Good start to home round for Bendsneyder


Dutch rider makes his best start to a GP weekend this season, with the eleventh fastest time of the day. Brad Binder, fourteenth, is hindered by traffic on track.

The Red Bull KTM Ajo riders had a good feeling on the opening day of the Dutch TT, even though their results did not fully reflect it. The pair were only able to complete one full practice session on Friday, due to morning rain. Moto3 World Championship leader, Brad Binder, and teammate, Bo Bendsneyder, were only able to put in a few laps during FP1, but took advantage of improved conditions in FP2 to make their first setup adjustments. Bendsneyder achieved a creditable 11th place at his home circuit -his best start to a GP weekend this season- and Binder was 14th after encountering heavy traffic.

Light rain 14 minutes into Free Practice 1 provided damp, mixed conditions that the Red Bull KTM riders preferred not to take risks in. Binder’s 1:46.394 lap and Bendsneyder’s 1:50.775 came after they had completed just 6 and 4 laps, respectively, putting them 7th and 31st.

With the asphalt completely dry and track temperatures of 29ºC, FP2 was a much more positive session for the pair. They set strong times throughout the session, and Bendsneyder set a good pace when riding alone –clocking a 1:43.468 best lap at his home track. Traffic again proved to be a hinderance to Binder, whose 1:43.612 lap put him in 14th position.

In qualifying on Saturday, Binder will be chasing a second consecutive pole position, while Bendsneyder will be looking for a position on the grid that allows him to fight for points. Adverse weather conditions are again expected.

Results (Combined practice time FP1-FP2)
1. Aron Canet (Honda) 1:43.031
2. Niccolo Antonelli (Honda) 1:43.144 +0.113
3. Nicolo Bulega (KTM) 1:43.202 +0.171
4. Livio Loi (Honda) 1:43.208 +0.177
5. Gabriel Rodrigo (KTM) 1:43.229 +0.198
11. Bo Bendsneyder (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 1:43.468 +0.437
14. Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 1:43.612 +0.581

“The rain prevented us from drawing any conclusions from FP1. In FP2 I had to struggle a bit with the bike, but step by step I went faster and faster. At the end I felt very good and I know I could have set a really good time, but on my fastest lap I went off the track a little. It was not the only time that this had happened to me, so between that and traffic sometimes getting in my way, I lost my fastest laps and finished fourteenth. In the afternoon the track conditions were good. There was a little water in some parts, but not in the major spots on the racing line. It was like riding in the dry. Tomorrow we will work on the balance of the bike. Perhaps we can change one or two little things, but I’m happy with the way things are. I think we could have been higher up today.”

“It has definitely been my best opening day since I came into the Moto3 World Championship. We could only complete a few laps In FP1; I went out on track, but when it started to rain the team brought me back to the pits to avoid taking any risks. In the afternoon everything went much better. Normally we put the new tyre on at the end of the session to try to set a good time, but today we did it in the middle of the session and I still achieved my best times. I am happy with my pace, and now we need to work for tomorrow, especially on my riding: I want to set better lines on some corners. We need to analyse the data and see what we can improve. Today I wasn’t thinking about getting a good lap time, but was looking at pushing like usual and working on the set up -so I’m a little surprised. The truth is that despite racing at home, I do not feel any pressure -I feel good.”