Tough wet qualifying for Red Bull KTM Ajo Moto3 in India


Deniz Öncü finishes eleventh and Jose Antonio Rueda seventeenth in Buddh.

Saturday at the Indian GP tested the Moto3 riders with changeable conditions. After a dry Practice, qualifying was held in the wet following heavy rain. Deniz Öncü finished eleventh, although he will start from last place due to a penalty, whilst Jose Antonio Rueda will take off from the sixth row, in seventeenth.

Practice 3 took place with delicate track conditions and numerous crashes. Öncü had a better feeling than on Friday, which allowed him to climb positions on the combined timesheets. The Turkish rider suffered a crash, although he was able to rejoin the session. His best time was cancelled out and he finished in eighteenth position with a time of 2:00.608. Unfortunately, Race Direction decided to hand him a penalty after he failed to see a black flag, and he will start from the last row of the grid and will have to perform a long lap. Rueda took a big step forward and reached the top positions, as he continued to be very consistent, although unfortunately a crash prevented him from continuing to progress. He managed to stay in the Top 10 and finished in seventh position with a time of 1:59.775, achieved on his ninth lap of eleven.

Öncü competed in Q1 focused on preparing for Sunday’s race. The Red Bull KTM Ajo rider enjoyed his best session so far in the Grand Prix, and improved his times lap by lap, establishing the new circuit record with a 1:59,070. Q2 was delayed due to intense rainfall, which made the conditions completely different to in previous sessions. Öncü worked on finding a good feeling in the wet and achieved his best time on his penultimate lap, with a 2:11.282 that placed him in eleventh position. Rueda, who has barely had the opportunity to ride in the rain, was slowed down by the situation, but put in a total of 7 laps. After his best lap was cancelled, he has set up the seventeenth best time with a 2:14.181 and he will start from the sixth row of the grid.

The Moto3 Indian Grand Prix race has been shortened to 16 laps, and will take place on Sunday at 12:30 PM local time.


Results (Qualifying)
1. Jaume Masia (Honda) 2:09.336
2. Matteo Bertelle (Honda) 2:10.063 +0.727
3. Ayumu Sasaki (Husqvarna) 2:10.104 +0.768
4. Scott Ogden (Honda) 2:10.126 +0.790
5. Kaito Koba (Honda) 2:10.735 +1.399
11. Deniz Öncü (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 2:11.282 +1.946
17. Jose Antonio Rueda (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 2:14.181 +4.845



“Today we made a big improvement compared to yesterday. I changed my riding style to adapt to this circuit and I was able to go faster. Unfortunately I had a crash during P3 and my best lap was also cancelled. I had to go through Q1 and I did some really good lap times. With the penalty in place tomorrow and the rainy conditions, I didn’t want to take any risks.”


“Today was a bit of a strange day, since we had a first dry session and qualifying was delayed due to the rain. I feel more and more comfortable, and that is very positive. In Q2 it was a little difficult for me because there was a lot of water on the track, so we didn’t start as high up the order as we would have liked. Tomorrow we will have to fight back and make a good start to be in the front group, but I am very confident that we can be at the front.”