Strong start to Catalan Grand Prix for Red Bull KTM Ajo Moto3


Jose Antonio Rueda sets the second fastest time, with Xabi Zurutuza nineteenth.

The Circuit de Barcelona – Catalunya held practice for the Catalan GP this Friday. Red Bull KTM Ajo made progress throughout the day, with Jose Antonio Rueda claiming the second best time of the day. Xabi Zurutuza was nineteenth on the opening day.

In the Free Practice session, track conditions were good despite slightly grey skies. A lack of grip in the morning affected the riders, although both pushed to find the best setup for the weekend. Rueda completed a solid Practice and remained in the top positions until the end. After 16 laps, his best time of 1:47.326 placed him in third position. Zurutuza also finished Free Practice with a good feeling and with a clear strategy. The Moto3 rookie was confident throughout Friday, and a 1:49.141 put him nineteenth.

The afternoon session was the first opportunity for the Moto3 riders to position themselves in a prime spot to make the cut for Q2. Rueda remained at the top of the timesheets and fought to be the quickest man on track. He was able to improve his time quickly and maintain a good pace, even when riding alone. His 1:47.055 earned him second position, just 0.1s off the pacesetter. Zurutuza took a big step forward and lowered his times by almost a second compared to the morning, also considerably reducing the gap to the leading riders. He worked with his teammate to try to get into the Top 14 in a close session. Finally, he finished nineteenth with a 1:48.345, from his 12th lap of 16, and will look to make it directly into Q2.

Moto3 qualifying will begin at 12:50 pm, local time, on Saturday.


Results Practice 1
1. David Alonso (CF Moto) 1:46.897
2. Jose Antonio Rueda (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 1:47.055 +0.158
3. Daniel Holgado (GasGas) 1:47.136 +0.239
4. Collin Veijer (Husqvarna) 1:47.152 +0.255
5. Ivan Ortola (KTM) 1:47.238 +0.341
19. Xabi Zurutuza (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 1:48.345 +1.448


“I really noticed the difference in grip between the first and last sessions. We have been working to gradually improve the setup of the bike, including the grip. We are on the right track and I am very happy about that. We will see how we evolve in the coming days, although I hope to improve my times. I think there is always room for improvement, so we will try to do our best, putting in more laps to be able to have a better pace for tomorrow and the race on Sunday.”


“Our first day in the Circuit is done. It has been a day in which we have learned, despite the fact that in P1 we had a lap cancelled for touching the green area on the last corner. That prevented me from going directly into Q2. This afternoon we will analyse the data with the team and see the points where we need to improve in practice and qualifying tomorrow. We are really looking forward to tomorrow and we will try to go straight into Q2.”