The DRIVE M7 SIC Racing Team concluded a positive qualifying session today, that will see Jakub Kornfeil line up on the grid in 12th place and teammate Zulfahmi Khairuddin in 16th, for tomorrow’s Aragon Grand Prix.
Making an impressive start, Khairuddin and Kornfeil immediately launched themselves into the top ten as qualifying began, where they then remained for the majority of the session.
Quickly setting his fastest time of the weekend on race tyres, Zulfahmi Khairuddin provisionally held onto sixth position within the Moto3 field. Looking strong throughout, it was only in the final twelve minutes that the determined Malaysian rider was knocked out of the top ten.
Lapping alone for the majority of the chaotic forty minute qualifying practice, Czech rider Jakub Kornfeil worked hard to improve his pace and find his rhythm. Feeling more confident on his #84 KTM machine, the 22 year old showed a consistently fast race pace, concluding qualifying a mere two tenths from fourth place.
Starting tomorrow’s race from row four (Kornfeil) and row six (Khairuddin), the DRIVE M7 SIC Racing Team riders are feeling confident they can battle for a strong result.
MotorLand Aragon, Spain– Saturday 26th September
Circuit: MotorLand Aragon
Circuit Length: 5.1 km
Bike #63 – Zulfahmi Khairuddin
Qualifying: P16; 1’58.978 (DRY) – 13 laps
Bike #84 – Jakub Kornfeil
Qualifying: P12; 1’58.698 (DRY) – 14 laps
Johan Stigefelt – Team Manager
“It’s been a pretty good weekend here so far. After the test in Misano we found some good things for both riders and have made a lot of progress. We’ve only made minor changes today and all in the right direction. This has allowed us to concentrate more on the rider’s performance instead of always focussing on resolving problems. Fahmi and Jakub are doing a really good job. The times are very close; Jakub is only two tenths from fourth position and Fahmi is also not far away. This is also Fahmi’s best qualifying position since Indianapolis this year. It looks good for tomorrow. Both Jakub and Fahmi can do consistently quick lap times on race tyres. We just need a good race start and the results can be there. I hope to continue this momentum.”
#63 Zulfahmi Khairuddin
“I’m really happy again with the bike today. Between the morning practice and afternoon qualifying we barely changed a thing and it felt great. To be honest this entire weekend I’ve had a good feeling on the bike. I ride well at this track and I feel a lot more confident. The bike here is unbelievable; I think it’s the best I’ve had all season. Tomorrow we will keep the set-up exactly the same. I know I can be fast and overtake people, so I really think points are possible here. We started qualifying on a medium tyre and I went fast straight away, but when we changed to the soft tyre I couldn’t improve anymore because it had a lot of chatter. In the end we went back to a used medium tyre, which felt better, but unfortunately by this point there was a lot of traffic and I couldn’t get a clear lap. Nevertheless I know I have a good race pace and a competitive bike. I want to say a big thanks to the team and tomorrow I hope we can finish this weekend with a great result.”
#84 Jakub Kornfeil
“Yesterday we prepared as much as possible because we knew it wouldn’t be an easy qualifying session today. This is why in morning practice we were a little bit further back because we were trying to save the tyres for the qualification. I think our strategy worked well because we were able to go fast straight away. In the middle of qualifying we put in the medium tyre, which was the best, so I knew I had to push hard at this point. I set my fastest lap time completely alone which I was very happy about, so despite a lot of riders going faster at the end, I feel confident with my pace and set-up for tomorrow. We have a good starting position in twelfth place and from the fourth row of the grid you can make a very good result. We have the speed, the rhythm and a strong bike, so I’m really really looking forward for tomorrow and seeing what we can do. Today we have made a good job and I am happy for this and for the guys.”