Oliveira and Binder end preseason satisfied in Qatar


Red Bull KTM Ajo riders complete last official test before the Qatar GP, with Oliveira 5th overall and Binder 21st.

The Red Bull KTM Ajo Moto2 team concluded their preseason testing this Sunday in Qatar, with weather conditions once again affecting the action on track. This time it was the strong wind and the rain at the Losail International Circuit that prevented Miguel Oliveira and Brad Binder from going out in the last session of the evening, and they concluded the final night’s work in 2nd and 21st, respectively. In the combined classification for the two nights, the Portuguese finished 5th and the South African 21st, both with good feelings on the bike and with important kilometres under their belts ahead of the season opener next week.

Oliveira ended the test among the Top 5 overall, in addition to taking a step forward with the setup of his KTM Moto2 bike. The Portuguese, who today completed a total of 30 laps, clocked a best time of 2:01.255 which allowed him to lead the first session on Sunday. Brad Binder continued to gain valuable experience in preparation for his debut in the intermediate category; today he put in 28 laps, with a time of 2:02.592 his best at the end of the day. Both riders sat out the last session of the day, which was suspended due to the strong wind and rain at the Losail International Circuit.

The Moto2 World Championship season gets underway at the Qatari track on Thursday, March 23rd, as the Red Bull KTM Ajo Moto2 project start two free practice sessions at 18:55 and 21:50 local time.

Results – Combined Standings Day 3
1. Franco Morbidelli (Kalex) 2:00.971
2. Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 2:01.255 +0.284
3. Thomas Luthi (Kalex) 2:01.304 +0.333
4. Xavier Simeon (Kalex) 2:01.544 +0.573
5. Francesco Bagnaia (Kalex) 2:01.618 +0.647
21. Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 2:02.592 +1.621

Results – Combined Standings Days 2-3
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

Aki Ajo – Team Manager: “We’ve had two very important days for continuing to develop the new KTM Moto2 bike. Unfortunately, the first day was canceled due to the rain and today we also had to stop a bit earlier. However, in any case we have put in some very good laps with the bike, which have been key to understanding how the bike works here in Qatar.”

#41 Brad Binder: “Today went very well. At first it was a bit tough, but little by little I found my way, every time I get on the bike I’m learning something new and it makes everything a little easier for me. We have to continue working in this way. It’s a shame to have lost a whole day and part of today, because it was too windy, but all-in-all, I feel we have taken a step forward this weekend. I feel much better about the bike; next week we will try to keep taking steps forward every day.”

#44 Miguel Oliveira: “These nights of testing have been very positive. Above all, we have changed some things on the bike from yesterday to today that have given me a lot of confidence to progress. The times do not show that the conditions were not the best, nor do they show the work we have done, but I’m happy with how the evening went. Hopefully next week the weather will be more stable than during these three nights. From the times in testing it is a bit difficult to say who will be up at the front next weekend at the race, but we are on the right track to be one of the outstanding riders.”