Vietti and Öncü experience intense Saturday at Grand Prix of the Americas


The Red Bull KTM Ajo Moto2 duo will start the race from fifth and seventh row, respectively.

Celestino Vietti and Deniz Öncü completed the second day of the Grand Prix of the Americas this Saturday. The Red Bull KTM Ajo pair were both obliged to go through Q1, although only the Italian was able to progress to Q2 thereafter. Vietti finished in 15th place after recovering from a crash, while Deniz Öncü was 21st.

Practice 2 was the final chance to go straight into Q2, and Vietti and Öncü had a good feeling and took a step forward compared to Friday. The Italian had set the Top 14 as his main objective and was in the fight until the closing stages. After 11 laps, Vietti clocked his best time on his ninth attempt, with a 2:08.325 which placed him 16th. Öncü continued to increase his confidence, which was reflected in his faster times; he was 2 seconds quicker than on Friday. Despite this, a 20th place thanks to a 2:08.646 on his third lap of 11 meant he would join his teammate in Q1.

In Q1, the pair had to work hard to compete for the rows high up the grid. Vietti challenged from start to finish, and clocked the best time of the session, to move into Q2. There, he suffered an early crash but rejoined the session in the closing stages, putting in two laps. His 2:08.311 was 15th fastest, putting him on the fifth row. Öncü had some difficulties in Q1 and, whilst close, would not place in the Top 4. Thus, he will begin the race in Austin in 21st position through a 2:08.646 on his third lap of 11.

The Moto2 race at the Grand Prix of the Americas will take place on Sunday and will begin at 12:15 pm local time.

Results Qualifying
1. Aron Canet (Kalex) 2:07.631
2. Fermin Aldeguer (Boscoscuro) 2:07.740 +0.109
3. Sergio Garcia (Boscoscuro) 2:07.819 +0.188
4. Albert Arenas (Kalex) 2:07.865 +0.234
5. Joe Roberts (Kalex) 2:07.868 +0.237
15. Celestino Vietti (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 2:08.311 +0.680
21. Deniz Öncü (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 2:08.601 +0.804 *Q1 Time



“It was a positive Saturday because we have improved a lot compared to yesterday, especially at Turn 1, which was where I struggled the most before. I think we need to work more there to be more consistent. In qualifying I felt very good. We had a very good Q1 but on the first laps of Q2 I made some mistakes and that didn’t help me when trying to set a good lap time. The feeling was quite good and I think we can have a good race tomorrow. We will need to get a good start and to be as close as possible to the riders at the front, and then we will see how the tyres hold up. After QP I can say it was a positive day and we need to be positive for tomorrow.”


“For some reason I couldn’t set a better lap time in the qualifying, but we will see how I can manage in the race. We can continue to progress, we just have to keep working and giving our best. I have confidence in myself and in the team. I’ll give it my all and try to finish the weekend in the best way possible, scoring more points if I can. It’s nice to race here in COTA, it’s a funny circuit and I’m enjoying myself a lot, so let’s hope we can perform at our best.”