Red Bull KTM Ajo work on setup on day one at Sachsenring


Brad Binder and Bo Bendsneyder encounter high humidity and cold temperatures on opening day of German GP, finishing 5th and 18th on the combined timesheet, respectively.

Round 9 of the Moto3 season, the German Grand Prix, got underway at Sachsenring on Friday. The Red Bull KTM Ajo team had to adapt to the challenge of cold conditions at the twisty track. Both Brad Binder and Bo Bendsneyder performed well in the first free practice session, although in the afternoon runout they had to work hard to improve on their times. The pair placed fifth and eighteenth, respectively, on the combined timesheet for the day.

FP1 was a positive session for the pair, despite the low 13ºC temperature that greeted the riders. Binder and Bendsneyder showed that the circuit suits them, and were always amongst the Top 10 in the session. After a long stop in the pits because of high humidity in the air, the Red Bull KTM Ajo duo set their best times on their final stint. Binder was second with a 1:28.607, with Bendsneyder fifth thanks to a 1:28.948 lap.

The cold continued during the second session, making it very difficult to lower times for the Red Bull KTM Ajo team, who were running used tyres. Bendsneyder suffered a light crash at Turn 1, but picked himself up and clocked a best time of 1:28.840 for 17th place. Binder set his top time on his 17th lap, moving up to fifth with a 1:28.250.

Qualifying for the German GP will take place from 12:35h local time tomorrow. The aim for Red Bull KTM Ajo will be to take pole position, which riders Sandro Cortese (2012) and Jack Miller (2014) previously did at Sachsenring.

Results (Combined practice time FP1-FP2)
1. Enea Bastianini (Honda) 1:27.496
2. Romano Fenati (KTM) 1:27.589 +0.093
3. Nicolo Bulega (KTM) 1:27.944 +0.448
4. Gabriel Rodrigo (KTM) 1:28.176 +0.680
5. Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 1:28.250 +0.754
18. Bo Bendsneyder (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 1:28.840 +1.344

“This track is definitely one of my favourites. This morning went really well, but in the afternoon we saw a repeat of a situation I’ve experienced at some few races. I needed some stability on the bike and, each time I changed direction, I lost the front too easily. We must work to find a solution, because it is something that is causing us some problems. It seems to happen when riding in cold conditions, so we will analyse the data and see how we can improve for tomorrow.”

“In the morning it was a little difficult, because there were only a few drops of rain and afterwards it was a dry session. It was a bit strange, but we were able to put in some good laps and that’s what matters. I am also happy with the second session, although at first I struggled a bit and had a small crash. We started with used tyres and we had some problems with them. We need to improve on that aspect. However, after that we were able to set some good laps. In the end it began to rain and we couldn’t finish off the day with a hot lap, but it’s not bad. Obviously, we need to improve our pace tomorrow, but the bottom line is that we need to improve the setup -especially for the rear.”