First night of testing for KTM Moto2 bike in Qatar18/03/2017
Red Bull KTM Ajo Moto2 riders Miguel Oliveira and Brad Binder were able to ride their intermediate class machines at the Losail circuit on Saturday night, finishing the opening night of testing 5th and 21st, respectively.
After rainy weather on Friday night caught the paddock by surprise, causing the suspension of testing at the Losail International Circuit, the intermediate class riders finally got the chance to ride at the Qatari track on Saturday.
The riders and teams got straight to work, with only two nights in which to finalise their preparations for the opening round of the season instead of the planned two. The weather was back to normal, and the Red Bull KTM Ajo team were able to put in their first laps at the circuit with their Moto2 bike. Miguel Oliveira placed 5th overall for the night, with Brad Binder 21st.
Oliveira showed good pace from the start, and in the first hour placed inside the Top 5. In the following run he was third fastest with a time of 2:01.048, which he smashed in the last second of practice with a 2:00.861 -putting him fifth.
Binder was one of the riders to complete the most laps on the first 60 minutes of the test, with 28. The Moto2 rookie improved his best time in each of the three sessions, and on his last lap made a big step forward with a 2:01.814 time -breaking into the 2:02s for the first time.
Preseason testing for 2017 concludes tomorrow night, ahead of the Qatar GP next weekend.
Results – Combined Standings Day 2
1. Takaaki Nakagami (Kalex) 2:00.187
2. Franco Morbidelli (Kalex) 2:00.240 +0.053
3. Alex Marquez (Kalex) 2:00.427 +0.240
4. Hafiz Syahrin (Kalex) 2:00.771 +0.584
5. Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 2:00.861 +0.674
21. Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 2:01.814 +1.627
#41 Brad Binder
“This first night of testing in Qatar has not been bad for us. At first, it was positive to be able to ride on a different circuit after six consecutive days in Jerez, but later, I realised that it was like starting from scratch -having to work on aspects that we had already improved in the last few tests. However, as the laps went by I was able to feel more comfortable riding, and took a big step forward in the last stint that we had, so that’s positive. We still have work ahead of us, so we must continue in this way, working non-stop to get faster and move up positions in the timesheets ahead of the GP.”
#44 Miguel Oliveira
“It was a good night of testing here at Losail. We were able to accumulate many laps and do a good job. I’m still not completely at ease with the setup of the bike at this circuit, but we anticipated this because we have done much less riding here than at Jerez. We must continue gaining experience at this track so that we go into the GP as strong as possible. Nevertheless, we are in the Top 5 here -a little further off the top than we would like, but doing a great job that allows us to make improvements with every session.”