Red Bull KTM Ajo Moto3 duo have challenging qualifying at Dutch TT


Jose Antonio Rueda finishes seventh, with Xabi Zurutuza to start from 21st.

The Red Bull KTM Ajo Moto3 riders competed in the Dutch TT qualifying sessions this Saturday. Jose Antonio Rueda and Xabi Zurutuza had to go through Q1, and only Rueda was able to make his way into Q2. The pair will take off from seventh and 21st, respectively, at Assen.

Practice 2 was the definitive opportunity for the pair to secure a spot directly for Q2. Rueda improved his feeling compared to Friday, which allowed him to slightly lower his lap times from the previous day. He started well in a very tight session, with almost 20 riders lapping within a single second. After 17 laps, Rueda clocked his best time on his final attempt, with a 1:40.441 that put him 17th -and requiring him to go into Q1. Zurutuza continued working on finding the best setup for his bike at Assen. Although he improved his times lap by lap, the rookie was only able to achieve the 20th best time, a 1:40.986.

In Q1, Rueda quickly occupied the upper reaches of the timesheets with his best laps of the weekend. After a pit stop, he went back out on track, followed by his teammate, in the quest for a place in Q2. Rueda eventually made his way into first position and progressed, whilst Zurutuza was seventh and will start from 21st on the grid. Rueda reached the Top 3 in Q2 and in the closing minutes had an intense fight for the top spots. The Spaniard took his best time on his fifth lap, with a 1:40.189 that put him in seventh position, 0.4s off pole. He is off the front row for the first time this season.

The Dutch TT Moto3 race will take place this Sunday at 11:00 AM local time.


Results Qualifying
1. Angel Piqueras (Honda) 1:39.746
2. Taiyo Furusato (Honda) 1:39.820 +0.074
3. Collin Veijer (Husqvarna) 1:40.055 +0.309
4. Ivan Ortola (KTM) 1:40.073 +0.327
5. Ryusei Yamanaka (KTM) 1:40.113 +0.367
7. Jose Antonio Rueda (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 1:40.189 +0.443
21. Xabi Zurutuza (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 1:41.152 +0.772 *Q1 Time



“The first run was difficult for us because we made some changes and they didn’t work out as well as we wanted. Although that made us have to go through Q1, we managed to get into Q2 and have a good grid position for tomorrow’s race. We know where we have to improve and what to work on with the bike, so we will make those changes to be able to fight tomorrow and get either a podium or the victory.”


“Today has been a very positive day, since we have taken very big steps forward in terms of the feeling of the bike, at a totally new circuit for me. Tomorrow’s race will be fun and we will fight to achieve the best possible result. We received a long lap penalty, but we will try to let it affect us as little as possible and be able to fight as hard as we can. The objective is to continue adding kilometres and continue learning.”