Red Bull KTM Ajo Moto3 open Friday strongly at Americas GP


Deniz Öncü places seventh on the combined timesheets, with Jose Antonio Rueda in twelfth place.

The Moto3 Americas GP began this Friday with the first practice sessions of the weekend. Red Bull KTM Ajo Moto3 riders had a satisfactory day of work: Deniz Öncü set the seventh fastest time of the day, whilst Jose Antonio Rueda finished twelfth in his first experience of COTA. Both have provisionally earned a place to go directly into Q2.

Practice 1 began amidst optimum track conditions. Öncü was one of the strongest riders in the session, and was near the top of the timesheets from start to finish. The Turkish rider was comfortable on track and improved his times progressively, with his 2:17.461 lap on his tenth attempt of 12 putting him in fifth place. Rueda rode at the Circuit of the Americas for the first time, and took a big step forward in the first session. The Moto3 rookie improved significantly and was able to finish in the Top 10, eighth place with a time of 2:17.704 he set on his penultimate lap.

In contrast to the morning runout, the second session was affected by the weather. After the first 10 minutes, light rain made it difficult to ride and led to a cautious approach by the riders. Öncü remained amongst the frontrunners, and after 14 laps he set his best time, taking fourth position with a 2:17.451. Rueda worked hard to find a good feeling on the North American track. With 15 minutes to go before the end of Practice 2, he suffered a heavy crash at Turn 6 that brought his afternoon to an early end, although he escaped unhurt. Rueda’s 2:19.398 time put him 27th, whilst he and Öncü were twelfth and seventh overall.

Moto3 qualifying will take place on Saturday, 15th April, from 12:50 PM local time.


Results (Combined practice times P1 – P2)
1. Ayumu Sasaki (Husqvarna) 2:16.306
2. Jaume Masia (Honda) 2:16.482 +0.176
3. Ivan Ortola (KTM) 2:16.762 +0.456
4. Diogo Moreira (KTM) 2:16.908 +0.602
5. Daniel Holgado (KTM) 2:17.072 +0.766
7. Deniz Öncü (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 2:17.451 +1.145
12. Jose Antonio Rueda (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 2:17.704 +1.398


“We have finished the first day at COTA, and it is incredible to be here. We’ve tried some new things, but they haven’t quite worked out for us. We have been strong and we know the way we have to go. I’m working well with the team and I think tomorrow we can get a good result in qualifying.”


“It was a bit difficult for me at the beginning because it’s a new circuit and I didn’t know where the good lines were. In Practice 1 we set a good time and that gave me a lot more motivation. In the afternoon session I felt that the rear wheel was sliding a lot, but I was able to improve on some sectors. I had a big crash, but I feel fine now. We are in provisional Q2 positions, so tomorrow we will do our best to secure the position in qualifying.”