moto3 duo improved their morning times and worked hard to make their way directly into Q2. Öncü pushed right to the final moments, setting his best lap on his last attempt and taking more than a second off his previous best. With his 1:49.822, he finished fifteenth, +0.059 away from the provisional Q2 spots. Rueda continued to progress and felt more comfortable on each run at the Argentine track. With a time of 1:50.114 achieved on his penultimate lap, he finished the day seventeenth.
The Moto3 qualifying sessions for the Argentina Grand Prix will take place on Saturday April 1st, from 12:50 PM local time.
Results (Combined practice times P1 – P2)
1. Ayumu Sasaki (Husqvarna) 1:48.597
2. Diogo Moreira (KTM) 1:48.783 +0.186
3. Jaume Masia (Honda) 1:48.840 +0.243
4. Tatsuki Suzuki (Honda) 1:49.190 +0.593
5. Stefano Nepa (KTM) 1:49.380 +0.783
15. Deniz Öncü (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 1:49:822 +1.225
17. Jose Antonio Rueda (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 1:50.114 +1.517
#53 DENIZ ÖNCÜ
“That’s the first day done here in Argentina. We are working very hard to get a good feeling, although the track conditions are a bit difficult. We know that we are strong and we just have to set a good lap time tomorrow in qualifying. The most important day is that of the race, and we can do quite well then and fight for the front positions. Tomorrow we will do our best to get the best grid place possible.”
#99 JOSE ANTONIO RUEDA
“The track conditions affected today’s practices a bit, and that made it a little more difficult for me because the circuit is new. We have clear ideas and we know where we need to improve. This afternoon we will continue working on things and tomorrow we will look to go straight into Q2 to achieve a good position on the grid.”