Brad Binder to start from second row in Aragon


Red Bull KTM Ajo rider places seventh in qualifying session but will start from fifth after penalties for rivals. Teammate Bo Bendsneyder will begin Aragon GP from tenth position.

Brad Binder and Bo Bendsneyder will start from the second and fourth rows, respectively, for the Aragon Grand Prix, following the results of qualifying this Saturday. The Red Bull KTM Ajo pair took another step forward today, although for Binder the session did not go quite as well as expected. Seventh on the timesheets, he moved up to fifth after two riders ahead of him were handed penalties. Bendsneyder took a positive Top 10 start.

Both Binder and Bo Bendsneyder were even faster than on Friday in the final practice session of the weekend this morning. The South African once again showed he is one of the quickest, most consistent riders in Moto3, and was second in FP3 -just 0.062s off the top spot. Bendsneyder reverted to the bike setup used in FP1, and lowered his fastest Friday time by more than half second; he was twentiefth with a 1:59.726 best.

In qualifying, Binder was just 9 thousandths of a second off setting his best time of the weekend. He was unable to get comfortable initially due to heavy traffic, but after a trip to the garage he was able to go close to his morning time -1:58.841. He encountered further traffic at the end of the session, with riders waiting for him to get a tow, and he was only able to take seventh. Bendsneyder was always amongst the Top 10, and was able to set a personal best on his final hot lap of 1:58.978, to claim tenth.

Tomorrow sees the fourteenth race of the 2016 season take place, and the first chance for Brad Binder to take the title. Should he win or place second, he will be crowned World Champion whatever the results for his rivals. Bo Bendsneyder will be targetting a return to the points, after not having been able to add to his tally at Misano.

Results – Qualifying Session
1. Enea Bastianini (Honda) 1:58.293
2. Jorge Navarro (Honda) 1:58.506 +0.213
3. Livio Loi (Honda) 1:58.521 +0.228
4. Gabriel Rodrigo (KTM) 1:58.592 +0.299
5. Aron Canet (Honda) 1:58.758 +0.465
7. Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 1:58.841 +0.548
10. Bo Bendsneyder (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 1:58.978 +0.685

“Today’s qualifying was quite the disaster. This season it has been quite normal to have three or four riders waiting for me, but today there were so many riders parked in pitlane waiting for me to come out. We waited a long time to try and have a decent last lap, and when I went out with four minutes remaining there were two riders waiting at Turn 1. I had to run off track, and that ended my qualifying session; I crossed the line again when the session was already over. We couldn’t do any more. Fifth on the grid is okay, and I’m not stressed out about what might happen tomorrow. Nobody has enough pace to get away and it will be another race in a group, more tactical than fast, so we will have to be strong from the beginning to the end.”

“Today went quite well. After what happened yesterday, we changed the setup back to that which we used in FP1. This morning we saw that we could be competitive, we put in many laps and tried out our race pace, so despite finishing 18th I was happy. I came into qualifying with confidence, because I knew that with the used tyre we could set a good lap, but with the soft I could do even better. I was strong at the beginning and I got up to fourth, but then I struggled a bit with the used front tyre. In the final section we fitted a new front and the soft rear. I was following Enea Bastianini and lowering the pole time, but then Enea had a highside in front of me and it was there that I lost some time, even though later I got a slipstream and completed a good lap. Tomorrow we will take off from tenth, and I am satisfied with that. I think that the race will be similar to Silverstone, with a large group at the start and a high pace. Between the halfway mark and the end a few riders will drop off, but I hope to keep up and fight for the Top 10.”