Mixed fortunes for Husqvarna riders in season finale

Danny Kent places fourth at Valencia, whilst Niklas Ajo crashes out just before the chequered flag.

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The Valencian Grand Prix closed the 2014 Moto3 World Championship season this Sunday. The Husqvarna riders had a strong race in the season finale, with mixed luck for both Danny Kent and Niklas Ajo. Kent, who started from eleventh on the grid, just missed out on the podium after crossing the finish line in fourth place. Niklas Ajo was up into tenth before crashing with four laps to go.

Danny Kent concluded the season showing the same high level as at the previous rounds. The Red Bull Husqvarna Ajo rider staged a great comeback, gaining seven places in the race. On his final push to get onto the podium in the last two corners, the Briton could not get past Alex Marquez and crossed the finish line in fourth place.

Less fortunate was teammate Niklas Ajo. The Avant Tecno Husqvarna Ajo rider was enjoying a good race with a great pace, joining up with a large front group. However, with four laps to go he suffered a crash that prevented him from scoring points.

With this result, Kent finishes 2014 eighth in the Moto3 overall standings with 129 points. Niklas Ajo, with 52, finishes fifteenth.

Results – Race
1. Jack Miller (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 40:10.093
2. Isaac Viñales (KTM) +0.155
3. Alex Marquez (Honda) +0.955
4. Danny Kent (Red Bull Husqvarna Ajo) +1.572
5. Alex Rins (Honda) +2.251
DNF – Niklas Ajo (Avant Tecno Husqvarna Ajo)

Moto3 World Championship Standing 2014
1. Alex Marquez (Honda) 278 points
2. Jack Miller (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 276 points
3. Alex Rins (Honda) 237 points
4. Efren Vazquez (Honda) 222 points
5. Romano Fenati (KTM) 176 points
8. Danny Kent (Red Bull Husqvarna Ajo) 129 points
15. Niklas Ajo (Avant Tecno Husqvarna Ajo) 52 points

Danny Kent >> Audio (solely for radio use)

“Once again we have shown that we can ride in the front group and at a high level. We were able to fight for the podium until the last moment. This weekend went a little like in Sepang; we struggled to set a good time, but our pace was very high. I’m happy with the race we had, but I feel disappointed that Jack [Miller] did not win the World Championship.

Personally, I am very pleased with this second half of the season. I’ll try to start next year just like I finished this one. Hopefully it will be a great year. I want to thank my team a lot, especially Aki Ajo, for the excellent work they have done all season.”

Niklas Ajo >> Audio (solely for radio use)

“The race was quite difficult. Despite everything I felt very strong braking and fast when cornering, but I could not follow the other riders on the straight and I really don’t know why. I’m a little disappointed and I apologise to my team for these problems we have had in recent races. We have to work hard for next year to get more consistent results. The final position in the World Championship is not what we would have liked, but the team have worked hard all year so I can only say thank you to them and improve next year.”

Progress for Husqvarna riders ahead of final round

Danny Kent and Niklas Ajo will start in eleventh and seventh positions, respectively, for the final race of the season this weekend at Valencia.

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While yesterday was not as successful as they had hoped, Danny Kent and Niklas Ajo took advantage of the two sessions today to improve on the setup of their Husqvarna machines ahead of tomorrow’s race. During the timed qualifying held today at the Valencia circuit, Niklas Ajo managed to land a third row position, starting from the seventh spot on the grid, while the Red Bull Husqvarna Ajo rider Kent will start from the fourth in eleventh position.

Both Niklas Ajo and Danny Kent made significant improvements during the last 40 minutes of free practice. Avant Tecno Husqvarna Ajo rider worked with Jack Miller from the middle of the session, positioning himself among the fastest of the pack. Ajo improved on his previous best time to finish the session in sixth position with a time of 1:39.402. The British rider also improved on his previous efforts during the third practice, climbing to eleventh place with a time of 1:39.731.

