03.08.2019

First front row Qualification with Zarco 3rd in the Czech Republic and Espargaro sits 5th

MotoGP 2019 - Round 10, Brno (CZE)
Johann Zarco KTM RC16 MotoGP Czech Republic 2019

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More milestones for the KTM MotoGP project appeared at the tenth round of the 2019 campaign and as the fast, wide and challenging Brno layout – a grand prix stage since 1987 - opened the second half of the championship.

Red Bull KTM capitalised on the changing weather conditions (the Free Practice sessions and Q1 chrono were mostly wet) to stop the RC16 in Parc Ferme and on the front row for the first time thanks to Johann Zarco’s increased competitiveness. The Frenchman was able to excel in the damp and took 1st place in Q1 and set a rapid lap early in the short Q2 blast to capture 3rd position.

Pol Espargaro was not far away. The Spaniard concentrated on his wet-weather setting after the small technical hitch on Friday and it paid-off as the Q1 and Q2 continued to be rain-hit. He was just two hundredths of a second slower than Zarco in Q1 and then took 5th to equal his personal best qualifying result from round three and the Grand Prix of the Americas.

Red Bull KTM Tech3 Miguel Oliveira and Hafizh Syahrin showed good pace through Free Practice: Oliveira in particular enjoying 4th place in FP1 on Friday. The Portuguese was seven tenths of a second away from making the Q2 cut and will occupy 16th on the grid for the 21 laps tomorrow while Syahrin starts from 21st.

Johann Zarco: “This feels pretty good because I have been going through a tough time. I’m still struggling but the wet makes a reset for everyone. In the afternoon I found a good way and great confidence: I could [really] feel the bike and the tyres. The strategy to go with slick tyres at the end was complicated and didn't feel it. [To use] Rain tyres were a bit too hard for Pole Position but I had good lap from earlier in the session. Anyway, this brings a good feeling for the team. I needed this, and shows I still have this fighting spirit that is necessary for this level.”

Pol Espargaro: “A great day for everyone: the team, me and also Johann for the front row and we were all pleased to go through Q1 and to end up where we are in complicated conditions. After yesterday we knew it would involve some risk – especially with the track so wet and then drying – to get through to Q2. Johann has been working all year and I’m happy for him because he’s a good guy. It’s great we both made the Q2 and then those incredible results. Tomorrow will be interesting. It will be a fun race for us.”

Miguel Oliveira: “Overall it has been a very strange day and we had some tough conditions. We managed to get the maximum of the wet tyres at the end. I was fast, but it was a very tight QP1 and it was clear that it was going to be difficult to get into Q2. It is a good day for KTM with the first two rows and it seems like the race will be dry tomorrow. I think we can have a decent race and finishing better than where we will start.”

Hafizh Syahrin: “In the rain I had a good feeling in the end but still the conditions were tricky so I didn’t have full confidence. I changed to the medium rear tyre and I felt slightly better with it, although the session is very short. Tomorrow will be another day, so we keep working hard. I aim to stay with the group and the goal is to bring home some points for my team.”

Moto2 & Moto3

Red Bull KTM Ajo wheeled out a heavily modified KTM RC12 for the start of the second half of the Moto2 campaign but the wet conditions unsettled the formbook for Qualification. Brad Binder took 16th and Jorge Martin was 19th. KTM saw two riders make the top ten in Red Bull KTM Tech3’s Marco Bezzecchi (6th and the best so far in his Moto2 debut season) and Sama Qatar Angel Nieto Team’s Jake Dixon (9th).

The British rider’s Moto3 teammate – Raul Fernandez – was 5th in Moto3 and headed four other RC4 racers. Red Bull KTM Ajo had both Öncü brothers in action with Can being joined by Deniz for a wild-card appearance and his grand prix debut. Can recorded a decent 13th quickest lap and his twin obtained the 27th best lap-time.

Races: August 4th, 2019 – Moto3 11.00 | Moto2 12.20 | MotoGP 14.00 CET

Results Qualifying MotoGP Brno 2019

1. Marc Marquez (ESP), Honda 2:02.753
2. Jack Miller (AUS), Ducati +2.524
3. Johann Zarco (FRA), Red Bull KTM +2.598
4. Andrea Dovizioso (ITA), Ducati +2.837
5. Pol Espargaro (ESP), Red Bull KTM +2.957
16. Miguel Oliveira (POR), Red Bull KTM Tech3 2.05.763 (Q1)
21. Hafizh Syahrin (MYS), Red Bull KTM Tech3 2.07.155 (Q1)

Results Qualifying Moto2 Brno 2019

1. Alex Marquez (ESP) Kalex 2:06.787
2. Sam Lowes (GBR) Kalex +2.018
3. Lorenzo Baldassarri (ITA) Kalex +3.979
6. Marco Bezzecchi (ITA) Red Bull KTM Tech3 +5.486
16. Brad Binder (RSA) Red Bull KTM Ajo +7.390
19. Jorge Martin (ESP) Red Bull KTM Ajo

Results Qualifying Moto3 Brno 2019

1. Tony Arbolino (ITA) Honda 2:18.020
2. John McPhee (GBR) Honda +0.400
3. Niccolo Antonelli (ITA) Honda +0.802
13. Can Öncü (TUR) Red Bull KTM Ajo +2.353
27. Deniz Öncü (TUR) Red Bull KTM Ajo

Contact:
Press & PR Manager
Sebastian Kuhn
+43 676 599 0084
sebastian.kuhn@ktm.com

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