Top 10 for Red Bull KTM Ajo Moto3 on first encounter with India


Jose Antonio Rueda finishes in eighth position, with Deniz Öncü tenth.

The Red Bull KTM Ajo Moto3 duo had their first experience of the Buddh International Circuit this Friday, as Deniz Öncü and Jose Antonio Rueda completed the first sessions of the Indian Grand Prix. Both improved their times in the afternoon and finished in the Top 10, with Rueda in eighth position and Öncü tenth.

The first session featured high temperatures and was a longer runout than normal, in order to familarise the riders with the track. The Red Bull KTM Ajo riders focused on adapting and improving progressively and, whilst Öncü did not find the best feeling in this first practice, he did lower his times lap after lap, ending Practice 1 in sixteenth position with a time of 2:01.708 on his 15th attempt of 18. Rueda felt more comfortable and soon climbed up the order, maintaining consistency from start to finish and chasing the top spots. After completing a total of 17 laps, the Moto3 rookie achieved his best time on his final run, with a 2:01.060 for eighth position.

The afternoon session allowed for a fine-tuning of the setup and faster times. Öncü still struggled in the first few minutes, although the Turkish rider did his best to lower his times. After a pit stop, he managed to take a big step forward, improving his time by a second and placing himself tenth thanks to a 2:00.607, achieved on his 12th lap of 17. Rueda was again consistent during the 50-minute session, upping a steady pace as time progressed.  He was up into fourth, before a crash at Turn 11 in the final stretch deprived him of one of the top positions. Despite the incident, Rueda finished in an outstanding eighth position, through his 2:00.530 lap.

Qualifying sessions for the Indian Grand Prix will take place this Saturday from 1:20  PM local time.

Results (Combined practice times P1 – P2)
1. Collin Veijer (Husqvarna) 1:59.566
2. Jaume Masia (Honda) 1:59.752 +0.186
3. Stefano Nepa (KTM) 2:00.122 +0.556
4. David Alonso (GasGas) 2:00.195 +0.629
5. Riccardo Rossi (Honda) 2:00.328 +0.762
8. Jose Antonio Rueda (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 2:00.530 +0.964
10. Deniz Öncü (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 2:00.607 +1.041


“It wasn’t the best day for me because I expected a bit better. It’s a new circuit and I enjoyed myself a lot, as I didn’t expect as nice a track here in India. For sure, tomorrow there is something which we have to focus on and improve. We have been consistent in many races and we are always fighting. We didn’t start in the best way here but we will improve tomorrow for qualifying.”


“The first day went quite well, despite it being a circuit that we didn’t know before. I felt comfortable on the bike, although we needed some things to improve. We didn’t manage to perform at 100% due to some mistakes, but it made me feel better. I really liked the circuit and I think we can have a good qualifying tomorrow.”