Vietti takes hard-fought front row in Catalan GP qualifying


The Italian rider earns third position, with Deniz Öncü 26th.

There was an exciting Saturday of action in Moto2 at the Circuit de Barcelona – Catalunya. Celestino Vietti took third position on the intermediate class grid on his return from injury, having to go through Q1 beforehand. Deniz Öncü did not make it out of Q1 and will start the race from the ninth row.

The Red Bull KTM Ajo Moto2 duo completed their second and final practice session on Saturday morning with a clear objective. Vietti and Öncü quickly improved their times, but after stopping in the box they were unable to take a final step up to secure places in the Top 14. Vietti finished 23rd with a time of 1:43.005, while Öncü was 17th with a 1:42.878, as both were forced to go through Q1.

In qualifying, Vietti remained in the Top 4 from the opening laps, and ensured his place in Q2 with a 1:42.903 that placed him in third position. Öncü struggled to find a good feeling with his bike and had difficulty setting a good time, although he had been able to improve his times noticeably as the weekend progressed. The Red Bull KTM Ajo rider was twelfth with a time of 1:43.481, and will start from 26th position on the grid. Vietti continued to perform at his best and, from the beginning of the second qualifying session, occupied a place in the Top3. The Italian achieved his best time on his third lap, with a 1:42.903 that put him third on the grid for his first race back from collarbone surgery.

The 21-lap Moto2 race will take place on Sunday at 12:15 pm, local time, at the Circuit de Barcelona – Catalunya.


Results Qualifying
1. Sergio Garcia (Boscoscuro) 1:41.894
2. Fermin Aldeguer (Boscoscuro) 1:42.134 +0.240
3. Celestino Vietti (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 1:42.182 +0.288
4. Aron Canet (Kalex) 1:42.193 +0.299
5. Albert Arenas (Kalex) 1:42.309 +0.415
26. Deniz Öncü (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 1:43.481 +0.873 *Q1 Time



“I am really happy with the position and the pace that we had, as well as the speed compared to the other riders. We are working really hard to try to close the gap to the frontrunners, and gradually we are achieving it. We are definitely not the strongest, but I think that tomorrow, as we have a better starting position than in other races, maybe we will be able to manage the race better. Hopefully that will lead me to have more left in the tyres for the end of the race and be able to try to battle.”


“The second day is done and I am a bit frustrated with myself and my performance in qualifying, because I couldn’t set a good lap. Tomorrow I will push hard to try to gain as many positions as possible at the start. My goal is to improve as much as possible and try to get some points. I am not happy with my work today in qualifying, but I will give it my best tomorrow.”