Moto3: Tough qualifying for Loi and Danilo at Le Mans
Livio Loi will start tomorrow’s 24-lap Moto3 French Grand Prix from the seventh row of the grid, after qualifying in 21st position in Le Mans this afternoon. Jules Danilo, who makes his Grand Prix debut this weekend, qualified 26th and will start from the ninth row of the grid tomorrow.
A lack of rear grip continued to be a problem for Loi during today’s free practice and qualifying sessions. The 16-year-old Belgian was hoping for a significant improvement with the softer rear tyre in qualifying, but found himself unable to push for a faster lap time after encountering exactly the same issue.
After finishing yesterday’s free practice sessions in 17th position, Danilo was disappointed to qualify only on the ninth row of the grid. The French rider, who celebrates his 18th birthday today, set his fastest time of the weekend midway through qualifying but was unable to improve further in the remaining 20 minutes.
Both riders will make some changes to their Kalex-KTM Moto3 machines ahead of tomorrow’s 24-lap Moto3 French Grand Prix, which gets underway at 11.00 local time.
Livio Loi #11: 21st – 1’45.517
“I’m not so happy with qualifying today, because my feeling was that I could go much faster. We went with the softer option rear at first, but the grip just wasn’t there. The medium option we ran in the middle of the session felt a little better but, again, when we switched back to the soft the rear grip was non-existent and it was impossible to push for a fast lap time. It means that, just like in Jerez, I have more work to do in the race tomorrow, but I’ll be going for it!”
Jules Danilo #95: 26th – 1’45.741
“Qualifying was a quite hard today. I posted a good lap halfway through the session, but then I couldn’t seem to improve on it as the session progressed. So, it was a bit difficult towards the end, but it was still fun. For tomorrow’s race I’m not too worried, because I know if there’s someone in front of me then I should be able to stay with them. If I get in a good group early on then I think top 20 is possible, maybe even top 15.”
Michael Bartholemy: Team Principal
“I think we qualified where we expected, to be honest. Again we’ve seen that we cannot rely on the soft tyre giving us a significant improvement in the lap time during qualifying, but this will come as Livio gains more experience of how to get the best from the softer rubber. Livio has had the same problems in every session and, although we’ve managed to improve the set-up for him, we still need to find something more for tomorrow. Jules was happy yesterday, but a little bit disappointed with qualifying this afternoon. However, he’s two seconds faster than he was here earlier in the year and just two seconds off the time of Maverick Viñales, so I think he has little to be disappointed about.”