Good start for Red Bull KTM Ajo Moto3 on cold Friday in Valencia


Deniz Öncü sets the second best time of the day, while Jose Antonio Rueda is eighteenth.

This Friday, the last Grand Prix of the season began with low temperatures that significantly affected the morning session at the Circuit Ricardo Tormo in Valencia. Despite this, Deniz Öncü set the second best time of the day in the afternoon, before suffering a heavy crash. Jose Antonio Rueda improved his times and finished in eighteenth position.

The first Moto3 session began with very low temperatures on the newly relaid track. The Red Bull KTM Ajo riders noticed a lack of grip due to the conditions, and thus Öncü did not want to take too many risks in this first runout. The Turkish rider, who completed 17 laps, set the best time of the session on the penultimate lap with a 1:40.745. Rueda had a great start to the Valencian Grand Prix, taking big steps forward and feeling comfortable since the beginning. He finished in seventh place thanks to his 1:39.949, clocked on his final lap.

The afternoon session was key to improving times, thanks to the increase in temperatures. Öncü started Practice 2 with confidence and set fast times from the opening moments to take second position. However, after establishing his pace, he suffered a very serious crash at Turn 4, forcing the session to be stopped with a red flag. He was transferred to the medical centre, where he was checked for injuries. Despite having only put in 6 laps, his 1:38.972 was the second best time of the day. Rueda continued with the good feeling, made progress and lowered his morning times. However numerous crashes for other riders and red flags slowed Rueda’s rhythm, and he had his best time canceled when the session was stopped due to a second red flag. Finally, he was eighteenth with a time of 1:39.703, achieved on his seventh lap of 17.

The qualifying sessions for the Valencian Grand Prix will be held on Saturday at 12:50 PM, local time.

Results (Combined practice sessions P1-P2)
1. Daniel Holgado (KTM) 1:38.706
2. Deniz Öncü (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 1:38.972 +0.266
3. Joel Kelso (CF Moto) 1:39.080 +0.374
4. Adrian Fernandez (Honda) 1:39.127 +0.421
5. Ivan Ortola (KTM) 1:39.128 +0.422
18. Jose Antonio Rueda (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 1:39.703 +0.997


“We have finished our first day in Valencia. This is my last Moto3 race so I just want to do my best during the weekend. I crashed in FP2, so now I have a lot of pain but I will try to recover during the rest of the day and, hopefully, tomorrow I’ll achieve a good result in the Qualifying session. We were second, so we have a good starting point.”


“Today went quite well. I had a very good feeling with the bike. In FP1 we finished seventh and in FP2, despite I’m feeling good, when it came to running a good tyre we were held up by many yellow flags, so we were not able to set the fastest lap, despite being on the pace. I am not entirely satisfied with the position, since it does not reflect where I really am, but tomorrow we will try to push from the beginning to be able to go directly into Q2.”