Red Bull KTM Ajo begin work in Austin


Brad Binder and Bo Bendsneyder conclude first two Free Practice sessions of Red Bull Grand Prix of the Americas with fourteenth and twenty-second fastest times, respectively.

The third Grand Prix weekend of the year began on Friday at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, USA. In the two Free Practice sessions held on the first day of action, Red Bull KTM Ajo riders Brad Binder and Bo Bendsneyder had to work hard to set up their KTM machines for one of the most demanding tracks on the calendar. On the combined timesheet, Binder was fourteenth and Bendsneyder twenty-second.

A clean track was available to the Moto3 riders, thanks to the presence of several American national championship sessions at the circuit laying down rubber. That allowed the lower cylinder class field to ride fast right from FP1. Good weather was also an aid to the riders, and the 40 minute session allowed Binder to get a positive feeling on his bike and place seventh -with a time of 2:18.530. Finding things more difficult was Bendsneyder, who was riding for the first time at a very distinctive track in terms of setup requirements. The Dutchman placed nineteenth in the session, with a best time of 2:19.666.

In the afternoon run, the Red Bull KTM Ajo pair found it harder to place amongst the frontrunners. Both improved on their previous lap times in the first half of FP2, and made only a single stop in the garage. Both Binder and Bendsneyder made a final stint of nine laps, looking to find a good feeling with used tyres. In the end, the South African was fourteenth and Bendsneyder twenty-second.

After taking the first pole position of his career last time out, Brad Binder will look to make it two in a row tomorrow from 12:35pm local time. Also looking for a good result will be rookie Bendsneyder, aware that a strong starting position will be key for the race on Sunday. The Red Bull KTM Ajo team already have experience of pole at Austin -taken with Jack Miller in 2014.

Results (Combined practice time FP1-FP2)
1. Fabio Quartararo (KTM) 2:16.250
2. Romano Fenati (KTM) 2:16.397 +0.147
3. Niccolo Antonelli (Honda) 2:16.484 +0.234
4. Jorge Navarro (Honda) 2:16.553 +0.303
5. Enea Bastianini (Honda) 2:16.859 +0.609
14. Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 2:17.684 +1.434
22. Bo Bendsneyder (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 2:18.524 +2.274


“The truth is that this first day in Austin has been very difficult. I tried many times to complete a clean lap but did not succeed. However, the biggest problem today was the feeling with the front end, which did not allowed me to ride comfortably. It’s something that is even more important at this circuit. The more I pushed, the more unstable the bike felt. The good news is that we know what we have to work on, and I’m sure that if we solve it tomorrow, we’ll be where we need to be.”


“These two Free Practice sessions at the Circuit of the Americas have been quite difficult. It was the first time for me riding at this circuit and the truth is that I really like it, but it is very difficult. We tried to put in the maximum laps possible in order to learn the track. In the second session we improved our lap times but we have to work harder, both with the bike and with my riding, so we know what is required tomorrow.”