Brad Binder makes desired solid start in Aragon


Red Bull KTM Ajo rider goes fastest in Free Practice on Friday at MotorLand Aragon. Teammate Bo Bendsneyder, twenty-third, has a positive FP1.

Brad Binder made a good start to the Aragon Grand Prix –the latest round of the Moto3 World Championship and his first chance to seal the title. The South African set an extraordinary time of 1:58.998 on Friday to end the opening day at the head of the timesheets. Bo Bendsneyder, in twenty-third, was not able to beat his 2:00.466 lap time from the morning in FP2, but is confident of improvement on Saturday.

In FP1, Binder was the first to take the initiative, topping the timesheets on his early laps. A rear tyre that provided a lot of chatter hindered him for part of the session, and his best time of 2:00.649 placed him down in eleventh. Ninth was rookie Bendsneyder –2:00.466– who was back amongst the Top 10 for the entirety of the morning run.

In the second session, Binder was the standout from start to finish. He lowered his best time from the morning just two laps in, and following a pair of pit stops he managed to stop the clock at 1:58.998. He was the only rider to go round in the 1:58s. Bendsneyder spent the 40 minute run trying out things with his KTM, having been satisfied with his feeling in the morning. He placed twenty-third, with a 2:00.721 best lap.

On Saturday Brad Binder will aim to take his fifth pole position of the season when qualifying starts at 12:35pm. Bo Bendsneyder is targetting a place on the starting grid for Sunday that will allow him to return amongst the points.

Results (Combined practice time FP1-FP2)
1. Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 1:58.998
2. Andrea Migno (KTM) 1:59.152 +0.154
3. Fabio Quartararo (KTM) 1:59.322 +0.324
4. Fabio Di Giannantonio (Honda) 1:59.494 +0.496
5. Jorge Navarro (Honda) 1:59.503 +0.505
23. Bo Bendsneyder (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 2:00.466 +1.468

“I wasn’t feeling the pressure coming here to Aragon, but having seen everything that has been said in the media and everything that surrounds being a champion, I might be starting to think too much about it. This morning didn’t go well for me. I went out there with the intention of getting a good feeling with the bike, but we ran a new rear tyre that gave a lot of chatter. In the second session the things did go well. The FP2 was undertaken with a low track temperature, and usually when it isn’t hot we struggle a little. It would be better for me if the temperatures were to rise. I hope tomorrow to continue in the same way or better.”

“FP1 went very well. I was able to improve on every lap and I ended up very happy. Besides that, I set my best time riding alone. In the afternoon session we tested shorter gearing, but it did not work as we had hoped and it was not possible to change it back in the middle of practice. It’s a shame because we were not able to make the most of FP2, but we had to try it. Now we know what we have to do for tomorrow, and if all goes well I hope to be among the Top 10. Tomorrow the main thing is to find a good setup and set a good pace, and with that I hope to fight to be among the first four rows of the grid.”