While the wind impeded improving on morning lap times during the afternoon, it did not stop the first 18 riders from qualifying within just one second of each other. In this tight qualifying session, Niklas Ajo completed his best lap with five minutes to go, setting his best time of 1:39.750, which eventually placed him seventh on the grid. Kent ranked eleventh –with a 1:39.923– and expects to further improve during tomorrow’s warmup.

The eighteenth and final race of the 2014 season will take place tomorrow at 11:00 CET. Niklas Ajo and Danny Kent will attempt  to finish on the best note possible for their fourth full seasons in the World Championship.

Results – Qualifying practice
1. Niccolo Antonelli (KTM) 1:39.183
2. Jack Miller (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 1:39.251 +0.068
3. Alex Marquez (Honda) 1:39.556 +0.373
4. Isaac Viñales (KTM) 1:39.637 +0.454
5. Alex Rins (Honda) 1:39.716 +0.533
7. Niklas Ajo (Avant Tecno Husqvarna Ajo) 1:39.750 +0.567
11. Danny Kent (Red Bull Husqvarna Ajo) 1:39.923 +0.740

 

Danny Kent >> Audio (solely for radio use)

“This weekend has been very difficult for me. The feel of the bike isn’t as good as it has been in the last five or six races. Though we can’t rule out anything for tomorrow, because the lap times are still close. This is a track where it’s possible to form a good group and there will be a lot of overtaking. The important thing is to have a good start and stay with the front group. One positive point is that we haven’t noticed a difference between a new tyre and a worn tyre much, so the strategy will be something similar to what we did in Sepang, where we were stronger toward the end of the race. We’ll see what happens.”

Niklas Ajo >> Audio (solely for radio use)

“We are happy with this seventh position because we are close to the front. To start in the top 10 is always positive for the race, though we believe we could have improved a bit on the time, but I think we have a good pace for the race. This morning we were consistent, I just hope the weather is with us tomorrow and the wind does not blow too much. If so, I think I can stay in the front pack and try to help Jack [Miller] get the World Championship.”

Husqvarna riders begin season’s grand finale

Danny Kent and Niklas Ajo begin the first day of the Valencian Grand Prix with nineteenth and twenty-first best times, respectively, on the combined timesheet.

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The Moto3 World Championship brings down the curtain on the 2014 season this weekend in Valencia. The first day of practice took place this Friday, and both Danny Kent and Niklas Ajo were unable to find the good feeling they have previously experienced at the track. However, both are confident of strong times in tomorrow’s qualifying session. The Briton set the nineteenth fastest time, while the Finn was twenty-first.

Ajo and Kent put in the fifth and eleventh best times, respectively, in the first practice session. The Avant Tecno Husqvarna Ajo rider’s top time was a 1:40.782 on his final attempt –despite attempting an intense start to the session. Kent improved over the course of the run, eventually clocking a 1:40.986.

In the afternoon session the wind was blowing more strongly, hindering the work of the riders in the Moto3 class the most.  Niklas Ajo worked with different tyres trying to find pace and a hot lap in preparation for the qualifying session tomorrow. He lowered his morning time to go twenty-first with a 1:40.768 lap. Kent, feeling less comfortable than at recent races, was nineteenth with a 1:40.639.

Tomorrow at 12:35pm both riders will have the opportunity to take Husqvarna’s second pole position of the season.

Results (Combined practice time FP1-FP2)
1. Niccolo Antonelli (KTM) 1:39.647
2. Jack Miller (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 1:39.848 +0.201
3. Alex Marquez (Honda) 1:39.916 +0.269
4. Enea Bastianini (KTM) 1:39.920 +0.273
5. Andrea Migno (Mahindra) 1:39.955 +0.308
19. Danny Kent (Red Bull Husqvarna Ajo) 1:40.639 +0.992
21. Niklas Ajo (Avant Tecno Husqvarna Ajo) 1:40.768 +1.121

Danny Kent >> Audio (solely for radio use)

“This was probably one of the worst Fridays all season in terms of our feel, both with my own feeling and with the bike. We didn’t find a way to corner well. We have to work hard, look at the data we’ve collected and see where we can improve for tomorrow. We have not changed too much from the setup regarding used over the last few races, but we have played with things so that the wind does not affect us much. Hopefully tomorrow we will find the right direction.”

