Third pole of the year for Öncü and third row for Rueda at Thai GP28/10/2023
The Turkish rider will start from the front row of the grid, with Jose Antonio Rueda on ninth place.
Red Bull KTM Ajo had a positive Saturday at the Chang International Circuit. Despite the high temperatures, Deniz Öncü was the fastest rider of the day, achieving his third pole of the season, in addition to breaking the circuit record. Jose Antonio Rueda continued to improve his feeling, and will start from ninth position, on the third row.
Practice 3 was the last chance for the riders to fine-tune their bikes before qualifying for the Thai Grand Prix. Öncü took a big step forward compared to the previous day and the Red Bull KTM Ajo rider was very strong throughout. Öncü was able to improve his time and set a new circuit record of 1:41.907, on his tenth lap of 13. Rueda employed the same strategy as on Friday and focused on continuing to improve his feeling on the Thai track. He was not only able to lower his best time, but also made it into the Top 10 to secure progress into Q2. Rueda clocked a 1:42.337 on his tenth lap of 12, which placed him ninth.
The Moto3 duo faced an intense qualifying session at the Chang International Circuit. Öncü looked to set a good time from the early stages and after a pit stop, pushed until the final minutes to take pole position in Thailand, with a time of 1:42.061. He will start from the head of the grid for the third time this season. Rueda wanted to take another step up and continued working with his teammate to fight for a good position for the race. He set his best time on his second lap, and his 1:42.523 puts him ninth on the grid.
The 19-lap Moto3 race will take place on Sunday, 29th October, at 12 PM local time.
1. Deniz Öncü (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 1:42.061
2. Diogo Moreira (KTM) 1:42.118 +0.057
3. Ayumu Sasaki (Husqvarna) 1:42.119 +0.0058
4. Ryusei Yamanaka (GasGas) 1:42.225 +0.164
5. Collin Veijer (Husqvarna) 1:42.318 +0.257
9. Jose Antonio Rueda (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 1:42.523 +0.462
#53 DENIZ ÖNCÜ
“I felt very good today and we got another pole position, which is always fantastic. Thanks to my team for all their work. We have been working during the whole weekend for the race; it will be long and hot, but we will do our best. There are many straights, but also some interesting turns in the last sector. It will be a fun race.”
#99 JOSE ANTONIO RUEDA
“Today was quite good. I felt fairly comfortable since the start of Practice 3. We managed to set a good lap and I am very happy with the teamwork that Deniz and I did. On the second stint, it was more difficult for me to set a better time, as I was behind him and he got away a little because another rider got in the way. Two riders in front of me crashed and I lost concentration a little, but the feeling is very good. We have to improve some things, but I think we’re good for the race. We are on the third row, so I’m confident we can catch up with the front group.”