Salom heading third row on the grid and aiming for another podium

 In Moto3, News

Photo: KTM Images / Gold and Goose

Luis Salom will start the Portugese Grand Prix Sunday afternoon (14.30 local time, 15.30 CET) from 7th place on the grid. Brad Binder will set off from 14th. Both RW Racing GP riders had a tough qualifying at the Estoril track: a challenging circuit not only because of the lay-out but also for the strong winds and fast changing weather conditions due to its location close to the Atlantic coast.

With 22 minutes to go Salom set his first fast lap: a 1.48.565 that brought him to second place. Binder was in 6th at that time with 1.49.130. In the following ten minutes the South African dropped back in the standings but with 11 minutes left on the clock he sneaked under the 49 mark: 1.48.900. Binder found his name back at 14th at the end of the session.

Salom in the meantime was riding around in a group with Efren Vazquez and Hector Faubel, doing consistent laps of 1.48. With five minutes left he set his fastest lap time of 1.48.238. In his final attempt to improve the Spaniard tried to hook up behind Maverick Viñales, but he ran out of time. In the last few seconds Zulfahmi Khairuddin knocked Salom off the second row of the grid.

Luis Salom: “I should be happy with my pace, but I’m a bit disappointed with the final outcome. Again I was in the top 5 for most of the time, as in the free practices. That is what I was aiming for. But I just missed out on luck in the crucial last minutes. You have to make one perfect lap in which every piece of the puzzle clicks. That just didn’t work the way I wanted. Anyway, in this track it might be better to start from 7th – from the good side of the track to the first corner – than from 6th. The Kalex-KTM feels good, we have the right settings for the race. I know I can fight for the podium again and that remains my goal.”

Team manager Johan Stigefelt: “Luis had some bad luck in the end of the session, but starting from 7th is good. So is 14th for Brad. Looking at the weather forecast the conditions might be decisive again. The setup for the dry is good and we know both riders are good in the wet as well, so we can expect a good race either way.”

Source: RW Racing GP

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