Niklas Ajo >> Audio (solely for radio use)

“I think in the morning we found a good pace. We have not got the perfect feeling with the bike, but we managed to do very consistent laps that allowed us to be high up on the timesheet. In the second session we started directly with the used tyre and it wore out very quickly. I had to go back to the garage and switch to new tyres but I could not find a good grip. In the morning, with the softer compound, I had great rear grip. We have to work to find out why we lack this grip because it is so difficult to exit corners. I’m happy, because even though we are at the bottom of the overall timesheet the difference between riders is not great. If we get a good setup for tomorrow, I’m sure we will improve.”

Husqvarna riders look to close the year with good results at Valencia

Danny Kent and Niklas Ajo want to give Husqvarna positive finish to 2014 Moto3 campaign.

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The Moto3 World Championship holds its final event of the season this weekend, the Valencian GP. The Husqvarna riders want to have a strong weekend to end 2014; Danny Kent arrives at the event ninth overall with 116 points, whilst Niklas Ajo is fifteenth with a total of 52.

Danny Kent wants to close the season with Red Bull Husqvarna Ajo by continuing his excellent form from recent races. The Brit won at Valencia two years ago, for his second Grand Prix victory, and has a target in mind for this weekend: Seventh place in the overall standings is just six points away for Kent, currently held by Italian Enea Bastianini.

Niklas Ajo has had a harder time in this final part of the year. Avant Tecno Husqvarna Ajo rider has been unable to enjoy consistent form in recent races due to various circumstances. The Finn hopes to have luck back on his side this weekend, aiming to close the season with a Top 15 finish in Valencia and in the overall standings.

The final race of the 2014 Moto3 World Championship will take place at 11:00am on Sunday. Free Practice begins on Friday at 9am and qualifying will be held on Saturday at 12:35pm.

Circuit information – Comunitat Valenciana
Length: 4.005m / 2.489 miles
Width: 12m
Left corners: 9
Right corners: 5
Longest straight: 876 m / 0.544 miles
Constructed: 1999

Danny Kent

“The Comunitat Valenciana circuit is very nice. Everybody has ridden there many times because it is a very popular track, where preseason tests are held each year. After the fourth place in Sepang, I can’t wait to get back onboard my Husqvarna. In 2012 I won at Valencia in the rain, so I hope that this weekend’s race is another good one for us. I like the track a lot, so the threat of rain doesn’t worry me.”

Niklas Ajo

“Valencia is a circuit I like a lot. In fact, it is one of my favourite ones. All riders know the track very well because it is a popular preseason venue. We’ve all put in many laps here. I want to forget the results of the final stretch of the season, in which different problems have prevented us from scoring points. I’m sure that if we are lucky we can have a good last race.”

Danny Kent just misses out on podium at Sepang

Red Bull Husqvarna Ajo rider crosses the finish line in fourth place after an excellent end to the race. Niklas Ajo retires in the early stages of the Malaysian GP.

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Danny Kent and Niklas Ajo had mixed fortunes in the Malaysian Grand Prix. The penultimate race of the 2014 Moto3 World Championship, held at the Sepang International Circuit, allowed the Red Bull Husqvarna Ajo rider to add 13 points to his tally after finishing fourth. The Avant Tecno Husqvarna Ajo rider was forced to retire with a mechanical problem on lap four.

Despite not having the best feeling throughout the weekend, Danny Kent showed that he is at his best form in this final stretch of the season. The Briton quickly caught the front group, but after losing touch with them at the midway point, he had to close the gap again with 7 laps remaining. In the final part of the race, Kent went on the attack and moved up to fourth. The Red Bull Husqvarna Ajo rider remains ninth overall, with 116 points.

Less fortunate was Niklas Ajo, who could not complete the race. The Avant Tecno Husqvarna Ajo rider had a mechanical problem that forced him to enter the pits to retire after four laps. The Finn, with 52 points to his name, is fifteenth overall.

