Öncü sets the pace on first day at Mugello


Deniz Öncü is the fastest rider on Friday, with Jose Antonio Rueda in thirteenth position.

The Italian Grand Prix got underway on Friday with a very positive start for Red Bull KTM Ajo Moto3 riders. Deniz Öncü had an outstanding showing and topped the timesheets from the start, including a significant gap in pace over his rivals. Jose Antonio Rueda took a step forward and continued to improve, claiming thirteenth.

Öncü had clear ideas and a desire to lay down his marker in the first practice. The Turkish rider led the standings early on and tried to maintain a good pace, getting more comfortable as he steadily lowered his times and increased his advantage to half a second. After a great last lap, Öncü signed off with a 1:56.947. Rueda, meanwhile, worked to find a good feeling at Mugello. The Red Bull KTM Ajo rookie went from strength to strength and did his best to improve his lap times. With 14 laps completed, Rueda finished 22nd with a time of 1:59.022.

Practice 2 featured higher temperatures, which allowed the Red Bull KTM Ajo Moto3 duo to make further progress. Öncü once again showed a strong pace in the afternoon session and, despite not occupying the top positions on the initial laps, was the man to beat. He made two improvements on his best time and clocked a 1:56.485 on his twelth attempt of 15, to head the timesheets once more. Rueda only needed five laps to go quicker than in the morning , reaching the Top 10. Then, after a pit stop, he faced the last 10 minutes with the clear objective of getting into provisional Q2 positions. After 13 laps, Rueda was thirteenth both in P2 and overall, thanks to his 1:57.769.

The qualifying sessions for the Italian Grand Prix will take place on Saturday from 12:50 PM local time.

Results (Combined practice times P1 – P2)
1. Deniz Öncü (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 1:56.485

2. Ayumu Sasaki (Husqvarna) 1:56.974 +0.489
3. Jaume Masia (Honda) 1:57.054 +0.569
4. Ivan Ortola (KTM) 1:57.138 +0.653
5. Scott Ogden (Honda) 1:57.221 +0.736
13. Jose Antonio Rueda (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 1:57.769 +1.284


“The good thing is that after a small break we came here very strong. We have had really good speed during the whole season so far, although we lack a little bit of top speed on the straight, which is my weak point this year. It doesn’t matter because I’m here to push on every lap. It’s good to start like this and now we just have to continue in the same way.”


“The first session was a little difficult, because I didn’t quite feel good on the bike. In Practice 2 we made some changes and I liked them a lot, as I was much more comfortable and we managed to finish in the Q2 positions. Tomorrow we will try to improve and tweak the bike, and we will continue working in order to have a good race pace and be in the front group on Sunday.”