Second and fourth rows for Red Bull KTM Ajo Moto3 at Le Mans13/05/2023
Deniz Öncü will start from fourth on the grid, with Jose Antonio Rueda in eleventh.
Le Mans hosted qualifying for the French Grand Prix this Saturday, and both Red Bull KTM Ajo Moto3 riders went directly into Q2. Deniz Öncü set the fourth fastest time and Jose Antonio Rueda was eleventh, ahead of Sunday’s French GP.
The third and last Moto3 practice session off the weekend took place in the wet and amidst low temperatures. The delicate track conditions once again caused numerous crashes early in the morning. The Red Bull KTM Ajo riders worked to find a good feeling in a difficult Practice 3, and weren’t able to lower their times from the previous day. After a red flag due to the precarious track conditions, the riders resumed the session and were able to gradually increase their pace. After 15 laps in which Öncü made steady progress, he finished in eighth position, with a time of 1:55.014. Rueda’s main concern was getting comfortable with the bike and adapting to the track conditions. He finished in eleventh position with a time of 1:56.670.
Both Öncü and Rueda went straight to Q2, which was held in dry conditions after a rise in temperatures. Öncü was comfortable from the start, and focused on setting a good lap. After leading the way early, he improved his times from Friday and, on his penultimate lap, clocked his best time of 1:42.101 to put him in fourth position. Rueda worked to climb positions on the timesheets and in the final stretch of Q2 went out for a “time attack.” He set his best time on his last lap and will start from eleventh position on the grid, thanks to his 1:42.685.
The 20-lap Moto3 French Grand Prix race will take place on Sunday at 11 AM local time.
Results (Qualifying session)
1. Ayumu Sasaki (Husqvarna) 1:41.630
2. Diogo Moreira (KTM) 1:41.939 +0.309
3. Daniel Holgado (KTM) 1:41.958 +0.328
4. Deniz Öncü (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 1:42.101 +0.471
5. Andrea Migno (KTM) 1:42.128 +0.498
11. Jose Antonio Rueda (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 1:42.685 +1.055
#53 DENIZ ÖNCÜ
“Today we finished fourth in qualifying and I can say that I don’t feel perfect, but we are fast. My objective for the race is to fight for a good position from the beginning. The second row is positive and we are strong enough to be battling on the last laps, be more clever and finish the job. We are working hard to be at the front and we will give it our best shot.”
#99 JOSE ANTONIO RUEDA
“In Practice 3 we improved in the wet, and I feel better all the time in these conditions. That is good for the next few races if these conditions are repeated. In qualifying we were improving on our last lap and were close to finishing among the frontrunners, but I wasn’t able to complete a good lap. I think tomorrow’s race will be run in a group and it will be fast. We will try to get to the front as soon as possible to get a good result at Le Mans.”