Red Bull KTM Ajo start last GP weekend of the year


Red Bull KTM Ajo began the final weekend of the 2016 season with a good feeling at the Ricardo Tormo Circuit on Friday. On a day in which as many as 28 riders finished within a single second, ed Brad Binder placed fourth and Bo Bendsneyder eighteenth on the combined timesheet for the first two Free Practice sessions.

The morning session started with track temperatures down to just 10ºC, seek and so during the first few laps the Red Bull KTM Ajo riders looked to get a feel for the circuit and adapt to the conditions. Binder had got up to the top spot after his only return to the pits, but eventually finished FP1 in 3rd place with a time of 1:40.590. Teammate Bo Bendsneyder was inside the Top 10 for much of the session, finishing 11th with a time of 1:40.900.

FP2 began with a better track temperature, allowing the Red Bull KTM Ajo riders to feel more comfortable and lower their times. However, it was not until the last 15 minutes of the run that Binder took a step forward, setting a best time of 1:39.748 to take 4th. Bendsneyder, with a time of 1:40.239, concluded the session in 18th position, although only 6 tenths off the fastest rider and out on track by himself.

Tomorrow both riders will participate in the last qualifying session of the season, which will be at 12:35pm local time. Brad Binder is the rider with the most pole positions in Moto3 this year -with six-, and will fight for his third in a row. Last year Red Bull KTM Ajo took pole through Miguel Oliveira.


Results (Combined practice time FP1-FP2)
1. Enea Bastianini (Honda) 1:39.556
2. Juanfran Guevara (KTM) 1:39.655 +0.099
3. Joan Mir (KTM) 1:39.734 +0.178
4. Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 1:39.748 +0.192
5. Philipp Oettl (KTM) 1:39.793 +0.237
18. Bo Bendsneyder (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 1:40.239 +0.683


“Today went well. At first, I did not feel so good when I went out on track, because the asphalt was really cold and quite slippery. However, as the day progressed, the grip level improved and in the last run I felt pretty good with new tyres. In any case, we have to keep working, because I need to improve my feeling with the front end. Tomorrow we have more time, so we will try to resolve some things and improve a little.”

“The day started well, because we were always inside the Top 10. With used tyres we did not had so much confidence, but we changed the setup and step-by-step we became comfortable again. At the end we made a good lap riding alone, though it was not enough because I finished 6 tenths off the fastest rider and was 18th. I think our basic setup is good, and I set my best time without any reference –which is also important. I am looking forward to tomorrow. We need to improve the feeling with the front end, to gain confidence and stability, and we will work on this with the team.”