Second position on Argentina Grand Prix grid for Deniz Öncü01/04/2023
Öncü will start from the first row, while Jose Antonio Rueda will do so from the fifth row.
The Red Bull KTM Ajo Moto3 riders completed the second day of the Argentina Grand Prix with changeable track conditions. After both riders went through Q1, Deniz Öncü and Jose Antonio Rueda made the cut for Q2 and fought for a good position on the grid. Öncü will start from the front row, in second position, while Rueda will take off from the fifth row, in thirteenth place.
Saturday action began with low temperatures and a wet track, which created a completely different scenario from the previous day. In Practice 3 the Red Bull KTM Ajo riders remained in the box during the first part of the session and only emerged in the last few minutes to get a good feeling and find their setup. Öncü completed a total of 7 laps and had an outstanding session, finishing with the third best time thanks to his 1:54.832. Rueda faced new conditions in Argentina and, after 8 laps, concluded in twelfth with a 1:57.016. Neither rider was able to improve on their Friday results, so both had to compete in Q1.
Öncü and Rueda began Qualifying 1 focused on moving into Q2 at Termas de Rio Hondo. The track had mixed conditions, although both riders were unfazed and occupied the top positions. On the last few laps the Red Bull KTM Ajo Moto3 duo secured a direct spot in Q2, with Öncü in second position (1:50.117) and Rueda in third place (1:50.206).
The final qualifying session for the Argentinian Grand Prix allowed the Red Bull KTM Ajo riders to set their best times of the weekend. Öncü was very consistent from the beginning of Q2 and after the midway point he moved up into first position. After stopping in the garage, Öncü remained in front, although he lost pole position on the final lap. His time of 1:49.142 put him in second position on the grid, as he starts from the front row for the eighth time in his career. Rueda fought to set a good time in Q2 and continues to make progress in Argentina. A small mistake made him run off-track, but he did not suffer any ill-effects. After a pit stop, the Moto3 rookie quickly rejoined the session and was able to improve his times on the last lap. A 1:49.766 time means he will start from thirteenth on the grid.
The 18-lap Moto3 Argentina Grand Prix race will take place on Sunday at 11 AM, local time.
Results (Qualifying session)
1. Ayumu Sasaki (Husqvarna) 1:48.539
2. Deniz Öncü (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 1:49.142 +0.603
3. Diogo Moreira (KTM) 1:49.214 +0.675
4. Ivan Ortola (KTM) 1:49.314 +0.775
5. Jaume Masia (Honda) 1:49.344 +0.805
13. Jose Antonio Rueda (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 1:49.766 +1.227
#53 DENIZ ÖNCÜ
“Today we had quite difficult track conditions due to the rain last night, with both a dry and wet surface. In P3 we felt good on the bike, but we couldn’t push because of the state of the track. We weren’t able to do many laps to set a good pace and I didn’t have a good feeling either. I am very happy to be on the front row and I think that tomorrow we can fight for the top positions and even for the podium.”
#99 JOSE ANTONIO RUEDA
“In P3 the track was both wet and dry, and it made it difficult for us to set a good time. In Q1 we set a good time to move into Q2 and be able to fight for a strong position. However, I had a small crash when I was on a hot lap with Deniz. I was able to get back up and improve my time, and I am happy because we are clear about what to improve and where we are strong for the race.”