The Moto3 World Championship season closes with the final race in Valencia, which will take place at the Circuit Ricardo Tormo in two weeks’ time.

Results – Race
1. Efren Vazquez (Honda) 40:41.002
2. Jack Miller (Red Bull KTM Ajo) +0.213
3. Alex Rins (Honda) +0.385
4. Danny Kent (Red Bull Husqvarna Ajo) +0.803
5. Alex Marquez (Honda) +0.831
DNF – Niklas Ajo (Avant Tecno Husqvarna Ajo)

Moto3 World Championship Standing 2014
1. Alex Marquez (Honda) 262 points
2. Jack Miller (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 251 points
3. Alex Rins (Honda) 226 points
4. Efren Vazquez (Honda) 212 points
5. Romano Fenati (KTM) 174 points
9. Danny Kent (Red Bull Husqvarna Ajo) 116 points
15. Niklas Ajo (Avant Tecno Husqvarna Ajo) 52 points

Danny Kent >> Audio (solely for radio use)

“It’s been a very tough weekend. We worked to get a good feeling on the bike. We can be very happy with how the race went. We have maintained a strong pace and we showed that we can ride with the front group over recent races. Since Aragon we have been fighting to be at the front and I’m very happy with the big step that we have taken in this second part of the season. Once again, the team did a great job all weekend.”

Niklas Ajo >> Audio (solely for radio use)

“We still do not know what the problem we had with the bike was. It started to lose power and the top speed was nothing like what we had before. It was safest to return to the garage, because every lap was different. I’m a little disappointed, because I was catching people under braking and when cornering, but if you don’t have straight line speed you can’t do anything.

We are already focusing on Valencia to try to finish the season well, because it’s one of my favourite tracks. The team did a great job all weekend and, although we had many problems from the start, we could really show our level.”

Third and fifth row starts for Husqvarna riders at Sepang

Danny Kent and Niklas Ajo take 7th and 14th place, respectively, in a hot qualifying session in Malaysia.

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Danny Kent and Niklas Ajo had a positive qualifying session for the Malaysian Grand Prix. The seventeenth round of the year will see Kent start from 7th, after he set a 2:13.529 best time in the runout. Ajo, who missed most of yesterday’s second practice session, will take off from the fifth row of the grid. He set the 14th fastest time of 2:14.155.

The two riders improved their times from yesterday by more than half a second each in the third practice session, continuing their constant evolution. Red Bull Husqvarna Ajo rider was ninth with a 2:13.567 lap and took another step forward with the setup of his bike. Likewise, Ajo made an improvement and was sixteenth with a 2:14.670 best, able to complete 14 laps after missing much of the second session yesterday.

In the qualifying session, Kent and Ajo again dropped their times. Kent set a 2:13.529 lap on his final attempt, allowing him to start from 7th on the grid. His lap was all the more impressive as he had suffered a crash with another rider shortly beforehand. Avant Tecno Husqvarna Ajo rider improved by more than half a second and qualified in 14th position, after putting in a 2:14.155 lap.

Racing at the Sepang International Circuit begins tomorrow from 1pm local time. This will be the penultimate race of the season, and both Kent and Ajo are chasing a strong result.

Results – Qualifying practice
1. Jack Miller (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 2:12.450
2. John McPhee (Honda) 2:12.909 +0.459
3. Jakub Kornfeil (KTM) 2:13.016 +0.566
4. Efren Vazquez (Honda) 2:13.040 +0.590
5. Alex Marquez (Honda) 2:13.315 +0.865
7. Danny Kent (Red Bull Husqvarna Ajo) 2:13.529 +1.079
14. Niklas Ajo (Avant Tecno Husqvarna Ajo) 2:14.155 +1.705

Danny Kent >> Audio (solely for radio use)

“I’m happy with seventh place but I’m not happy with the qualifying session I had. In the first two runs we put on two used front tyres, and when we put new tyres on the front and rear another rider clipped me and I went down. In the end I could only complete one good lap and the bike was a little damaged. However, I am pleased that in spite of this we qualified seventh. We need to work a little harder to be prepared for the race tomorrow. I’m not as confident as at the last race that we can be up at the front, but you never know.”

