Oliveira keeps up pace in Austin


Red Bull KTM Ajo rider sets fourth fastest time of the day after going quickest in FP1. Ricky Cardus gets a creditworthy ninth place.


The Red Bull Grand Prix of The Americas started well for the Red Bull KTM Ajo Moto2 riders. After taking his first Grand Prix podium in the class in Argentina a fortnight ago, sick Miguel Oliveira was the fastest man in FP1 and fourth overall for the two Free Practice sessions held on Friday. Ricky Cardus, thumb substituting for the injured Brad Binder, no rx finished the first day in a strong ninth place.

The first 45-minute session in Austin was positive for the pair. Oliveira dedicated the first run to starting work on the setup of his KTM for the track, using hard tyres. It was after his only stop in the garage that the Portuguese, running the soft tyre, surprised the rest of the grid by setting the best time of 2:11.606 on his final lap. Cardus also had a great FP1, finishing in 11th place with a time of 2:12.690.

The Portuguese had to wait until his second stint in FP2 to be able to lower his previous best time. He sought to find the optimum pace for the race, and it was on his final lap that he clocked a 2:11.223 to go fourth. Cardus started very strongly in the session, improving his morning time quickly, although 15 minutes in he suffered a light crash at Turn 13 that halted his improvement. A time of 2:11.443 in the final moments allowed him to climb to ninth place.

Qualifying for the Red Bull Grand Prix of The Americas takes place from 3:05pm tomorrow. Oliveira was the poleman in Argentina.


Results (Combined practice time FP1-FP2)
1. Alex Marquez (Kalex) 2:10.601
2. Franco Morbidelli (Kalex) 2:10.901 +0.300
3. Marcel Schrotter (Suter) 2:10.906 +0.305
4. Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 2:11.223 +0.622
5. Thomas Luthi (Kalex) 2:11.226 +0.625
9. Ricard Cardus (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 2:11.443 +0.842


“Things turned out pretty well today. In the morning we didn’t have such a good pace, but we achieved a good fast lap. In the afternoon we were more consistent, being able to work both on my riding on the bike and with the setup. The temperature increase at the end of the day made it difficult to ride fast laps and it was difficult to improve, although we remained very consistent. For tomorrow we have to try a couple of setups. I’m happy with the work we’ve done today, and tomorrow I hope to be able to fight for a good position in qualifying.”

“I took it easy this morning to get back my feeling with the Moto2 bike, and above all to get references for the circuit. It went better than we thought; I found it comfortable from the beginning. We focused on working with the bike and with the team, and things have started to go well. In the afternoon I made a little mistake, and I apologise to the team for that. I crashed and it broke up our workplan a little. I went back out with desire and we lowered my time a little, we improved and we are working a lot with the bike with the race in mind.
Now I need to find my pace and get more confidence. We are good, and I thank the Red Bull KTM Ajo team very much for the confidence they are placing in me. I am seeing that there are many things to improve and with this team it is very easy to reach your objective.”