Following a difficult qualifying, Jakub Kornfeil will start his home Grand Prix from the seventh row, with teammate Zulfahmi Khairuddin on row eleven. With some much needed cloud cover from the scorching rays surrounding the Czech circuit, the DRIVE M7 SIC Racing Team riders concluded Free Practice Three having continued to progress. Happier with the set-up of his #84 KTM machine, Jakub Kornfeil was in high spirits for the afternoons Moto3 qualifying.
Despite pushing throughout the forty minute session, Kornfeil was unable to take advantage of any slipstream, but positing consistently quick times alone, remains positive that he has the race pace to fight for a good result in front of his home crowd. Eager to build on his progress made throughout the previous two consecutive GP’s, Zulfahmi Khairuddin had a clear goal insight. Looking to secure a top fifteen position on tomorrow’s grid, the Malaysian rider battled to close the gap set by the leaders.
Following a small crash in the early stages of qualifying, the 23 year old struggled to regain his rhythm. Unable to better his fastest time of the weekend set in morning practice, Fahmi was left to settle with a disappointing 33rd position for tomorrow’s Czech Grand Prix. The DRIVE M7 SIC Racing Team riders face a tough task ahead to battle their way through the field, but focused and hungry for better results, they are determined to give it their all.
Johan Stigefelt – Team Manager
“We haven’t done a great job here today. Even though, starting with Jakub, we know his race set up is very good and he’s happy with the bike and we haven’t touched the set-up since FP2. In qualifying he again didn’t really get a good tow or someone to follow, which is something we know Jakub has a bit of a problem with. The positives are that the bike is working and he feels very confident for the race and he will be aggressive in the race; I know he will fight, so that’s good. We need to take a good result with us from this race. With Fahmi it’s been a struggle since FP1. After Indy where we had a good bike set-up throughout practice and qualifying, we came here with quite high hopes for him. From the beginning it has been very difficult for us to get the bike as Fahmi wants, so qualifying speaks for itself. We need to move forward for tomorrow and see if we can improve his feeling on the bike. That’s the only thing we can do and then it’s up to him to fight hard during the race.”
Bike #63 – Zulfahmi Khairuddin
Qualifying: P33; 2’10.318 (DRY) – 12 laps
“To be honest I didn’t feel so good with the bike this afternoon. We made a small change from morning practice but unfortunately it didn’t help and I couldn’t get a good feeling. From the first outing I tried to push but then on the second lap I had a moment. I continued again to push and was going fast through the first split but then when I arrived at the breaking point in turn seven, I lost the front and crashed. Luckily the bike wasn’t too badly damaged, so I was able to get back out on track but still I could not get a good feeling on the bike. I’m very disappointed with today because I know I am capable of more and achieving a better position. I hope that we can improve the set-up in warm up tomorrow and I will keep fighting.”
Bike #84 – Jakub Kornfeil
Qualifying: P20; 2’08.750 (DRY) – 11 laps
“For tomorrow I feel very good. I know I am strong here on the brakes and in the corners, so I believe I have the same race pace as the top five. Today I just needed a bit of a slipstream. I didn’t want to get a penalty like in Sachsenring, so I just kept pushing on my own. There were many riders waiting for a tow which made it quite difficult to get a clean lap. I decided to just continuing leading the group and hoped that a faster rider would come. Bastianini along with Bagnaia and Dalla Porta arrived in front of me in the final minutes of qualifying; I knew it would not be easy as there was still a bit of a gap between us but I had to push as hard as I could anyway. I did my fastest lap which I’m pleased about and was even able to catch and pass riders in front, so I’m happy for this. For sure I can go quicker and our bike has much more potential, I just didn’t find the best slipstream. I’m sorry for my grid position but I think as a team we did a good job and my mechanics found a very good set-up. I feel confident on the bike and I don’t want to change anything for tomorrow. We will keep pushing, so let’s see what we can do in the race. I know where my strengths are around this track and that is important. I’m feeling positive and I’m looking forward to the race. Thanks to my crew for the good bike today.”