Niklas Ajo >> Audio (solely for radio use)

“The qualifying session today was pretty hard, just like the entire day. Missing a session yesterday with a mechanical problem hindered us a lot this morning and we could not find the right setup. We’ve been trying things out, but not going in the right direction. I also didn’t have a great feeling. We still have plenty of work to do. The final time was not bad, but I have not been able to adapt my riding style to the track. The team is doing a great job with the bike, but I have to look at my data and analyse my style to see if we can have a good race.”

First laps in Sepang for Husqvarna riders

Danny Kent sets 8th fastest time overall and Niklas Ajo the 17th, viagra dosage see at the end of the first day of the Malaysian Grand Prix.

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The start of the penultimate weekend of competition was not overly successful for the Husqvarna riders. On the first day of free practice for the Malaysian Grand Prix, treat Danny Kent and Niklas Ajo placed 8th and 17th, ed respectively. The Red Bull Husqvarna Ajo rider set a best lap of 2:14.129, whilst the Avant Tecno Husqvarna Ajo man’s top time was 2:15.348.

The first practice session saw Danny Kent place a positive fourth, just one tenth off third. After some initial adaptation to Sepang, the Briton clocked a 2:14.202 on his penultimate lap of the session. Niklas Ajo completed the morning with the 15th best time, thanks to a last lap in 2:15.422.

Both riders were able to improve their times in the afternoon. Kent was a tenth quicker than in the morning with a 2:14.129, but nevertheless dropped down to eighth. Ajo suffered a technical problem right after starting the session, completing only two flying laps. However, on one of those he was able to set his top time of the day, placing 15th with a 2:15.348.

The seventeenth Grand Prix of the year continues tomorrow with the final practice session of the weekend, starting at 9am local time. Qualifying takes place at 12.35pm. In the last three races, Danny Kent has a pole position, a front row and a fourth place to his name. Niklas Ajo will try to make amends in a session that he has found tough at recent rounds.

Results (Combined practice time FP1-FP2)
1. Niccolo Antonelli (KTM) 2:13.583
2. Jakub Kornfeil (KTM) 2:13.599 +0.016
3. Alex Marquez (Honda) 2:13.604 +0.021
4. Jack Miller (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 2:13.610 +0.027
5. Efren Vazquez (Honda) 2:13.746 +0.163
8. Danny Kent (Red Bull Husqvarna Ajo) 2:14.129 +0.546
17. Niklas Ajo (Avant Tecno Husqvarna Ajo) 2:15.348 +1.765

Danny Kent >> Audio (solely for radio use)

“Today has been a very difficult day for us. In the last three races we have set a very good pace on all three days and today we tried the same, but we had to change the bike a bit and so my feelings are not as good as before. We will analyse the data we have, compare it to other riders and see where we can improve both myself and the bike. We are still keeping up in the front group. We can be happy, but tomorrow we must work harder. I’m sure that we will solve all the problems.”

Niklas Ajo >> Audio (solely for radio use)

“In the first free practice session we started well, setting a good pace. But at the end of the session we had not found the perfect setup for the bike and I had to ride alone, without the possibility of using a slipstream. I also had some bad luck, because I crossed the finish line one second after the checkered flag was waved. I continued, thinking that I could still ride and lowered my time by half a second, but it didn’t stand.

In the morning we made good changes that we made the most of in the afternoon, and I improved my time quickly, but we had a technical problem that prevented us from working consistently. We have to stay calm to get good results. Tomorrow we will try to improve the feeling with the setup.”

Husqvarna riders optimistic ahead of Sepang visit

Niklas Ajo and Danny Kent look to complete flyaway rounds with further strong performances.

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The Moto3 World Championship heads to Malaysia this weekend, look where the penultimate race of the season takes place. The Husqvarna riders arrive at the Sepang circuit, case one of the longest in the calendar, sale in great form. Both had mixed fortunes in Australia, but Danny Kent and Niklas Ajo hope to get a good result at a track that is characterised by heat and humidity.

