Brad Binder dominates first day at Red Bull Ring


Moto3 World Championship leader finishes first two free practice sessions for Austrian GP on top, with fellow Red Bull KTM Ajo rider Bo Bendsneyder in fourth.

The Red Bull KTM Ajo team returned to action after the summer break at the Austrian GP -the home round for both Red Bull and KTM-, and started strong with both of the team’s riders inside the Top 5. Good references gained at the Red Bull Ring in a test two weeks ago helped Brad Binder and Bo Bendsneyder to rapidly adapt to a new track on the Moto3 calendar. The pair concluded the first two free practice sessions in first and fourth position, respectively.

Binder felt at home right from the first Free Practice session, contested in cold conditions that dipped as low as 14ºC on track. The South African was the standout rider in the morning run, leading the way by half a second with his 1:37.902 lap. An impressive 1:39.063 for Bendsneyder placed the Dutchman fifth.

In the second session Binder continued to impose his dominance, lowering his times from the morning on his very first laps. After briefly dropping off the top spot before the end of the session, he regained the position on his final lap with a 1:37.070. Binder was quickest on both used and new tyres. Bendsneyder was always inside the Top 5, and eventually earned fourth with a 1:37.324.

The first ever Moto3 starting grid in Austria will be decided in qualifying on Saturday, which takes place from 12:35pm.

Results (Combined practice time FP1-FP2)
1. Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 1:37.070
2. Enea Bastianini (Honda) 1:37.075 +0.005
3. Fabio Quartararo (KTM) 1:37.190 +0.120
4. Bo Bendsneyder (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 1:37.324 +0.254
5. Romano Fenati (KTM) 1:37.480 +0.410


“Everything went great today. In FP2 I felt very strong and I set a really good pace. It was a shame that my 1:36 lap was scrubbed off, however. I didn’t use any slipstream for my times and I know that you can gain half a second with a tow, so tomorrow that will be important for lowering times in qualifying. I was fast with both used and new tyres, and that gives me confidence. The key tomorrow will be continuing to work just as well as we did today and staying 100% focused. If we continue like this we will be at the top, no matter the circumstances.”


“We’ve had a great day at the Red Bull Ring. We found a good setup from the base that we had at the test we did here. The good news is that during the two sessions we were consistent and always within the Top5 or Top10 on the timesheets. We have barely changed anything from the setup used at the test; we are working on some details for the rear, but overall everything is working fine. The change to Turn 10 is not a big one for me; you come into it somewhat differently but can maintain the same speed -in fact, today I lowered my times from the test. Tomorrow the aim will be to stay among the top ten. I feel very comfortable now and I am already looking forward to qualifying.”