Salom predicts ultra-close battle

Monday, 25 February 2013

Luis Salom is not daring to pinpoint which riders should be contending for race wins in this year’s Moto3™ world championship, believing any one of a handful could ultimately come out on top.  In testing at Jerez last week, the Mallorcan finished inside the top three and was the leading Red Bull KTM Ajo representative.

Salom’s Jerez outing followed previous tests in Almeria and Valencia, allowing him time to adapt to his new surroundings. Last year, riding a Kalex KTM for RW Racing GP, he finished runner-up to world champion Sandro Cortese thanks to eight podium finishes as well as Maverick Viñales’ late-season absence.

"The new bike is different," the 21-year-old explains. "We have always been going the right way with it, because the bike has worked well all the time and we have been fast. Now we have to continue working and find the best path to follow. The team’s way of working and what they are showing me are very important for 2013."

When asked how competitive the upcoming campaign is poised to be, not least as another seven riders will be using the same machinery, Salom replied:

"A lot more. Before, the Red Bull KTM Ajo was the only KTM and now it’s not like that. There will be teams with a KTM exactly the same as ours. That’s good because it will increase the competitiveness and work out better for the fans at the circuits and on TV. This is what matters and it is good that a group of ten riders can fight for the win. But we can’t forget that there are other bikes that will be up there too."

Bearing this in mind, the former 125cc rider is hard-pressed when asked to forecast a group of front-runners for the second Moto3™ crown.

"You can’t pick a favourite because there are still riders to come who will be up there – either from the first race or the middle of the season," Salom begins to sum up. "What we have to do is be calm and work hard. The moment you think you’ve finished is the time to keep working."

The 2013 campaign commences under lights in Qatar on 7 April. At Losail 12 months ago, Salom both qualified and raced to fourth position.

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