The Red Bull Ring had a surprise in store on Sunday morning – a rain-soaked track after it has rained all night and morning. The topic of tyre choice was certainly the most debated at today’s race day. For the two Redox PrüstelGP pilots, the morning still provided a happy surprise. After a total of 16 riders were charged with grid penalties, the two Czechs benefited from six starting positions each.
Joyfully, Jakub Kornfeilwas allowed to start from P10, which was a much better starting position than his 16th place from Q2. Due to the still drying track, the initial position battles turned out to be extremely difficult and risky. The drying ideal line was only very narrow at the beginning of the race and as soon as one left that dry line, the risk of crashing increased extremely. After a few laps, the experienced Czech lead the second chasing group, in which no other than the World Championship contender Aron Canet and Niccolo Antonelli were battling in. It was not until three laps from the end of the race that his opponents attacked and challenged the 26-year-old at the top of the group. After all, it was only Yurchenko who managed to take P7 away from Jakub Kornfeil, who was able to clinch a solid eighth place and thus eight championship points.
After Filip Salac finished the morning warm-up in wet conditions on P7, the young Czech was optimistic for the race but unsure which tyres to chose – slicks or the rain compound? Some thrilling battles at the start of the 23 lap race took the Moto3 rookie out of rhythm. He tried to make up for the lost positions by riding constant lap times, but a long-lap penalty pushed the youngster to the back of the field again. In the end, Filip Salac held onto the nineteenth place.
In two weeks’ time, the team is heading to Great Britain, to the famous Silverstone Circuit, where last year’s race day had to be canceled due to heavy rainfalls. Can the new asphalt cope with the masses of waters highly possibly to fall in good ol’England? We’ll see, but before that, the Saxon Moto3 team will take a test at the Red Bull Ring in Spielberg. But not the youngster Filip Salac will sit in the saddle for the German Team, but the current Red Bull Rookies Cup rider, Jason Duspasquier. On Monday, the Swiss will have the chance to test the Moto3 KTM by Filip Salac and to prove his potential.
1. Romano Fenati (VN Snipers)
2. Tony Arbolino (VN Snipers) + 1.097
3. John McPhee (Petronas Sprinta Racing) + 1.105
4. Celestino Vietti (SKY Racing Team VR46) + 1.120
5. Marcos Ramirez (Leopard Racing) + 6.789
6. Lorenzo Dalla Porta (Leopard Racing) + 7.559
7. Makar Yurchenko (BOE Skull Rider Mugen Racing) + 17.880
8. Jakub Kornfeil (Redox PrüstelGP) + 17.902
9. Niccolo Antonelli (SIC58 Squadra Corse) + 17.936
10. Aron Canet (Sterilgarda Max Racing Team) + 18.030
19. Filip Salac (Redox PrüstelGP) + 40,668
It was a very tough race from the beginning because the leaders went so quickly in the beginning, opening up a gap and you could tell that they have a completely different pace than all the following groups. At first, I was stuck in the third group and we weren’t as fast because in the last sector there was only one fine dry line. Generally, it was difficult to overtake with the damp track. I checked out my opponents and knew, I had to make a move but to overtake for example Antonelli on his Honda at this fast track is never easy. Finally, I managed, also Canet and then for about nine laps I was comfortably in front of them but only until the last lap. I was improving my pace despite my worn-out tyres. I was doing a 1:38.0 in the last few laps. Basically, the bike was working well, we just missed some top speed in the race, also in the corner which is why I couldn’t close the gap to the second group. My goal was to finish in front of my group but in the last lap, Antonelli and Yurchenko overtook me in T3, Canet followed in the next corner. I had to push hard in rider to get my position back but in the end, I am glad I managed to keep Antonelli and Canet behind me. I am not super happy because I wanted to finish seventh but it’s ok. We are now looking forward to the Test and Silverstone which might be a bit easier as here it was all about the engine.
In the warm-up we had to go out on wet tyres,I had a good feeling and finished seventh, which was good. Before the race, the tyre choice was still unclear. It was either Medium Dry or Medium Wet but in the end, we went for Slicks like most of the riders. It was good but in the first lap, the dry one only had like 1m width, so when you were outside that line you had to straight as you can’t turn normally on those damp patches with slick tyres. Four times I had contact with other riders which made me go wide every time so I ended up last and I knew the race was kind of over for me. In the second half, I rode good lap times, I was fighting in a group but with the long lap penalty and all, it was a bad race for me. I hope to be stronger in Silverstone.
After all the penalties of yesterday, we finally started from P10 and P17. Jakub had a good start and was able to stay in the third group. He fought well with Antonelli and Canet and was even able to open up a gap for a while. In the end, the guys caught up with him and he fell back to eighth place. I think it was still a good race of him, especially since we were previously unsure which tyres we should take. In the end, the slicks were the best choice. Filip was able to maintain his position for a long time after the start but then had some issues with other riders, got a long-lap penalty, which is why he dropped back even further. But then he moved forward again with constant lap times. Unfortunately, the 19th place did not quite live up to what we expected, as he had the potential to achieve more. The results are not entirely satisfying, but we are now looking to the test on Monday and the race at Silverstone in two weeks. Thanks a lot to the team for working hard here this weekend at the Red Bull Ring, it was, as always a lot of fun.