Demanding qualifying for Red Bull KTM Ajo Moto2 at Portuguese GP


Celestino Vietti will start the race from 14th on the grid, with Deniz Öncü 25th.

Red Bull KTM Ajo Moto2 took on the second day of the Portuguese Grand Prix this Saturday, and Celestino Vietti and Deniz Öncü completed some challenging qualifying sessions, in which the Italian set the 14th best time. Meanwhile, his teammate would not make it out of Q1 and will start from 25th.

Vietti had experienced a tricky Friday due to track conditions, which had improved enough on Saturday to allow his lap times to be lowered in Practice 2. The Italian rider, who progressively climbed positions, felt more comfortable compared to the previous day. Vietti managed to take a spot in the Top 5 in the closing minutes and, after completing 13 laps, he set his best time on the last attempt: A 1:42.101 which placed him in fifth. In Q2 he rode a little slower than in the morning, as he did not have the same positive feeling with the bike, which prevented him from competing for the higher positions. He will start from fourteenth position on the grid after posting a time of 1:42.241, and is confident about his capability to move up the order on race day.

Öncü did not have the best day at the Autodromo Internacional do Algarve. The Red Bull KTM Ajo rider tried to make his way straight into Q2 and find a good setup, and after the the initial laps of Practice 2 he pushed hard, coming very close to clocking his best time of the weekend. However, the Turkish rider was unable to finish in the Top 14 and was forced to go through Q1 after setting the 24th best time of 1:43.141. In Q1, he occupied the front positions in the initial minutes, but could not hold out as his rivals set their late hot laps. He will start from 25th position as he continues to gain experience in his first year in the intermediate class.

The 21-lap Moto2 race takes place on Sunday at 12:15 PM local time.

Results Qualifying
1. Manuel Gonzalez (Kalex) 1:41.514
2. Fermin Aldeguer (Boscoscuro) 1:41.648 +0.134
3. Aron Canet (Kalex) 1:41.713 +0.199
4. Alonso Lopez (Boscoscuro) 1:41.929 +0.415
5. Joe Roberts (Kalex) 1:42.031 +0.517
14. Celestino Vietti (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 1:42.241 +0.727
25. Deniz Öncü (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 1:43.626  +1.562 *Q1 time



“We were faster than yesterday and we felt better, especially after changing some things on the bike this morning. Maybe I over thought things during qualifying and I pushed too early, and that lead to some mistakes. But anyway, I will learn from it. I gained more experience, especially with the tyres. I apologise to the team because I know we can achieve a better result, but for tomorrow we have the speed -so it will be a good opportunity to try to recover positions.”



“For sure it is not the result we wanted, as unfortunately we didn’t make it into Q2. I know where I need improve so I am still learning, gaining more experience lap-by-lap. Tomorrow I’ll continue learning and also I will learn about what the others are doing to improve. I hope to have a good race tomorrow and will try to score at least a few points.”