Öncü and Rueda complete a productive Friday at the CatalanGP01/09/2023
The Red Bull KTM Ajo Moto3 duo finish fourth and tenth, respectively.
The first day of the Catalan Grand Prix allowed the Red Bull KTM Ajo Moto3 riders to work intensely and ensure a direct route into Q2. Deniz Öncü finished Friday with the fourth best time, while teammate Jose Antonio Rueda was tenth.
The Circuit de Barcelona – Catalunya presented ideal weather conditions for the Moto3 riders to begin work. Öncü took to the track motivated to continue claiming good results and, after the first few minutes, quickly moved into the top positions. The Red Bull KTM Ajo Moto3 rider worked with the team in search of the best possible feeling, and he would lead the way in the closing stages. With a time of 1:48.956 set on his 13th lap of 15, he finished in second place. Rueda arrived at a circuit that he knows well, and his familiarity allowed him to focus on his pace and work with a focus on the race. The Moto3 rookie improved his times lap after lap and, after a pit stop, pushed to find a better feeling despite the lack of grip. He finished in 15th with a 1:49.806.
In Practice 2, the increase in temperatures made work difficult, preventing many riders from improving on their morning times. Öncü set his sights on a good pace and staying among the top positions. The Turkish rider would not beat his Practice 1 time, but was amongst the most consistent competitors and, with a time of 1:49.436 on his thirteenth lap, finished in 14th. Rueda took another step forward in the afternoon session and after a pit stop lapped with his teammate. A 1:49.273 on his penultimate lap put him eighth. With these results, Öncü was fourth on the combined timesheets and Rueda tenth.
The Red Bull KTM Ajo Moto3 riders will compete in the CatalanGP qualifying sessions on Saturday, starting at 12:50 PM local time.
Results (Combined practice times P1 – P2)
1. Jaume Masia (Honda) 1:48.300
2. Ivan Ortola (KTM) 1:48.702 +0.402
3. Colin Veijer (Husqvarna) 1:48.916 +0.616
4. Deniz Öncü (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 1:48.956 +0.656
5. Matteo Bertelle (Honda) 1:49.012 +0.712
10. Jose Antonio Rueda (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 1:49.273 +0.973
#53 DENIZ ÖNCÜ
“Today I didn’t have the same feeling than in Austria but I was really strong with both my pace and also over a single lap. The track conditions were a bit tough, although I was able to ride alone and keep up the pace. Tomorrow I’ll be fighting again, we are working to fine-tune some details and will try to get a good grid position.”
#99 JOSE ANTONIO RUEDA
“In Practice 1 I rode alone to work on my pace. I had some problems but we were able to solve them for Practice 2 and take a big step forward. At the end of the session I worked with Deniz and I was able to set a fast lap. It has helped me a lot and thanks to that I have been able to see what aspects we can improve. The important thing is that I feel much more comfortable and tomorrow we will ride with confidence to have a good qualifying.”