“Since the beginning of the season, my goal is to be Rookie of the Year”11/07/2023
The Red Bull KTM Ajo Moto3 rider continues to grow in his first year with the team and occupies ninth in the standings.
Jose Antonio Rueda is contesting his first full season in the Moto3 World Championship this year. The Spanish rider joined Red Bull KTM Ajo after being proclaimed champion of the Junior GP and the Red Bull Rookies Cup last term. After an outstanding fourth place in Portimao, Rueda has progressed with every race weekend, scoring points in practically all rounds and fighting for Top 10 finishes. After the first half of the season, he talks about his objectives for the remaining races.
It’s your first full year in the World Championship. How has the beginning of the year been for you?
“It is being a year of a lot of learning. I’m on a new team and above all am riding a new bike, so I have had to adapt. We keep learning with the KTM at every race and I think we’re getting a little closer all the time. We still have a little way to go before we can get more comfortable with the bike, but we’re on the right track and I’m very happy with the results and the work I’m doing with the team.”
What expectations did you have before starting the season?
“Obviously, initially you always just want to do your best, but of course we had our sights on being Rookie of the Year. We’ve been working hard since the season started and I think we can do it.”
In the first race of the season you got onto the front row and finished fourth. Did you think it was going to be a little more difficult?
“I did not expect to be so high up in the first race, although I did expect a good result because it was a circuit that I knew quite well and liked a lot. I think that also helped when it came to being able to make the front row and place fourth. In the first half of the year there were many circuits where I have already ridden, so that is a plus point. I know the lines well and I can go faster.”
What has been helping you the most when it comes to competing?
“The team is what is helping me the most. I have adapted very well to their way of working, I get along well with them and that is very positive, especially on the circuits I have not been to before, since I have to adapt more and they are completely new places for me.”
“Every time I feel more comfortable with the team and the bike. The team are helping me a lot with adapting.”
What would you highlight about yourself as a rider?
“I would say that I am able to go fast from the start, especially at circuits that I already know. But if I had to highlight something above all else, it would be how I ride on Sundays.”
What do you want to focus on to improve in the remainder of the season?
“I want to improve at circuits that I don’t know, to try to go faster, but above all I want to be more comfortable with the bike. That would let me ride a little closer to the limit, because I’m still learning. I would say that the aspects to improve would be that and qualifying a little better on Saturdays.”
You have a teammate with a lot of experience. What does Deniz Öncü give you?
“He helps me especially when we come to a new circuit that I don’t know, since I don’t have data. In some races we have ridden together, especially in the first three rounds, where I needed to gain more experience, although since then each one of us has gone our own way. It is always positive to have a rider like him to learn and continue progressing in a series as competitive as Moto3.”
What goals do you have for the remaining races?
“Obviously, I want to keep improving and adapting to the KTM. We went into the summer break with a very good taste in our mouths after Assen. It’s my first year with this bike, while other riders have been using it for several years. There are weekends where it is a little more difficult for me, but we are focused on the things we have to work on, such as qualifying higher up on Saturdays.”
You currently occupy ninth position overall. Is it still your goal to be Rookie of the Year?
“Of course. I’m close and we will keep fighting to win it. The results are getting better and better and I think we can aspire to more. It would be very nice to end the year as the best rookie.”