Brad Binder on front row for Japanese GP


2016 World Champion takes third in qualifying session at Twin Ring Motegi. Bo Bendsneyder to start from the ninth row.

Brad Binder made important progress at Motegi on Saturday ahead of raceday for the Japanese GP. The Red Bull KTM Ajo rider took third position in qualifying, but will occupy second place on the starting grid due to a sanction for another rider. In one of the tightest sessions of the season, Bo Bendsneyder took twenty-seventh place in QP.

In the last of Binder’s 16 laps in FP3, the South African set the best lap of the entire weekend at the time, giving him first position on the combined timesheets with a 1:56.651. Meanwhile, Bendsneyder placed twenty-fourth, and lowered his best time by 2 tenths for a 1:58.068.

Binder’s qualifying session was atypical, as he did not feature in the top positions until his final stint. It was only with 10 seconds remaining that he moved into the top three for the first time. That 1:56.659 lap eventually earned him his seventh front row of the year. Rookie Bendsneyder got his time down to 1:57.722 on his penultimate attempt, which put him at the back of row nine.

The Moto3 race will be held tomorrow at 11:00am local time. Brad Binder will look for a fourth consecutive podium, and his second in Japan after a rostrum in 2014. Bendsneyder will attempt a comeback that enables him to return amongst the points.

Results – Qualifying Session
1. Hiroki Ono (Honda) 1:56.443
2. Andrea Migno (KTM) 1:56.529 +0.086
3. Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 1:56.659 +0.216
4. Enea Bastianini (Honda) 1:56.664 +0.221
5. Nicolo Bulega (KTM) 1:56.673 +0.230
27. Bo Bendsneyder (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 1:57.722 +1.279


“Yesterday was a difficult day because I had a couple of crashes, but today from the beginning everything went a little better. This morning we were able to ride faster than yesterday and set the best lap of overall. In qualifying we took practically the same time, which earned us a valuable third position for tomorrow. We are still suffering at some points of the circuit, especially under braking, so in the Warmup we must improve our feeling in this regard, to take definite step forward for the race. We will try to fight for the win.”


“Today’s qualifying session did not turn out as we wanted; it was one of the worst qualifying sessions I’ve had this season. We had only one rear soft tyre, which is the one that I felt best with, and we put that on for the second run. After qualifying we saw that maybe it would have been better using it for the last stint, but it is very easy to say what would have been the best decision in hindsight. We can’t do anything about it now, so we must keep looking forward. Tomorrow we must try to find a better setup in the Warmup and fight hard in the race to move up as many positions as possible. That’s what we have to do.”