Important step forward for Red Bull KTM Ajo on Saturday of Dutch GP


Brad Binder to start the Dutch GP from fifth, while teammate Bo Bendsneyder takes best qualifying result of the season with seventh.

The Red Bull KTM Ajo riders took a step forward on the second day of the Dutch GP, with Brad Binder and Bo Bendsneyder both improving their feeling with their KTM bikes and setting their fastest times of the weekend in qualifying. The South African will start the race from fifth and the Dutchman seventh –the latter with his best grid position of the season.

Despite some threatening clouds overhead, the Moto3 field enjoyed a completely dry morning practice session. Brad Binder took just five laps to best his times from Friday, and on his final lap of FP3 he set a 1:42.787 –following a change to his rear suspension. Binder was tenth quickest in the session. Also on his final lap, Bo Bendsneyder set his fastest lap of the weekend so far –1:43.189, for sixteenth.

In the qualifying session, the imminent threat of rain caused the riders to push hard from the start, in order to set a fast time as soon as possible. Both Binder –1:42.599– and Bendsneyder –1:42.655– were within 2 tenths of taking pole position, and will start from fifth and seventh on the grid, respectively. For the Dutch rider it is his best result in qualifying so far this season, representing his first start in the top ten.

The Dutch GP race will take place this Sunday at 11am, and Binder will be looking to extend his World Championship lead with an eighth consecutive podium. Rookie Bendsneyder will try to score points for the second race in a row.

Results (Qualifying practice)
1. Enea Bastianini (Honda) 1:42.463
2. Andrea Migno (KTM) 1:42.516 +0.053
3. Nicolo Bulega (KTM) 1:42.529 +0.066
4. Romano Fenati (KTM) 1:42.582 +0.119
5. Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 1:42.599 +0.136
7. Bo Bendsneyder (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 1:42.655 +0.192

“We took a step forward in qualifying. We have been finding things a little difficult for the whole weekend. This morning the bike was not bad on the first stint, but after that it was hard to find what we needed to improve. At the end we went back, changed the setup a little and luckily we were able to solve the problems we had. There are still a couple of minor things to deal with, but they are not a problem. Now we’ll see what we can do tomorrow in the warmup. I imagine that the race tomorrow will have a group of five or six riders at the front, with constant fights between them. Fifth place is okay. I am very close to the front and on my fastest lap I had to cut the gas on the back straight because someone tried to overtake on the inside. If we take that into account, I think we could have got pole. If it rains it will be very different, because in the wet it depends a lot on how you feel. If you have confidence you can push a little more, but you always want to hold a little back so as not to make mistakes.”

“The day went well. From the beginning I was amongst the fastest riders, but at the end it was more difficult because it started to rain a little on part of the circuit. The first sector was dry, but on the last part it was raining and things were tougher there. I did not want to crash and I thought my position was already good, so I tried to improve, but it was impossible to do so without taking too many risks. I think we could have even been a little faster with a new front tyre, because I did my fastest lap with a used one, but overall we did a good job. I think tomorrow I can have a good race, because the times are tight and I think there will be a large group. My goal is to score points.”