Brad Binder leads the way on first day at Le Mans


Moto3 World Championship leader makes progress on a difficult day to set Friday’s fastest time. Bo Bendsneyder also improves over two sessions and finishes nineteenth.

The first day of practice for the French Grand Prix started the same way as the Spanish round two weeks ago: With Brad Binder on top of the timesheets. The Red Bull KTM Ajo rider and World Championship leader stopped the clock at 1:43.365 on his final lap on Friday. His teammate, pharm Bo Bendsneyder, sales lowered his previous best time by more than 8 tenths in FP2, ending the day in nineteenth position with a time of 1:44.358.

Despite an unusually sunny morning at Le Mans, FP1 was not the smoothest session for Brad Binder. The Red Bull KTM Ajo rider experienced a technical problem that only allowed him to complete nine laps, placing him tenth with a time of 1:44.984. Bo Bendsneyder had a positive initial session at a familiar track to him, finishing fourteenth -1:45.198.

Binder has managed to take a big step forward in the afternoon session. Taking advantage of a good feeling on the bike -especially in sectors 2 and 3- he was quickly up amongst the top riders. Running fresh tyres for his last stint, he put in a time more than a second and a half faster than his morning best -1:43.365- and concluded the day as the man to beat. Bendsneyder also used the 40-minute FP2 session to progress at the French track, and went nineteenth with a 1:44.358 best lap.

Qualifying for the French GP takes place on Saturday at 12:35 local time, and will establish the starting grid for a race in which the opening corners are particularly tricky.

Results (Combined practice time FP1-FP2)
1. Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 1:43.365
2. Romano Fenati (KTM) 1:43.441 +0.076
3. Jules Danilo (Honda) 1:43.525 +0.160
4. Jorge Navarro (Honda) 1:43.557 +0.192
5. Nicolo Bulega (KTM) 1:43.738 +0.373
19. Bo Bendsneyder (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 1:44.358 +0.993


“Today was a tough day that ended with a good result. We started well, with a good feeling on my first three laps, but for some reason my bike stopped on the straight. I had to go to the pits twice but fortunately, thanks to the great work by the team, we solved a problem that had gone unnoticed in the telemetry. In the second session we were able to work normally again and continued to feel comfortable riding. I’m happy to be back at the head of the timesheets and hope that it stays that way throughout the weekend.”


“It was a good first day here at Le Mans. In the first session the track was a bit slippery, but we improved step by step and in the end we achieved some good times. The second session was also very good. The most important thing has been the pace we have managed to set, thanks to our consistency. I am happy with the result from this Friday and we just need to improve a little more in order to be closer to the top positions.”