Saturday’s Moto3 qualifying saw a positive end to the day with both Zulfahmi Khairuddin and Jakub Kornfeil breaking into the 1m27s lap times and coming to within 1.2 seconds off pole position.
With only one tenth separating the DRIVE M7 SIC Racing Team riders, they will start tomorrow’s German Grand Prix side by side on row six.
Determined to improve his performance, Zulfahmi Khairuddin got straight on the pace as the afternoon’s qualifying session commenced. Pushing hard the Malaysian rider remained within the top twenty throughout, provisionally holding tenth position at the halfway point.
Having made significant progress Zulfahmi Khairuddin will start tomorrow’s race from 17th place on the grid, his best qualifying result of the season so far.
Trying a new setting following a difficult FP3, Jakub Kornfeil worked hard to find his rhythm again on the #84 machine. Feeling more comfortable on the bike as the session progressed the Czech rider continued to chip away at his time, concluding qualifying in 18th position as the chequered flag came out.
Sachsenring, Germany – Saturday 11th July
Circuit: Sachsenring Circuit
Circuit Length: 3.7 km
Bike #63 – Zulfahmi Khairuddin
Qualifying: P17; 1’27.653 (DRY) – 17 laps
Bike #84 – Jakub Kornfeil
Qualifying: P18; 1’27.714 (DRY) – 22 laps
Johan Stigefelt – Team Manager
“This weekend so far both riders have been looking a bit better, compared to Barcelona and Assen we are definitely a step ahead for the race. Now we just have to look at the settings to see if we can improve a little more for tomorrows warm up, but overall I think we are going in the right direction. We are seventeenth and eighteenth and I’m really happy for Fahmi because he made his best qualifying of the year so far. Still we need a little bit more from him but now he’s in the mix with other riders, even from the top eight down to Fahmi there is not a lot of difference, so anything is possible tomorrow. I’m pleased about this but of course the race is what counts and we have to make a good start from where we are, but for sure this will be easier than starting from the previous grid positions we’ve had.
Jakub I think could have done a little bit better. He didn’t have the perfect feeling on the bike or the perfect start to qualifying. He was struggling with other riders crashing in front of him and had to avoid some other incidents. He says he’s quite confident for the race; we know he is a strong racer and he can do better than this, so let’s see tomorrow.”
#63 Zulfahmi Khairuddin
“I’m really happy today with the qualifying and how the week is going; every session we have improved and I’m really happy with the bike now. The team have worked really hard to find a good setting and also I think now my riding looks much better than the races before. I think this qualifying is important for us to give some confidence to me and especially the team and I believe this is how we should always be, we should even do a little bit better. Hopefully tomorrow we can have a good start but the best thing is I will enjoy this race!”
#84 Jakub Kornfeil
“I think we could have been better today but I’m still pleased with the lap times that I did on my own. The position is not perfect but it’s not bad like the previous two races. I’m not entirely sure how I feel with qualifying today; whether I should be happy or disappointed because I know our potential is much higher. It’s a pity that I didn’t find any slip-stream today. The bike was good but I think there are a couple of things we could further improve; maybe we will go back again with the suspension setting. I could also have been faster if I had followed someone but we are eighteenth and Fahmi is seventeenth so I’m very happy for him. If I can get a strong start tomorrow we have every chance to battle in the leading group.”