The fact that the myWorld Motorrad Grand Prix of Austria would not be an easy one was clear despite last year’s success of the Redox PrüstelGP team. Though, the team didn’t expect that things would turn out to be so difficult after their promising start on Friday.
Unfortunately, the 26-year-old Czech, Jakub Kornfeil, could not shake off the problems from FP2. Already in the morning in the third free practice, he was just about able to secure his supposedly safe Q2 place after he finished the morning session only in 21st place, 1,425 seconds behind Pacesetter Tony Arbonlino. As you know, there is not much time left in Q2, so making quick decisions doesn’t always end well. Unfortunately, the group with the experienced Kornfeil was in did not help him with faster lap times, so he will start the race from P15 tomorrow after benefiting from Ayumu Sasaki’s grid penalty.
Filip Salac also seemed to be having trouble on this cloudy Saturday in Austria. First, he was strong in FP3 and rode similar times with used tyres, as the day before with new ones. But then he was unlucky again. With fresh tyres, the young Czech wanted to start his final attack, but then another rider got in his way, forcing him to open up and go wide. After that, there was no time to try again. Nevertheless, he left ten opponents behind him of which some are his rookie colleagues like Can Oncu on 27th position.
When the red lights turn green at 11:00 am (CET) on Sunday, there is only one goal for the determined duo: catching the leading group and take as many points as possible. But first you have to escape the hustle after the start. Will the two Czechs have more luck this time than last week at their home Grand Prix in Brno?
1. Romano Fenati (VN Snipers) – 1: 36.460
2. Ayumu Sasaki (Petronas Sprinta Racing) + 0.051 *
3. Jaume Masia (Bester Capital Dubai) + 0.229
4. John McPhee (Petronas Sprinta Racing) + 0.230
5. Ai Ogura (Honda Team Asia) + 0.245 *
6. Kaito Toba (Honda Team Asia) + 0.302
7. Tatsuki Suzuki (SIC58 Squadra Corse) + 0.328
8. Tony Arbolino (VN Snipers) + 0.331
9. Lorenzo Dalla Porta (Leopard Racing) + 0.430
10. Raul Fernandez (Sama Qatar Angel Nieto Team) + 0.513
16. Jakub Kornfeil (Redox PrüstelGP) + 1.023
21.Filip Salac (Redox PrüstelGP)
* 12-place grid penalty
Today the Qualifying was really tough. I tried to do everything but we weren’t sure whether we should push alone or in a group. We decided on a group, which now I think wasn’t the best decision because I only really rode 2 laps. One in the beginning and one in the end. That’s obviously not a lot so those laps would have to be perfect. 16th Position is not what we wanted so I can’t be happy. Top 10 was clearly our goal and now we are far off. For tomorrow we need to improve the gearbox because that’s important here in the first and second sectors. The bike set-up is good so it’s really just the gearbox and we will be ready for the race. For sure we will try something in Warm-Up and see how it goes. The rhythm is good but the last lap in Qualifying was a bit unfortunate.
It was a bad day for me and I am super unhappy. This morning in FP3 the bike worked really good. I rode the same lap times with used tyres as yesterday with new ones. When I got my new set of tyres I went out to push for a good position but then, just as I was on a fast lap, another rider touched me forcing me to open up and go wide. Just another bad luck moment for me. Therefore I ended up in Q1. I was hoping to make it through to Q2 but once again we had the wrong strategy. I had to push for a strong lap time myself which was difficult here at this track. You need a bit of slipstream but tomorrow matters. Things can always be different on Race day so let’s see what I can do but I will give my best, that’s for sure.