SALOM AND CORTESE RIDE KTM-DRIVEN BIKES TO 2ND AND 3RD IN MOTO3 JEREZ
Luis Salom and Sandro Cortese salvaged second and third place on KTM-driven Moto3 bikes in Jerez on Sunday reversing the places they achieved in the first GP in Qatar in a great battle for the minor places in the final stages of the race.
In what quickly evolved into a race of attrition on a track with residual water from earlier rain on the Spanish circuit, half the field – 17 riders of 34 starters crashed out during the 23-lap race.
While talented young Italian teenager Romano Fenati ran away with the lead, the final laps were characterized by a three-way battle for the minor places with Luis Salom of the RW Racing GP team on the KALEX-KTM bike coming off best after the group encountered back markers in the final corners. Sandro Cortese of the Red Bull KTM Ajo Factory team finally settled for third in a battle where the German rider and Salom deployed their superior race experience to outfox Spanish teenager Alex Rins who finished fourth.
The race was declared dry at the start and riders went out on the circuit in slick tires but remaining wet patches caused multiple crashes that halved the field. Danny Kent was the first of the KTM riders to be eliminated when he was taken down in a three-rider crash in the opening lap. Next to go down was Niklas Ajo TT Motions Event Racing on the KTM Moto3 bike. Then it was Salom’s RW Racing GP teammate Brad Binder of South Africa followed by Red Bull KTM Ajo’s Arthur Sissis. The Australian got caught in the same wet patch as Kent when he high sided when he was right up the front in fourth place. Sissis also suffered multiple contusions to his chest and hand.
In the multi-rider crash drama that ensued Cortese realized that it was time to learn from his experience. “I knew I just had to wait,” he said. “I settled down to fight for second. This year it is important to take as many podiums as possible and to be consistent.“ Cortese was third in the season’s opener in Qatar.
Aki Ajo, team boss of the Red Bull KTM Ajo factory team was hopeful after the race that his two injured riders would be able to compete next weekend in the GP of Portugal in Estoril. “Sissis has some pain in his ribs, hip and small finger and Kent has hurt his ankle. Danny will have another x-ray tomorrow but it looks like its nothing too serious,” he said.
Other riders on KTM-driven bikes to finish the race were Alberto Moncayo and Hector Faubel in seventh and ninth on the Aspar team’s KALEX-KTM and Zulfahmi Khairuddin of Malaysia of Team KTM AirAsia-SIC Ajo on the KTM Moto3 bike in tenth.
Salom and Cortese are third and fourth in the championship standings after just two GPs with 33 and 32 points respectively.
Results Moto3 Jerez
1. Romano Fenati (I), FTR Honda
2. Luis Salom (E), KALEX-KTM
3. Sandro Cortese (D), KTM
4. Alex Rins (E), Suter Honda
5. Alexis Masbou (F), Honda
6. Maverick Viñales (E), FTR Honda
7. Alberto Moncayo (E), KALEX-KTM
8. Niccolo Antonelli (I), FTR Honda
9. Hector Faubel (E), KALEX-KTM
10. Zulfahmi Khairuddin (MA), KTM
DNF Arthur Sissis (AUS), KTM
DNF Brad Binder (RSA), KALEX-KTM
DNF Niklas Ajo (FIN), KTM
DNS Danny Kent (GB), KTM
1. Fenati, 45 points
2. Viñales, 35
3. Salom, 33
4. Cortese, 32
5. Rins, 19
6. Khairuddin, 16
9. Moncayo, 11
10. Faubel, 11
11. Sissis, 9
13. Kent, 8
19. Ajo, 3
Manufacturers Standings Moto3
1. FTR Honda, 50
2. KALEX-KTM, 33
3. KTM, 32