Mugello masterclass from Öncü for second pole of the year


Deniz Öncü will start from the head of the grid in Italy, with Jose Antonio Rueda in thirteenth.

Under the threat of rain, Deniz Öncü stormed to pole position and came close to the circuit record in qualifying for the Italian Grand Prix. Teammate Jose Antonio Rueda will start from thirteenth, on the fifth row of the grid.

The third and final Practice of the weekend allowed the riders to fine-tune their setups for qualifying. Öncü made his intentions for the Italian Grand Prix, where he is a favourite for victory, clear in the session. On a last great lap, he set his best time of 1:56.175, more than half a second quicker than his previous best Mugello and remaining top of the timesheets. Rueda continued working on finding the best setup possible and getting into the Top 15. The Red Bull KTM Ajo Moto3 rider tried to close the gap until the final moments and was eventually seventeenth, with a time of 1:57.175 achieved on his penultimate lap.

Öncü was the main protagonist in Q2, and set down his marker with 4 minutes to go. What followed was a series of laps in which he was able to shave tenths off his times, and he came close to the circuit record en route to a second pole position of the season, thanks to a 1:56.020. Rueda had to go through Q1 and, after a pit stop, pushed to place among the Top 4, missing out by just 0.058s as he placed fifth despite some outstanding late laps. His 1:57.494 time put him 19th, but he moves up to 13th on the grid after several penalties were given to riders ahead of him.

The 17-lap Moto3 Italian Grand Prix race takes place on Sunday at 11 AM local time.

Results (Qualifying)
1. Deniz Öncü (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 1:56.020

2. Joel Kelso (CFMOTO) 1:56.558 +0.538
3. Ayumu Sasaki (Husqvarna) 1:56.611 +0.591
4. Diogo Moreira (KTM) 1:56.721 +0.701
5. Daniel Holgado (KTM) 1:56.800 +0.780
19. Jose Antonio Rueda (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 1:57.494


“The weekend is going very well and I’m really happy with the work that the team are doing. Now comes a tough part of the season, with a lot of back-to-back races, and to start in this way is very positive. Thanks again to the team because they are working really hard. We didn’t change anything today but we have had a good setup since the first day. I want to push in the race and enjoy myself on the bike. If we continue like this, the results will come.”


“We made some changes in FP3, but that didn’t work out well and I couldn’t go fast. We had to go through Q1, where I felt more comfortable and I was very close to making it into Q2. Today I felt better. We know where we need to improve in order to be quick in the race. We will start from the fifth row, but we’ll give our best from the get-go, as always.”