Good start for Red Bull KTM Ajo Moto3 at Italian Grand Prix


Jose Antonio Rueda sets the fourth fastest time, while Xabi Zurutuza is sixteenth.

The Italian Grand Prix got underway with practice sessions on Friday, and Jose Antonio Rueda fought for the top spots throughout. He clocked the fourth best time of the day, whilst Mugello debutant Xabi Zurutuza was sixteenth.

Rueda and Zurutuza started the morning Free Practice well, despite the fact that damp patches meant that track conditions were not the most favourable. Rueda again started the weekend by being very consistent and occupying the top positions in the standings. The Red Bull KTM Ajo Moto3 rider worked on his setup primarily, and from the start was amongst the frontrunners. After completing 14 laps, he achieved his best time on his penultimate lap, with a 1:57.050 that placed him third. Zurutuza had his first experience of Mugello in the first session, and the rookie occupied the Top 10 for much of the session. The Spaniard showed progress and had a good feeling at the start of the weekend, finishing in sixth place with a time of 1:57.477.

In the afternoon session, the threat of rain was constant at the Italian circuit, and isolated drops fell prior to the start of Practice 1. Jose Antonio Rueda and Xabi Zurutuza worked to continue fine tuning their set-up and try to get a provisional place in Q2 for tomorrow. Rueda again remained among the top riders, and in the final minutes snatched the top spot. After improving his times by up to a second, he finally completed Friday with the fourth best time of 1:56.088. Zurutuza also continued to lower his times in a session in which the entire field rode very fast. Having adapted rapidly to the track, after 15 laps his 1:56.791 left him on the brink of the Q2 positions, in sixteenth place.

The qualifying sessions for the Italian Grand Prix will take place from 12:50 pm, local time, on Saturday.

Results Practice 1
1. David Alonso (CFMoto) 1:56.671
2. Collin Veijer (Husqvarna) 1:55.207 +0.536
3. Ryusei Yamanaka (KTM) 1:55.368 +0.697
4. Jose Antonio Rueda (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 1:56.088 +1.417
5. Luca Lunetta (Honda) 1:56.143 +1.472
16. Xabi Zurutuza (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 1:56.791 +2.120



“The first day here went very well. We have improved a lot from the beginning of the first session to the end of Practice 1 -by almost a second-, and have worked a lot with the team on setting up the bike. I think we still have a lot to improve, because we are a little far off the leader. In general we’re happy with the work we have done today and we must continue working along these same lines so that tomorrow we can continue fighting to be at the front -and fight for the front row for Sunday’s race.”


“Our first day at Mugello circuit is finished. It has been a positive day in which we have taken a fairly big step forward. The initial feeling has been very good and I really like the circuit. We were very close to the Q2 spots, but tomorrow we have another opportunity in which we will try to improve in some aspects that we have detected can be bettered. We have to keep learning and give it our all tomorrow.”