Red Bull KTM Ajo begin penultimate preseason test before 2016 opener


Brad Binder and Bo Bendsneyder compare their lap times with the rest of the Moto3 grid for the first time on the first day of Official Testing this year. Binder places seventh and Bendsneyder fifteenth after the first day in Jerez.

Brad Binder, Jerez Moto3 test March 2016

18 days away from the first race of the year in Qatar, the Jerez Circuit hosted the first day of Official Testing for 2016. It was the first time that all riders in the lower cylinder category had ridden together since the lifting of the testing ban last month, and was a chance to assess the state of play. Brad Binder and Bo Bendsneyder took seventh -1:47.318- and fifteenth -1:47.878- place respectively in the combined timesheet for the day.

Having ridden at Jerez most recently two weeks ago in a private test, the Red Bull KTM Ajo riders were greeted by better weather conditions and more grip on Wednesday. This proved to be a handicap for Brad Binder, who had been comfortable on his last visit to Jerez but had to adapt the setup of his KTM to the new conditions. Meanwhile, Bendsneyder felt better with every lap, setting his best time in the last hour of the day and undertaking a small race simulation. At the end of the day, the rookie had put in a total of 56 laps, to Binder’s 62.

Testing at the Spanish track will continue tomorrow through to Friday. The weather forecast is for similar conditions to those on Wednesday.

Results – Combined Standings Day 1
1. Nicolo Bulega (KTM) 1:46.591
2. Niccolo Antonelli (Honda) 1:46.861 +0.270
3. Jorge Navarro (Honda) 1:46.967 +0.376
4. Enea Bastianini (Honda) 1:47.073 +0.482
5. Philipp Oettl (KTM) 1:47.186 +0.595
7. Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 1:47.318 +0.727
15. Bo Bendsneyder (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 1:47.878 +1.287

Brad Binder,
“We have had a rather difficult day, because the last time we were here it was very cold and there was hardly any grip on the asphalt -so we found a good setup for those conditions. Today there was not as much wind and it was hot, so we had a lot more grip. That meant that we had to work on the rear and at times the front end was stepping out. It’s normal when the weather and track conditions change a lot, so now I will get together with my crew to see how we can improve tomorrow.”

Bo Bendsneyder,
“This first day of testing in Jerez went very well. We had some good weather and were able to put in a lot of laps. In the morning we tried out a lot of things and had a really good feeling -so good that at the end of the day we did a short race simulation that went pretty well. The feeling was good. Compared to the last test, we made some changes to the bike setup -especially with the rear- but I ended up feeling comfortable so I’m happy.”