Good feeling for Red Bull KTM Ajo Moto2 on first day at COTA


Celestino Vietti finishes in seventh position, with Deniz Öncü in 25th.

The Red Bull KTM Ajo Moto2 duo kicked off the Grand Prix of the Americas at the demanding COTA circuit. The North American track, one of the most challenging of the calendar, has forced Celestino Vietti and Deniz Öncü to give an extra on this day. The Italian rider managed to finish in the top 10, with the seventh fastest time. Öncü, who was 25th, has improved his feelings and seems more and more comfortable in the new category.

The morning Free Practice was the first outing on track for the Moto2 riders. Vietti focused on finding a good base to work on throughout the weekend, especially ahead of qualifying and the race, since tyre management will be an important element this weekend. The Italian took a big step forward, attempting to get into the Top 3. Finally, he placed fourth thanks to his 2:09.631 achieved on his last lap. Öncü continues working on improving his feeling with his Moto2 bike in each session. The Red Bull KTM Ajo rider had a very good start and felt increasingly more comfortable. After putting in 14 laps, Öncü set his best time on his last attempt, and his 2:10.210 placed him in fourteenth position, as the best rookie of the day.

The afternoon session was another opportunity for the Moto2 team to continue progressing in Austin. Vietti looked for a setup that will allow him to be as competitive as possible. He was able to improve his times quickly, until he took seventh position with 2:09.006. He remains in the provisional Q2 positions. Öncü took advantage of every opportunity to gain experience but was not able to lower his times, as he suffered a big crash at Turn 9. Speedy work from his team meant he returned to the track in the closing minutes to finish 25th.

The Moto2 qualifying sessions will take place on Saturday from 1:45 pm.


Results Practice 1
1. Fermin Aldeguer (Boscoscuro) 2:08.359
2. Sergio Garcia (Boscoscuro) 2:08.641 +0.282
3. Dennis Foggia (Kalex) 2:08.729 +0.370
4. Marcos Ramirez (Kalex) 2:08.783 +0.424
5. Jake Dixon (Kalex) 2:08.865 +0.506
7. Celestino Vietti (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 2:09.006 +0.647
25. Deniz Öncü (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 2:10.401 +2.042



“It hasn’t been so bad in our first day here in America. We are working well, and I feel that we have a good base setup for this track, which is not the easiest for me because I’ve always struggled a bit here. We started well, we are improving in every session and with every run. I feel good; for sure I need to improve a little bit in terms of my riding style at T1, because we are losing a lot of time there, but I think we can do thaf and we can continue improving. We will see what we can do tomorrow.”


“The first day in America is done. It was really fun and I really enjoyed riding the bike here. Of course, it is not the easiest circuit with this bike and with me being a rookie, but I am going step-by-step, gaining experience and understanding the feeling with the bike. I am working with the team to continue learning and I am fully focused on tomorrow.”