First objective fulfilled for Miguel Oliveira in Argentina


Red Bull KTM Ajo rider Miguel Oliveira completes first day at Termas de Rio Hondo in the Top 5. Teammate Brad Binder continues his adaptation to the Moto2 class with twenty-second place.


Miguel Oliveira successfully hit his target for day one of the Argentinian Grand Prix, placing inside the Top 5 on Friday. The Portuguese, who had set the goal before arrival at Termas de Rio Hondo, was the fifth fastest on the combined timesheet after taking an important step forward in FP2. His fellow Red Bull KTM Ajo rider, Brad Binder, also lowered his time in the afternoon and concluded the day twenty-second.

In the first runout on track for the KTM Moto2 bike in Argentina, both Miguel Oliveira and Brad Binder focused on putting in as many laps as possible. They managed 21 and 19, respectively, and did long stints with just a single pit stop each in order to give their crews as much feedback as possible. Oliveira was eighteenth -1:46.084-, just ahead of his teammate with a 1:46.095.

With a cleaner surface for FP2, both riders took just two laps to lower their times from the morning session. However, it was on his last two laps that Oliveira set his best times of the day, and his penultimate 1:44.498 earned him fifth place on a tightly packed timesheet. Binder pushed all the way to finally improve his lap time, and was less than a second off the quickest rider in twenty-second -1:45.152-.

The weather forecast for Saturday indicates rain for the first qualifying session of the season -the Qatar session was cancelled due to adverse conditions-, which takes place at 3:05pm local time.


Results (Combined practice time FP1-FP2)
1. Franco Morbidelli (Kalex) 1:44.188
2. Marcel Schrotter (Suter) 1:44.337 +0.149
3. Takaaki Nakagami (Kalex) 1:44.414 +0.226
4. Lorenzo Baldassarri (Kalex) 1:44.447 +0.259
5. Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 1:44.498 +0.310
22. Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 1:45.152 +0.964


“Today’s action in Argentina wasn’t bad for us. I felt comfortable until on the last five laps I noticed a lot of pain in my left arm -which I had injured in preseason. Between sessions I took a painkiller and at the beginning of practice it was only bothering me a little, but on my last run the pain returned and I couldn’t put pressure on the handlebars. It’s difficult to ride like this, but in the end the gap to the top riders is not very big: 0.9 seconds. We will analyse things thoroughly, because every little improvement can result in a big step forward tomorrow.”

“It was a very positive first day here in Argentina. We started off on the wrong foot a little, because we came out with the setup we had from Qatar as a reference. As soon we arrived here we saw that we would have to change things, because the conditions were a little different than we expected. We found it a little hard to adjust in the first session, or understand the direction to take to find grip, but at the end of the second session we were able to do a good job. We were also able to go fast with the tyres that we will in theory use in race, so I am happy with the work done by the team today.”