Brad Binder back on the front row


Red Bull KTM Ajo rider qualifies second for the Red Bull Grand Prix of Spain. Bo Bendsneyder will start from the sixth row.

Brad Binder enjoyed a very positive Saturday at the Jerez Circuit, with an excellent final Free Practice session and a late assault on pole in qualifying for the Red Bull Grand Prix of Spain. The South African set his fastest time of the weekend in the afternoon shootout, which earned him second place and a third front row start of the year. Teammate Bo Bendsneyder took an important step forward in qualifying to take eighteenth position.

The beginning of the day was promising, as Brad Binder set a strong time on his second stint of the FP3. Lowering his best time from yesterday on his first lap, he did likewise on the next and then put in a spectacular 1:46.575 -which set him apart from the rest of the field by more than three tenths. Bendsneyder, who undertook a small race simulation, also lowered his times from Friday and placed twenty-second in the third Free Practice -1:48.144.

In the QP session, Binder quickly entered into the Top 5, but it was not until the last stint and with new tyres that he would make his push for pole position. Despite having to contend with significant traffic, the South African was able to break free from the pack and set his best lap of 1:46.436 on his twelfth attempt. He would finish just two tenths off pole. Bendsneyder, eighteenth with a time of 1:47.528, got into the 1:47s on his final lap.

The Moto3 Red Bull Grand Prix of Spain will be held on Sunday from 11:00am local time. Series leader Binder will be seeking his first win and fourth consecutive podium, while Bo Bendsneyder will try to add more points to his tally.

Results (Qualifying Practice)
1. Nicolo Bulega (KTM) 1:46.223
2. Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 1:46.436 +0.213
3. Jorge Navarro (Honda) 1:46.678 +0.455
4. Francesco Bagnaia (Mahindra) 1:46.680 +0.457
5. Niccolo Antonelli (Honda) 1:46.705 +0.482
18. Bo Bendsneyder (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 1:47.528 +1.305


“We’ve taken second position, which is not bad, but after being fastest in two of the three Free Practice sessions, I would have liked to have been on pole. In any case, I’m happy with the bike and I’m confident. In the qualifying session Bulega set an incredible lap time, and it was very important to push hard on my final run-out in order to be as close as possible to him. I gave 110% and I feel very strong, but unfortunately there were many riders on track and I could not do my best lap, as they have got in my way a little. It’s a shame, because I think I could have set the best time of the session. I’m happy and I have a good pace on race tyres, so I hope to fight for my first win tomorrow.”


“The feeling was much better than yesterday. In FP3 we did a small race simulation and it went well. The lap times have been consistent and fast. We are on the right track. Qualifying was difficult, because many riders were overtaking one another or running wide, making it hard to set a good time. On the last lap I pushed to the maximum but was forced to slow down when I encountered another rider. I think we could have set an even better lap had it not been for that. I am happy with the work we have done today. The position on the grid is not bad and I think that it will allow us to fight for points tomorrow.”