Day two at Mugello saw a positive Moto3 qualifying practice for the DRIVE M7 SIC Racing Team, with Jakub Kornfeil again qualifying on the second row and Zulfahmi Khairuddin achieving his best grid position of the season.
Feeling confident with his improved set-up, Jakub Kornfeil pushed hard from the start launching himself immediately into the top ten. Lapping on his own around the Italian circuit, the Czech rider put in an impressive performance to qualify consecutively on the second row, with a time just 0.751s off pole position.
Determined to pick up the pace, Zulfahmi Khairuddin worked hard to improve his riding style throughout the forty minute qualifying session. Setting his fastest time of the weekend the Malaysian rider narrowly missed out on a top twenty position and will start tomorrows’ Gran Premio d’Italia TIM from 25th.
Johan Stigefelt – Team Manager
“It’s not been an easy qualifying for both riders but they have done a good job. After a tough start in yesterday’s practice sessions we felt a lot more comfortable in FP3 today, especially with Jakub who was a lot more confident with the bike. We tried a couple of things and in the morning we only rode with the used tyres, which was good, so we saved two good sets for the afternoon. Jakub started qualifying on the new tyres and immediately he was fast and never really dropped out of the top ten, so this worked well. His fastest lap was on his own and he actually had to pass two riders who were holding him up a bit, so if you see the gap from third, this could have been a front row start; anyway we are very happy. He has a very good pace for tomorrow, so I believe he can do very well here at Mugello.
For Fahmi he had a poor start to qualifying but he collected himself well, stayed focussed and got some good laps in. Despite his position, his lap time is not bad at all. It won’t be easy starting from 25th but its’ not as hard as before, so he has improved this and that is good. I think Fahmi feels more comfortable with the bike now, so this is very important. For tomorrow he must concentrate on getting a good start, stay in a group and do like he did at Le Mans, which I believe is very possible.
Thanks to the whole team and I look forward for tomorrow.”
#63 Zulfahmi Khairuddin
Qualifying: P25; 1’58.455 (DRY) – 15 laps
“I felt a lot more comfortable with the bike today. We made some really good changes and this was very positive. In qualifying we didn’t touch anything with the set-up; I just concentrated on my riding. I lost a lot of time in corner eight and still at the end I lost more than half a second compared to Jakub there, so for tomorrow we must study why this is happening. If we can find a little bit extra with the bike and I can continue to improve my riding, I’m sure we can be competitive in the race. I know I need to get a strong start to go with a good group, so this is what I will be focussing on. 25th is not where I want to be on the grid but my pace is better and I believe I can push hard to get into the points.”
#84 Jakub Kornfeil
Qualifying: P6; 1’57.366 (DRY) – 17 laps
“I am very happy to have qualified on the second row again. To be honest I didn’t expect to be so high without a slipstream, so I am quite surprised with what I achieved. Initially we made a strategy before the session to go behind some riders and get a tow but unfortunately this didn’t happen, so this is a little disappointing because I know had I been able to get the slipstream I could have been on the front row, as the gap to second is very small. Nevertheless we have achieved a good result here today and it’s great to be able to show that I can do these times on my own, especially at a circuit where for the Moto3 class, slipstreaming is so important. My bike was 100% in qualifying and I was able to push a lot, so this is very good. In Le Mans we qualified fourth so it’s great to continue this positive momentum, especially after such a difficult start to the season. We have improved a lot and I’m very pleased to be starting tomorrow’s race from 6th position. I’m very happy with my bike and I want to thank my team for setting it up very well. I’m feeling confident and ready to collect some more points.”