It was a successful weekend at the British Grand Prix at Silverstone for the Red Bull KTM Ajo trio of Sandro Cortese, Danny Kent and Arthur Sissis as all three scored top-10 finishes with excellent rides.
German Cortese was involved in a battle to the bitter end for victory but just lost out to Maverick Viñales and Luis Salom. Cortese ended the race third as his scrap for the title with Maverick Viñales took another twist, with victory for the Spaniard moving him two points clear at the top of the standings.
"It was a tough race, from the very first lap," said Cortese (pictured, below, with F1 driver Daniel Ricciardo), who went into Round 6 holding a seven-point advantage over Viñales. “We have to be happy, we lost the lead but I think two points is not so much and it's [close] between Maverick and I. It was a tough fight [with Salom] and I'm looking forward now to the three races in a row."
For Kent, the Silverstone round was a chance to put a tricky start to the campaign behind him with a strong ride in front of a fervent home crowd, and he came home in sixth position after being involved in a six-rider fight for fourth.
Speaking after the race, Kent said: “I'm happy with the weekend as a whole, we've been consistently in the top six all weekend which is a big step from Catalunya and most of the races this year. We had the pace to run with the top three but then we had a few riders out there making silly moves and slowing us down.
“I think this has been our best result so far this season, and hopefully we can take another step forward in Assen. If we can work on my aggression on the first couple of laps I think I can definitely run with the front group and fight for the podium. We can see from the lap times that I can run there. Soon we'll get some luck and get on the podium.”
Completing a hugely satisfying weekend for the team was rookie Sissis, who finished eighth after another fantastic display. The young Australian was involved in the same melee as Kent for fourth, and believed he could have snatched that spot.
“There was a big battle for fourth place and I almost got it, but I made a mistake in the last corner! Eighth is still good though!” Sissis said, after the race.
“Going down the back straight on the last lap I was in fourth. I pulled out of everyone's slipstream and I was fourth coming into that corner but then I broke too late and I ran a bit wide. If I didn't brake too late I could've held that position.”
It was another big step forward in the 16-year-old's debut season which has already seen him score a top-five finish at Le Mans.
“At the start of the year I was just hoping for top-15 results in as many races as possible, but I've had top tens. I wasn't expecting to be so close to the front at the start,” he admitted. “I think I can [score a podium], but I just need to sort out my qualifying. Everything is up to the qualifying. If you're on the front three rows you're up there. When you're on the fifth row you have to fight your way through. If I get a good qualifying I can stay near the front.”