Binder salvages fourth row from tough qualifying session


Red Bull KTM Ajo rider will start from Row 4 in Texas, after a qualifying session hit by rain. Bo Bensdneyder will take off from the eighth row.

The Moto3 class had a difficult qualifyng session on Saturday for the Red Bull Grand Prix of The Americas in Austin. With a damp track in the early stages of the session and fine intermittent rain, the grid-deciding run was something of a lottery. Brad Binder was able to salvage twelfth place and a spot on the fourth row, with teammate Bo Bendsneyder taking twenty-third -to start on the eighth row.

The final Free Practice session was a satisfactory one for rookie Bendsneyder, who lowered his Friday best time by nearly 1.5 seconds with a 2:17.114 lap. He ended the session fifth, which is his best result to date in the World Championship. In ninth, with a time of 2:17.431, Binder also improved his times and led the way in various stages of the session.

Rain at the end of Moto2 FP3 left the track in difficult conditions for the Red Bull KTM Ajo pair, and for the rest of the riders in the Moto3 class. The first 19 minutes saw those who took a gamble obtaining the best results, as rain later prevented any improvement in lap times. Both Binder -2:20.456- and Bendsneyder -2:22.251- set their fastest laps on their fifth attempt.

The Moto3 Grand Prix of the Americas starts on Sunday at 11am local time, and Brad Binder will defend a provisional lead in the overall standings. He currently has two podiums from as many races at the start of the season. Red Bull KTM Ajo have taken a victory (2014) and a podium (2013) at Austin in recent years.

Results (Qualifying practice)
1. Philipp Oettl (KTM) 2:18.398
2. Jorge Navarro (Honda) 2:18.985 +0.587
3. Enea Bastianini (Honda) 2:18.996 +0.598
4. Jakub Kornfeil (Honda) 2:19.068 +0.670
5. Romano Fenati (KTM) 2:19.135 +0.737
12. Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 2:20.456 +2.058
23. Bo Bendsneyder (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 2:22.251 +3.853


“FP3 went a little better than yesterday; the second stint was very good and on the last we tried to change some things, but that did not go as we wanted. Luckily we know what we have to change on the bike, although I did not have a chance to try it well during qualifying, as we only had 2 laps with slicks. The track was not completely dry and it was still wet in places. I start tomorrow from 12th place and it will not be easy, but I’ve done it hundreds of times before and I’m not worried. I’m eager to get started tomorrow.”


“This morning we had a good session, improved the setup of the bike a lot and eventually also bettered our lap time. I’m happy about that. Then in the qualifying session it rained and we went out on wet tyres at the beginning, but I was paying more attention to the state of the track than anything else. I thought it would dry up, but in the end we only had 2 good laps and I could not go fast in those conditions. Tomorrow I start from 23rd on the grid, but we know that our pace is good and I’m looking forward to the race to gain positions.”