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Moto3: 'Wait a month' says KTM team manager
13 February 2012
Red Bull KTM team manager Aki Ajo says it's too early to judge who the favourites for the new Moto3 World Championship will be.
KTM and (satellite) Kalex-KTM riders filled six of the top seven places during last week's Valencia test, the first of 2012, with Ajo's rider Sandro Cortese leading all three days.
“I had a very good feeling right from the first day to the end of tests and we improved a lot as we get the bike ready for the season,” said the German, a double race winner in the former 125cc category. “With KTM as the factory team we have a lot of support and I think I am in a better position than in previous years.”
Ajo said that as far as he is concerned the most important outcome of the first official test, which followed a two-day KTM shakedown, was simply the reliability of the new motorcycle.
“Now we have had five full days of tests and we have had no technical problems. That is the most important [thing],” he said.
“But we must remember that we are in the early stages of our preparation. All the teams are just beginning and we will really have a better idea of where we stand after a month.”
Maverick Vinales was the top non-KTM rider in second place, just 0.1sec from Cortese for BQR FTR-Honda.
Then came Aspar Kalex-KTM rider Alberto Moncayo, Cortese's team-mate Danny Kent and RW Racng's Luis Salom - all credited with the same lap time (+0.3sec).
Sixth place went to Niklas Ajo (+0.5sec), son of Aki and riding for TT Motions KTM, followed by Aspar's Hector Faubel (+0.7sec).
Apart from Vinales, Monlau Competicion's Miguel Oliveira was the only other Honda rider in the top ten, courtesy of his eighth place (+0.9sec).
Of the other manufacturers, the best Mahindra rider was Danny Webb in 15th, the top MZ-RE Honda Toni Finsterbusch in 18th, with Romano Fenati (24th) and Giulian Pedone (28th) leading the Ioda and Oral challenge respectively on the unofficial timesheets.
Testing continues later this week at Jerez.
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