First Moto2 pole position for Oliveira and Red Bull KTM Ajo08/04/2017
Oliveira takes his first pole position in Moto2 -as well as KTM’s first in this class- at Argentinian GP. Binder claims twenty-fourth in a difficult qualifying session.
Miguel Oliveira and the Red Bull KTM Ajo team have taken just two Grands Prix to achieve their first Moto2 pole position, taking the top spot for the Argentinian GP at Termas de Rio Hondo. It was an historic day for the Portuguese and the Austrian manufacturer -who debut this year in the intermediate class- and they overcame very tricky track conditions as the asphalt gradually dried. Brad Binder completed his first laps in the wet with a Moto2 machine, getting a spot on the eighth row with 24th place.
The Moto2 FP3 session was held in completely wet conditions. Despite going out on track in the early stages, both Oliveira and Binder quickly returned to the garage, where they waited until the last quarter of an hour of the session. They thus used cut tyres without taking excessive risk, setting their respective best laps on their final attempt. Oliveira took an excellent second place -1:46.290-, while Binder was 23rd -1:47.845.
A half-wet track and fine intermittent rainfall cast doubts in the minds of the Moto2 riders in qualifying. After using two sets of cut tyres, Miguel Oliveira decided to run slicks in order to chase pole position with 9 minutes remaining. He improved his time on four consecutive occasions, and his best lap came 30 seconds before the chequered flag fell: 1:45.616.
Brad Binder struggled more in the adverse conditions, as it was the first time he had faced them with a Moto2 bike. In the end, he achieved the twenty-fourth best time: 1:47.855.
The 23-lap Moto2 Argentinian GP begins tomorrow at 2:20pm local time.
Results (Qualifying Practice)
1. Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 1:45.616
2. Franco Morbidelli (Kalex) 1:45.715 +0.099
3. Alex Marquez (Kalex) 1:45.864 +0.248
4. Thomas Luthi (Kalex) 1:45.990 +0.374
5. Jesko Raffin (Kalex) 1:46.053 +0.437
24. Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 1:47.855 +2.239
41 BRAD BINDER
“It wasn’t an easy QP. I had a strange feeling with the wet tyres; it felt as if the track was very slippery because I couldn’t lean over at all, and the wheels were spinning a lot. It was very difficult to ride. Then I saw that the riders on slicks were eight or nine seconds faster, but it was still raining. In the end I tried to forget about the conditions of the track and push my hardest, but I never found my opportunity to ride fast. It is not a good result, but we must turn the page on it, work hard tomorrow and go all out.”
44 MIGUEL OLIVEIRA
“The conditions in today’s qualifying session were a bit difficult. I used two sets of wet tyres before understanding that in the end I had to go out with slicks. I feel bad that I didn’t go out a little bit earlier, because on the first few laps I had a hard time picking up the pace. Later I recovered quite well and I did a lot of fast laps. I am happy with the final result today, which is my first pole position, and I want to congratulate the whole team. Of course, even if it is a very good position, we have to keep our feet on the ground because what counts is tomorrow’s result.”