Rueda dominates final day of testing in Jerez


The Red Bull KTM Ajo rider is the fastest of the three days, while teammate Xabi Zurutuza is twenty-first.

The last day of preseason at the Circuito de Jerez Circuit – Angel Nieto saw the Red Bull KTM Ajo duo once again enjoy favourable conditions, in which to fine-tune things for the season opener next week in Qatar. Jose Antonio Rueda was the fastest rider of the day after completing a test full of technical innovations. Xabi Zurutuza continued to take steps forward and consolidate his progress, finishing in 21st position and achieving his best times of the test.

Rueda had been in great shape this preseason, with strong displays in the opening two sessions on Friday to become the rider to beat throughout the day. After three days in which both the team and the rider focused on getting to know the new bike and the new tyres, the Andalusian rider performed a race simulation from which they were able to draw good conclusions. He completed 54 laps on Friday, 192 in total. A time of 1:43.276 also put him first on the combined timesheets for the three days of testing.

Zurutuza made the most of the last day at the Andalusian circuit to continue his progress and adaptation to a new crew and technical innovations that both KTM and the new tyre supplier have introduced this season. He set his fastest times on Friday, although the most important thing for the Red Bull KTM Ajo rookie was the good feeling and confidence with which he concluded preseason. Zurutuza finished the day in 21st position, with a time of 1:45.313 and after having put in 65 laps (178 in total). The Spaniard will not be able to compete until the Grand Prix of the Americas, due to his age. 

Red Bull KTM Ajo will start the season proper next weekend, with the Qatar Grand Prix, from March 8-10th at the Lusail International Circuit.

Combined Results (Day 3)
1. Jose Antonio Rueda (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 1:43.276

2. David Alonso (CFMoto) 1:43.509 +0.233
3. Ivan Ortola (KTM) 1:43.610 +0.334
4. Ryusei Yamanaka (KTM) 1:43.628 +0.352
5. Daniel Holgado (GasGas) 1:43.869 +0.593
21. Xabi Zurutuza (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 1:45.313 +2.037

Aki Ajo – Team Manager:
“It’s been a great test for our Moto3 team, and also very interesting -as we have a completely new bike from KTM and also a new tyre manufacturer. Testing has been very helpful for collecting as much data as possible about the new package. We are happy about the results and especially Rueda’s performance during this winter. He has grown mentally and he has more experience, so I’m really happy to see how he is working. His performance was at a really high level in terms of both his pace and lap time. Of course, It’s a new experience for Xabi, as he will be starting his first season in the World Championship. He is collecting a lot of information and it’s also very important for him that over these three days he has been able to, step-by-step, understand more things about the class.”


“I am very happy with what we have worked on these last few days, both with the team and with the bike. There were many things to try out and I think we have come up with very good things for the circuits that form the first part of the season. We leave Jerez with a very good feeling and now we are looking forward to the season and the first race in Qatar.”


“We have worked very hard during the three days of testing. We have taken a big step to adapt to the new bike and the team, and I have improved a lot in terms of my feeling, which was the most important thing. The most positive thing is that we have continued working very well and we finished the preseason with confidence ahead of the first race.”