Danny Kent faces the final stretch of the World Championship in his best shape of the season. After failing to score points for only the second time this season at Phillip Island due to an unfortunate crash, the Red Bull Husqvarna Ajo rider wants to regain the good form of recent races. The Briton, currently 9th overall with 103 points, dominated several free practice sessions in Australia and Japan, and took the second pole position of his career at Motegi.

Niklas Ajo managed to break a run of bad luck at Phillip Island. The Avant Tecno Husqvarna Ajo rider staged a great comeback at the Australian circuit, where he gained ten places to cross the finish 9th line. The Finn, 14th in the overall standings with 52 points, hopes to conclude the Asian excursion with another positive result.

The first free practice of the lower cylinder category will take place on Friday at 9am local time. The qualifying session is scheduled for Saturday at 12:35pm and the race at 1pm on Sunday.

Circuit information – Sepang International Circuit
Length: 5.543m / 3.444 miles
Width: 25m
Left corners: 5
Right corners: 10
Longest straight: 920m / 0.572 miles
Constructed: 1998

Danny Kent

“Malaysia is a special circuit. It is the only place where the humidity is so high. This, in addition to the temperature, makes it a very hard Grand Prix for riders. The layout is also difficult because it is very wide, so in the first free practice we will need to put in some laps to find a good line. We come here from Phillip Island, which is completely different. I like the track and I want to finish off the breakthrough we have made in the last three races with a good result. I hope to take another step forward here and finish the season as high up as possible.”

Niklas Ajo

“I really like the Sepang Circuit, which is very wide compared to the other tracks and different from the rest. It is also one of the longest on the calendar. I hope to continue the same as we did in Phillip Island –except the qualifying session. We were in the Top 10 in every session and even in the Top 5. I hope we can repeat that this week and be in the lead group in the race.”

Unlucky race for Danny Kent at Phillip Island

Red Bull Husqvarna Ajo rider suffers a crash with just two laps remaining when fighting for the podium, finishing 20th. Niklas Ajo climbs 10 places and takes ninth place at the Australian Grand Prix.

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Yesterday he suffered a heavy crash in the qualifying session and fractured his left little finger, but that did not stop Niklas Ajo from having one of his best races to date. The Avant Tecno Husqvarna Ajo rider gained ten positions in the race to return to the top ten, placing ninth and claiming further points for his tally for the first time in four Grands Prix. Meanwhile, Danny Kent crashed with 2 laps remaining and was unable to round off a positive weekend with a strong result, crossing the line 20th.

Niklas Ajo began from nineteenth today, for a race in which he did not want to take too many risks on the early laps. Part of a large second group in the battle for twelfth place, the Finn managed to play his cards right. After 23 laps and several crashes for his rivals in the closing stages, Ajo was the first in the group to cross the finish line and took ninth.

Danny Kent gained one place off the line, moving into the top three. Watching the risky overtaking taking place at the front, the Red Bull Husqvarna Ajo rider opted to sit back in eleventh to prepare his strategy. With 7 laps to go he returned to the front to fight for the podium, until on the penultimate lap his chances ended with a crash. He would pick his Husqvarna bike back up and remount to take the chequered flag.

The Moto3 World Championship now heads to Malaysia, where next week the first of the two races remaining in the season will take place. In the overall standings, Danny Kent remains ninth with 103 points. Niklas Ajo, with 7 points earned today, has a total of 52 and is fourteenth.

Results – Race
1. Jack Miller (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 37:25.209
2. Alex Marquez (Honda) +0.029
3. Alex Rins (Honda) +0.032
4. Efren Vazquez (Honda) +0.044
5. John McPhee (Honda) +0.134
9. Niklas Ajo (Avant Tecno Husqvarna Ajo) +18.118
20. Danny Kent (Red Bull Husqvarna Ajo) +36.602

Moto3 World Championship Standing 2014
1. Alex Marquez (Honda) 251 points
2. Jack Miller (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 231 points
3. Alex Rins (Honda) 210 points
4. Efren Vazquez (Honda) 187 points
5. Romano Fenati (KTM) 174 points
9. Danny Kent (Red Bull Husqvarna Ajo) 103 points
14. Niklas Ajo (Avant Tecno Husqvarna Ajo) 52 points

