Top 5 at start of Dutch TT for Rueda


Jose Antonio Rueda and Xabi Zurutuza finish Friday in fifth and 26th.

The Red Bull KTM Ajo Moto3 riders had a mixed first day of the Dutch TT. Jose Antonio Rueda was very competitive, occupying the top positions from the beginning and finishing the day in fifth. Xabi Zurutuza had his first contact with the legendary Assen track. The rookie in the class will have to fight to secure a place in Q2 after finishing 26th.

The morning Free Practice featured good track conditions despite the wind. The Red Bull KTM Ajo riders were returning to action after a three-week break, and Rueda and Zurutuza looked for a good setup in a session focused on adapting as quickly as possible. After the opening laps, Rueda was one of the pacesetters. The Moto3 rider, who finished fifth, just 3 tenths off the top spot, clocked a time of 1:40.958. Zurutuza faced an unknown circuit in his first season in the series. Now fully recovered from his spectacular crash at the last Grand Prix, he aimed to get familiar with the track and find a good feeling. After 16 laps, his 1:42.391 lap put him in 20th position.

In the afternoon session, Rueda lowered his times in a tight Practice. The Spaniard was once again among the fastest in the class, and maintained a steady pace lap-after-lap. The Red Bull KTM Ajo rider earned a provisional spot in Q2 with a 1:40.626, the fifth best time. Zurutuza continued working to feel more comfortable on a tricky track, but couldn’t manage to do so and found it a struggle to get closer to the Q2 positions. After finishing 26th with a time of 1:42.626, on Saturday he will work hard to continue progressing.The Dutch TT qualifying sessions will take place this Saturday from 12:50 pm at the TT Circuit Assen.


Results Practice 1
1. Collin Veijer (Husqvarna) 1:40.259
2. Ryusei Yamanaka (KTM) 1:40.553 +0.294
3. Ivan Ortola (KTM) 1:40.569 +0.310
4. Adrian Fernandez (Honda) 1:40.603 +0.344
5. Jose Antonio Rueda (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 1:40.626 +0.367
26. Xabi Zurutuza (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 1:42:984 +2.725



“Today has gone quite well and we have been able to try many things. Between the first session and the second we took a step forward, so we know the way to work for tomorrow. I am happy with today and with the good feeling, despite the 5th place and the difficulties posed by the wind. Tomorrow we will do our best to prepare as best as possible for the race.”


“I really wanted to get back on the bike after my injury in Italy. The initial feeling was very good and I liked the circuit a lot, even though it was a hard day. It’s time to continue working to improve tomorrow and get higher up. This circuit requires a lot of learning, so we have to continue working in the same way.”