Second position for Öncü in tight qualifying in Catalonia


Deniz Öncü will start  from the front row, in second position, while Jose Antonio Rueda will take off from seventh.

The Circuit de Barcelona – Catalunya held an intense day of qualifying this Saturday. Deniz Öncü will start from the front row for the sixth time this season, in second position, whilst Jose Antonio Rueda will be on the third row, in seventh place.

In Practice 3, the Red Bull KTM Ajo Moto3 duo took a big step forward compared to Friday and fought for the front row from start to finish. Öncü suffered a crash at Turn 5 with 10 minutes to go, although he was able to return to the box and see out the remaining minutes -and was even able to improve his best Practice time on the penultimate lap. He finished in eleventh position with a 1:49.183. Rueda improved his feeling from Friday and maintained a good pace from the start. After a pit stop he lowered his best time until he achieved a 1:48.565, which placed him in fourth position. Both riders qualified directly for Q2, with Öncü in tenth place and Rueda fourth.

In qualifying, Öncü almost immediately set the time to beat. After a pit stop, he completed some outstanding final laps and fought for pole until the end. Thanks to a time of 1:48.509 on his final attempt, he secured second position and will start from the front row for the sixth time this season. Rueda continued with the progress started in the morning and rode in search of a good time to get as high up the grid as possible. The Moto3 rookie occupied the Top 3 and tried to secure the position, although the high pace imposed by his rivals on a frenetic last lap relegated him to seventh position after setting a time of 1:48.758.

The 18-lap Moto3 race will be held on Sunday at 11 AM at the Circuit de Barcelona – Catalunya.

Results (Qualifying session)
1. Ivan Ortola (KTM) 1:48.205
2. Deniz  Öncü (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 1:48.509 +0.304
3. Joal Kelso (CFMoto) 1:48.563 +0.358
4. Jaume Masia (Honda) 1:48.641 +0.436
5. Matteo Bertelle (Honda) 1:48.654 +0.449
7. Jose Antonio Rueda (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 1:48.758 +0.553


“This weekend has not been easy for anyone, there is no doubt about that. We are still  strong, and that is very important to us. I am riding my laps alone and we have kept a good pace up. We managed to set a good lap time in qualifying to get onto the front row. This is very important for tomorrow’s race. We are ready for the race, we just need to be intelligent and enjoy it.”


“In Practice 3 I felt pretty good and we made a big improvement compared to Friday. I feel very comfortable on the bike, and we were able to place fourth in Practice. Qualifying was a bit crazy, but we were able to run a good time and finished seventh. We could have gone a little faster but I didn’t want to risk more than necessary. We are prepared for tomorrow’s race and I am confident we can achieve a good result.”