Danny Kent >> Audio (solely for radio use)

“Once again we have been very strong here at Phillip Island. Since Aragon we have made an important step forward by demonstrating that we can be up at the front consistently. We worked very well throughout the weekend and it was just a shame about the way it ended. In the incident, Jack [Miller] overtook me on the inside and, when I opened up slightly, I collided with Binder and crashed. It was frustrating because we were going very well and could have fought for another podium. Now we have to focus on Malaysia.”

Niklas Ajo >> Audio (solely for radio use)

“It’s been a difficult weekend after my mistake yesterday in qualifying –in which I had a bad crash. After breaking my finger and suffering pain all over my body, it was not an easy race. Besides qualifying, the rest of the weekend we had been fast and we had a good pace –but the incident relegated us to the back of the grid. We can be really happy with the final position today because we gained ten places and were able to score points. It was also important to finish the race after three DNFs. Now we have to keep working to not repeat such mistakes. It is essential that our work is consistent and that we try to get good results in practice. If we improve this and our speed, then in Malaysia we can be part of the front group.”

Kent just misses out on front row

Red Bull Husqvarna Ajo rider, fourth in the qualifying session at Phillip Island, loses out on the first row by just 0.030s. Niklas Ajo, nineteenth, suffers a heavy crash at the start of the session.

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After a good start to the Grand Prix weekend yesterday, Danny Kent continued in the same way this Saturday at Phillip Island. The Briton achieved fourth place on the grid for tomorrow after going fast with both new and worn tyres. Niklas Ajo, nineteenth, was unable to convert his free practice form into a good qualifying session due to a heavy crash 17 minutes in.

The second day at Phillip Island started with a positive final practice session for the Husqvarna riders. The Avant Tecno Husqvarna Ajo rider, fast again from the early stages, was at the head of the timesheets with 13 minutes to go and finally finished with the fifth fastest time of 1:36.719. Likewise, Danny Kent improved his times with a 1:36.454 to put him second, 0.077s behind the quickest rider.

The qualifying session did not start well for Niklas Ajo, who on his second outing suffered a heavy crash at Turn 1. In the fall he fractured the little finger on his left hand. Despite this, the Finn will start the race from the seventh row, nineteenth with a 1:37.201 time. Red Bull Husqvarna Ajo rider Kent enjoyed a calm and useful stint, in which he claimed fourth. His 1:36.419 lap put him just 0.030s off the front row.

Tomorrow’s race in the lower cylinder class will take place two hours later than usual, at 1pm local time.

Results – Qualifying practice
1. Alex Marquez (Honda) 1:36.050
2. Alex Rins (Honda) 1:36.064 +0.014
3. Juanfran Guevara (Kalex KTM) 1:36.389 +0.339
4. Danny Kent (Red Bull Husqvarna Ajo) 1:36.419 +0.369
5. John McPhee (Honda) 1:36.521 +0.471
19. Niklas Ajo (Avant Tecno Husqvarna Ajo) 1:37.201 +1.151

Danny Kent >> Audio (solely for radio use)

“I think today was another day that we should be happy about. We were able to get a place at the head of the second row, which is positive. Our pace all weekend has been very strong, both with new tyres and worn ones. The feeling about the race is very good. We will try to help Jack [Miller] as much as we can, as he needs the maximum number of points possible for the overall standings. We have enough pace to fight for the front positions, and that is what we will try to do.”

Niklas Ajo >> Audio (solely for radio use)

“This morning it looked like everything was going well; we were setting good times even when riding alone. The bike was working very well. In the qualifying session, on the first runout, we started strong and were very fast on worn tyres. But on the second outing with new tyres I tried to push and crashed heavily –breaking my little finger. I also have a lot of pain throughout my body. Still, tomorrow we will take part in the race and try to recover from the blow we suffered today. I think tomorrow there will be a large group, so we will have opportunity to be at the front.”

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