Strong start for Rueda on first day of Qatar Grand Prix


Jose Antonio Rueda and Vicente Perez finish the first day of the Qatar Grand Prix in fourth and twentieth positions, respectively.

This Friday, the first Grand Prix of the season got underway at the Lusail International Circuit in Qatar. The Red Bull KTM Ajo Moto3 duo completed the first day with Jose Antonio Rueda strong, occupying the top spots for much of the day and finishing fourth. Vicente Perez worked to adapt on his debut with the team, and finished in twentieth place.

Rueda arrived at Lusail with great determination, looking to continue from where he left off in testing. Once again, the Red Bull KTM Ajo rider proved to be one of the best in the class, and was in second position in Free Practice -which this year will not count towards the cut for Q2. In Practice, Rueda had the opportunity to fine-tune the setup of his bike with qualifying on Saturday in mind, and was very competitive throughout. However, unexpected rainfall caused him to crash in the final stretch and he finished in fourth position, his 2:03.778 time just 0.003 thousandths of a second off a place in the Top 3.

Perez faced his first day of work with Red Bull KTM Ajo as a stand-in rider, and focused on adapting and getting a good feeling at the Lusail International Circuit. The morning Free Practice was a good starting point, in which he was able to put in a total of 12 laps and even reached the Top 10. After a twelfth position there, Perez started Practice with a different feeling after testing a hard tyre compound. Once again, the Spaniard tried to find a good setup for qualifying, but like his teammate he was caught out by the rain in Practice and crashed. A 2:05.788 placed him twentieth and on Saturday he will try to earn a direct spot in Q2.

The Moto3 qualifying sessions will take place on Saturday from 4:50 PM local time.

Practice 1 Results
1. Daniel Holgado (GasGas) 2:03.606
2. Adrian Fernandez (Honda) 2:03.669 +0.063
3. Matteo Bertelle (Honda) 2:03.775 +0.169
4. Jose Antonio Rueda (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 2:03.778 +0.172
5. Ivan Ortola (KTM) 2:03.835 +0.229
20. Vicente Perez (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 2:05.788 +2.182


“It has been a very positive first day. We had a good pace from the beginning and we were able to try things out to find out what works best for us. We have to continue working to fine-tune the setup and continue to be strong in each session. I crashed at the end of Practice 1 due to the rain, but I’m okay so we will continue working and get ready for tomorrow.”


“I was really looking forward to starting working with the team here in Qatar. It’s been a strange day because I’m having a hard time finding a feeling with the hard tyre and I didn’t feel comfortable. These are new tyres for everyone and you have to understand well how they work and behave, although we have seen that we can be fast. We will continue analysing everything to understand where we can improve and find a good setup for tomorrow’s qualifying sessions.”