Good pace for Celestino Vietti and Deniz Öncü on first day at Lusail


The Red Bull KTM Ajo Moto2 duo have a good feeling despite not being able to ride during Practice 1 due to rain.

The Qatar Grand Prix had an atypical start for the intermediate class as, after Free Practice, rain in the Qatari desert meant that many of the riders did not go out on track, including Red Bull KTM Ajo’s Celestino Vietti and Deniz Öncü. Despite this, both had a good feeling and will go into qualifying on Saturday with clear ideas.

Celestino Vietti started Friday with a great pace. He went from strength to strength in his quest to find a good feeling at the Lusail International Circuit and continue adapting to the new tyres, an element that will undoubtedly be a big factor this weekend. The Italian finished the first practice session (which this year does not count towards Q2 qualification) in an outstanding second position, just one tenth off the top spot with a 1:58.663. In the afternoon, unexpected rainfall made the conditions on track difficult and prevented the riders from going out -with times unlikely to improve. Vietti will face a single session on Saturday to ensure his direct route into Q2.

Öncü completed his first session as an official Moto2 rider. He feels increasingly comfortable in this new class and continues to take firm steps to consolidate all his progress. During Free Practice, the Red Bull KTM Ajo rider took the opportunity to gain confidence and continue fine-tuning his setup, finishing in sixteenth place, having completed 15 laps and clocked a best time of 1:59.198. Like his teammate, he stayed in the box during Practice 1 due to the rain and the delicate state of the track.

Moto2 qualifying will take place on Saturday from 5:45 PM local time.

Practice 1 Results
1. Jaume Masia (Kalex) 2:14.891
2. Bo Bendsneyder (Kalex) 2:15.898 +1.007
3. Xavier Artigas (Forward) 2:16.882 +1.991
4. Alex Escrig (Forward) 2:19.104 +4.213
Celestino Vietti (Red Bull KTM Ajo) No time set
Deniz Öncü (Red Bull KTM Ajo) No time set


“Today we had a good day, and I’m quite happy with our work. We’ve started in a good way and with a good feeling. In the end we couldn’t ride during Practice 1 due to the rain, so we missed one session to understand everything better. We have to work and to improve tomorrow, working in the same way.”


“Today we only had one practice session. I feel good, but honestly we have to work with the bike to improve some things. We are learning and our objectives are clear. Hopefully tomorrow we can find a better feeling so we can push to be in the front positions.”