Miguel Oliveira goes fastest on day one at Jerez


Red Bull KTM Ajo rider sets best time on first day of official Moto2 testing. Brad Binder takes an important step forward and places eleventh.

On Tuesday at the Jerez Circuit, the new KTM Moto2 used by the Red Bull KTM Ajo team were run alongside the rest of the grid and with official IRTA timing. On the first of six official days of the 2017 preseason, Miguel Oliveira and Brad Binder took great results at the same circuit where they rode last week in a private test. The Portuguese sprung a surprise by going fastest on day one, while the South African -still in the process of recovering from surgery to his left arm- achieved a meritorious eleventh place.

The Moto2 riders completed three sessions of 1 hour and 10 minutes in duration. Oliveira was among the fastest right from the opening run, although it was in the second session that he set a magnificent time of 1:42.316 to climb to the top of the standings. His day ended prematurely after a light crash -with no serious consequences- at Turn 8 at the start of the last session.

Although recovering from injury, Brad Binder put in 67 laps to aid his adaptation to the new class. The South African also set his best time in the second session. A 1:43.367 lap placed him seventh in the standings for the session.

After a positive first day, the team and KTM are beginning to reap the rewards of their hard work over the winter. Testing at the Jerez Circuit will continue tomorrow through to Friday.

Results – Combined Standings Day 1
1. Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 1:42.316
2. Taakaki Nakagami (Kalex) 1:42.503 +0.187
3. Mattia Pasini (Kalex) 1:42.842 +0.526
4. Luca Marini (Kalex) 1:43.040 +0.724
5. Franco Morbidelli (Kalex) 1:43.045 +0.729
11. Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 1:43.367 +1.051

#41 Brad Binder: “The first day went well. The first session was quite good. I felt very strong in the second session -much better than in the first. And in the third session, although we tried, I didn’t feel comfortable with the tyres and we weren’t able to lower our best time. We have tried things, I am learning a lot from the bike, I feel very confident and I am already looking forward to riding tomorrow. My arm still hurts, but I’m working hard and this is what I need in order to improve.”

#44 Miguel Oliveira: “It was a very positive first day. We were able to improve our times compared to the test last week. It’s a pity that in the afternoon, during the last session, the conditions became somewhat more difficult. Everything is going well; we have to continue consolidating the confidence that I have with the KTM and the setup we have found. We are testing small details without making big changes. It’s the most appropriate approach, given that later we have new tracks to face and we will have to adapt to different circumstances. I didn’t expect to be so high up on the timesheets, but we worked very hard with the team to set that lap. It’s great that after this effort things have gone so well, but we have to keep our feet on the ground because this is just testing -what matters is what happens when the season starts. Tomorrow we will try to keep improving, lower the time and even try to do some race simulations during the day.”