Circuit Length: 4.2 km
Completing morning warm up in fifteenth place, Zulfahmi Khairuddin was feeling confident and eager for a good result. As the lights went out the Malaysian rider had a difficult start, dropping him down the order into twenty six place. Regaining his rhythm Khairuddin worked hard to fight back, lapping at the same pace as the leaders and chipping his way back through the field. In seventeenth place with five laps to go, consistent battles within the group saw the twenty three year old continuously swap places throughout the remaining laps. As the last lap approached, determined to regain places lost, Khairuddin pushed hard but bad luck struck, and a technical problem with the #63 KTM forced him out of the race before the chequered flag could fall.
Following a technical inspection after the Moto3 qualifying on Saturday, a part fitted on the #84 bike was declared as “non-standard” by race direction. For this reason a penalty of disqualification from the results of the qualifying session was imposed on Jakub Kornfeil. Despite having to start from the back of the grid, Kornfeil remained focussed and determined as he lined up in thirty third place. Making a good start the Czech rider immediately gained ten positions from where he continued his pursuit. Locked into endless battles with other riders Kornfeil was unable to break away from the pack. Despite still feeling uneasy on his #84 machine, the twenty two year old determinedly fought his way to the end, crossing the line in a credible seventeenth place.
“It hasn’t been an easy race today, especially with Jakub.
Fahmi had quite a good start position and to be honest he was looking strong all weekend. Unfortunately he made bad start and the first few laps were not good; He lost a really good chance to be in a run for the top fifteen. If you look at his lap times during the race he definitely had the pace for a much better position than what he was fighting for. Now he must learn from this and work on being more aggressive from the start to go with the top guys. In the end unfortunately he encountered an engine problem which forced him to stop on the track. Nevertheless we take some positives with this race and we will look forward to tomorrow where we will have a full day of testing, which is very important for us.
With Jakub unfortunately a penalty was imposed on him after qualifying and he was moved to the back of the grid for the race. This was due to a non-standard KTM part being fitted on the bike. We misinterpreted the technical rules and have taken full responsibility for this; the error was a mistake from our side and we sincerely apologise to our sponsors, KTM, supporters and fans for this misunderstanding. Jakub did very well to remain focussed and he had a great start to his race. He finished with an admirable result given the circumstances but it was not easy for him at all. So the same for him, the test tomorrow will be very important. We need this extra day to really work on his bike and try everything we can and we will see where we are after tomorrow. I am confident we can put this weekend behind us and move forward again.”
“My start was not good and I lost a lot of positions at the beginning of the race. Step by step I was able to pass back the riders in front of me but I’d already lost too much time from the leaders. I got back into a rhythm and I felt really good on the bike, so I just tried to keep my head down and push as hard as I could. I worked my way up to seventeenth but then I had many battles with other riders in my group. On the last lap as I entered the first corner the bike felt really heavy, then suddenly it just stopped in the second corner and that was the end of my race. It’s such a shame and I’m really disappointed because I know I had much more potential here and maybe I could even have finished sixteenth today. I’m pleased at how I have felt on the bike this weekend, so this is the positive. I hope to continue working on this tomorrow at the test.”
“My feeling is so so; I’m very happy that I came up from thirty third place to seventeenth but at the same time I’m not happy with our overall performance this weekend. We have been working very hard and the bike still doesn’t want to work. I know I can go much faster and this bike has much more potential but I believe I’ve got all I can out of it here. In the race I tried so hard to go faster and to catch the group in front but it was just impossible because the bike was doing what it wanted and we were not working together. We have more work to do now, to try and find some radical changes for the test tomorrow. I’m pleased with my race start and I had a great battle with the guys; I passed around sixteen riders during the race and this is good, I just hope we can find a solution for Aragon. It has been a tough GP but we will continue to work on the bike so that we are in better shape for the next race.”