Second and third row for Rueda and Öncü in Sepang


The Moto3 duo finish qualifying with Rueda in sixth position and Öncü ninth.

This Saturday, the Petronas Sepang International Circuit hosted qualifying sessions for the Malaysian Grand Prix. The Red Bull KTM Ajo riders worked to achieve the best possible position for the race, on a very demanding circuit both technically and in terms of the track conditions. Jose Antonio Rueda will start from sixth place, while Deniz Öncü will take off from ninth.

The third and final Practice allowed the riders to fine-tune their setup for the afternoon’s qualifying sessions. Öncü continued with the same good feeling as the previous day and remained in the top positions on the timesheets. With a spot in Q2 assured, the Turkish rider improved his time and finished in second place thanks to his 2:11.364, clocked on his penultimate lap. Rueda also took a step forward and felt much more comfortable on Saturday. The Red Bull KTM Ajo rider worked hard to go straight into Q2, and on his final attempt of nine, put in his fastest lap, but his 2:12.301 fell just short and placed him fifteenth.

Rueda was obliged to go through Q1, and he took to the track with clear ideas. From the beginning he remained in the Top 4 after setting his best time on his second lap. Second position thanks to his 2:12.671 got him into Q2, where he continued with the same strategy and competed for places high up on the grid. Working with his teammate, he achieved one of his best results in qualifying this season, and his 2:12.113 means he will start the race from the second row, in sixth position. Öncü did not have the same good feelings as in Practice, and he struggled to set a good lap. He made six attempts, giving his best until the end and taking his fastest time on his last run. The 2:12.240 lap put him ninth on the grid.

The 15-lap Moto3 Malaysian Grand Prix will take place at 12 PM local time on Sunday.

Results (Qualifying)
1. Jaume Masia (Honda) 2:10.846
2. Collin Veijer (Husqvarna) 2:11.752 +0.906
3. Matteo Bertelle (Honda) 2:11.778 +0.932
4. Ivan Ortola (KTM) 2:11.899 +1.053
5. Ayumu Sasaki (Husqvarna) 2:12.002 +1.156
6. Jose Antonio Rueda (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 2:12.113 +1.267
9. Deniz Öncü (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 2:12.240 +1.394

“In qualifying I didn’t manage to put together a fast lap, so this was the issue. I don’t want to think about what we did, but the third row is not that bad. It would be good to have the race today, but it’s ok. I just want to be calm, enjoy the race and prepare for the final laps. I don’t feel bad, and I’m hoping that tomorrow I’ll manage to finish the race in a good position.”

“Today went well and we were close to going directly into Q2, but the lap we wanted didn’t happen. We were able to handle the situation and move into Q2, and from there we were able to do a good lap alongside my teammate. Sixth position and the second row at a circuit that we don’t know is a good result and we are prepared for tomorrow. I have a good feeling, so we will try to do well in the race, improving our start to be as high up as possible from the beginning -although the pace will be fast.”