Brad Binder qualifies second for important Austrian GP


Red Bull KTM Ajo team rider to start from front row in Austria, just 1 tenth off pole position due to heavy traffic. Bo Bendsneyder will take off from inside the Top 10 for the third race in a row.

Brad Binder put in a fantastic performance on the second day of action at the Red Bull Ring, and it was only heavy traffic in the final part of qualifying that kept him from taking pole position. Tomorrow he starts from second, for an Austrian GP which teammate Bo Bendsneyder will begin from tenth on the grid.

With temperatures a little warmer than on Friday at 15°C, the Red Bull KTM Ajo riders completed an interesting final practice session on Saturday morning. The pair were able to confirm their work from the previous day, and in the second half of FP3 they lowered their times from Friday. Binder was the quickest of the Moto3 riders with a 1:36.548 lap, whilst his pace was also superior to that of any of his rivals. Bendsneyder was the last of four riders to ride in the 1:36 range, clocking a 1:36.865.

In qualifying, Binder was once again the man to beat. Gunning for pole position, traffic on the final section prevented the World Championship leader from improving his time –despite him going faster than pole pace on three of the sectors. His encounter with another rider on the final corner slowed Binder down enough to take him to second on the grid, with a 1:36.335 lap, 0.107s off pole. Bendsneyder put in a 1:36.965, which although not enough to beat his FP3 time, means he will start from a positive tenth place on Sunday.

Tomorrow is an important day for Red Bull KTM Ajo, as the team race at the home of both Red Bull and KTM. Brad Binder will look to return to the podium after two races away, while Bo Bendsneyder will attempt to score points for the fourth consecutive GP.

Results (Qualifying practice)
1. Joan Mir (KTM) 1:36.228
2. Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 1:36.335 +0.107
3. Enea Bastianini (Honda) 1:36.600 +0.372
4. Aron Canet (Honda) 1:36.661 +0.433
5. Fabio Quartararo (KTM) 1:36.693 +0.465
10. Bo Bendsneyder (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 1:36.965 +0.737


 “I felt very strong in qualifying and I can’t wait to start the race. I could have done even better, but at the end of the session, on my second flying lap, someone cut across me from the outside and I had to hit the brakes. When we ran new tyres I felt a lot of chatter and I had some problems with the rear tyre. However, the used tyre that we ran on the final laps was much better. We will start from second on the grid, and it is incredible. A front row start is definitely very positive for tomorrow.”


“I feel very good ahead of tomorrow. We have always been in the Top 10 in practice here. I think that tomorrow there will be a large leading group and our pace is better than that of many of the riders at the front. We already know that in qualifying what counts is a single lap, but the important thing on Sunday is race pace. I feel very strong when fighting with other riders, because I have improved my riding under braking. Tomorrow I will fight to be among the Top 10, which here also means fighting for the victory.”