“I feel mentally very strong”
Red Bull KTM GP 125 rider Julian Simon will start in the first row for the Portuguese Grand Prix on the Estoril circuit.
The 19-year-old Spaniard put in consistently good training laps, securing grid position four for the 23-lap race.
Teammate Mika Kallio of Finland was four tenths of a second slower and starts at 11th on the grid for Sunday's race.
The Red Bull KTM Juniors Michael Ranseder and substitute rider Blake Leigh-Smith start at 25th and 33rd positions respectively while Red Bull ADAC KTM Junior Randy Krummenacher starts at 27th place after receiving a wild card entry for the first time.
The penultimate Grand Prix of the season is on the Portuguese circuit of Estoril, 30km south of Lisbon. The 4,182 km long circuit is one of the most complicated on the Grand Prix calendar. This course on the Atlantic coast features fast sweeping curves, a difficult chicane and wavy straights.
Julian Simon # 60 Red Bull KTM GP 125 – 4th Position – 1'46.136
“Of course I'm happy with the weekend so far. I was able to do good lap times and be in the top of the field in all of the practice sessions. But still I have a little problem at the last tricky corner. I have to find a better line for the entry into the corner then I can be faster tomorrow. My team will make some small changes to the chassis so that it is at its best for the race. After my podium in Japan I feel mentally very strong and very hungry for another podium. If the weather stays nice like yesterday and today, I'm positive for a good result for me and my team.
Mika Kallio # 36 Red Bull KTM GP 125 – 11th Position – 1'46.542
“Obviously I'm not happy at all with 11th starting position. I don't know what was different with the bike this afternoon. Something felt completely strange. I was sliding around the track and couldn't improve on yesterday's times. This morning in the free practice I was 0.5 seconds faster, even when track conditions were not as good as this afternoon. My team will check and analyze the situation because maybe the problem was caused by the crash this morning, when I did slide off the track. It was not a big crash. I just lost the front but the KTM hit the ground quite heavily. So maybe we will find something there.”
Michael Ranseder # 9 Red Bull KTM Junior Team – 25th Position – 1'48.110
“I put pressure on right from the beginning so that I could bring down my lap times as quickly as possible. The circuit here is very difficult but I am getting used to it slowly and finding my rhythm. I was held up by another rider on my fastest lap, otherwise I would have been starting a couple of places ahead on the grid. The 25th starting place is not so great but I have had worse this season. Therefore I am optimistic. Naturally I have to have a super start and make up places.”
Randy Krummenacher #54 Red Bull ADAC KTM Juniors – 27th Position – 1'48.369
“I am not yet satisfied with myself. There are things I did improve but in the first place the course here is really difficult and I still have a lot of things to learn. I was really aware of that today. My injury is no problem for me but I do feel it a bit.”
Blake Leigh-Smith # 67 Red Bull KTM Junior Team – 33rd Position – 1'49.059
“This afternoon I'm a bit more satisfied with my job. I was able to improve on yesterday's time by nearly 3 seconds because I was able to find better racing lines. Also braking earlier into the corners is much better now. My goal for the race is to improve my time to a 1'48."