Brad Binder takes first career pole in Argentina


Red Bull KTM Ajo rider sets fastest time of the weekend and tomorrow will head the starting grid. Bo Bendsneyder, who placed 22nd, will start from the ninth row after receiving a penalty.

Brad Binder had a highly successful qualifying session for the Argentinian Grand Prix, taking his first pole in the Moto3 World Championship at the second round of the season. South African confirmed the good feeling he had at the Qatar GP in the grid-deciding session at Termas de Rio Hondo, to claim an impressive top spot. Bo Bendsneyder, who will be racing for the first time in Argentina, will start from 26th position after being penalized four places for riding slowly in FP3.

In the morning practice session, Binder easily improved his times from Friday on a surface that was in better condition than on Day 1. Second on the timesheets -with a best time of 1:50.263- he set out his stall as a candidate for pole. Meanwhile, rookie Bendsneyder went twelfth, with a top time of 1:51.138 and improving his previous best by half a second.

In the qualifying session, a good team strategy allowed Binder to lead the way from the start. Setting a good pace at all times, the South African and his team managed to play their cards to perfection to take pole. Binder’s fastest lap came on his tenth attempt -a 1:49.767 that was more than 3 tenths quicker than his nearest rival. Bensdneyder came close to lowering his best lap, setting a 1:51.194 that put him 22nd before his penalty was applied.

With this pole position for Binder, Red Bull KTM Ajo have three pole positions in Moto3 from the first three visits to Argentina. The second race of the season will take place on Sunday at 1pm (local time). Binder will seek the first win of his career, whilst his teammate will attempt to place in the points for the second time in the series.

Results (Qualifying Practice)
1. Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 1:49.767
2. Romano Fenati (KTM) 1:50.091 +0.324
3. Jorge Navarro (Honda) 1:50.134 +0.367
4. Khairul Idham Pawi (Honda) 1:50.204 +0.437
5. Nicolo Bulega (KTM) 1:50.278 +0.511
22. Bo Bendsneyder (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 1:51.194 +1.427


“This second QP of the year went very well. I was able to put in many laps with a very good pace and I felt strong throughout the session, so I’m happy. At first, I went out alone and set a good lap time, but when I went out for the second time I knew that if I took a slipstream I could improve a lot. That’s why on my last outing I tried to feel comfortable and enjoy myself. It’s fantastic to have finally taken my first pole position. I want to thank the team, as they did an amazing job and provided a great strategy in terms of when to go out on track, as we never get stuck in traffic. I have felt very strong throughout the weekend, we have done very well and we are working in the right way. Little by little we are improving and to get pole position is an incredible feeling; tomorrow I hope to fight for my first win.”


“Today’s qualifying session was a very difficult one. We couldn’t find a clear spot on track and at all times I was up against heavy traffic. In addition to getting caught up amongst too many riders, I made too many mistakes. In any case, we have improved the setup of the bike and this will help us for tomorrow. I’m looking forward to the race and to making a good comeback through the field.”