Cardus takes 3 points at Le Mans


Spanish rider finishes thirteenth at French Grand Prix after battle to enter the points. Miguel Oliveira, seventeenth, places outside the Top 15 for the first time this season.

The unfavourable weather conditions encountered by the Red Bull KTM Ajo Moto2 riders throughout this weekend at Le Mans had a big effect on race day. With the asphalt completely dry and higher temperatures than on previous days, Miguel Oliveira and Ricky Cardus had to prepare an unfamiliar setup for the KTM’s first race at the French track. In the end, Cardus finished 13th -in the points for the third consecutive race- while Oliveira had to settle for 17th position.

Oliveira made a good start, maintaining his starting position of seventeenth. He was just ahead of teammate Cardus, who had dropped five places. From that moment on, both were in the same group, in the fight for thirteenth.

As the laps went by, Oliveira rose to the front of the group, but could not keep up the pace, falling back several positions. In contrast, Cardus made progress and was in his highest position -thirteenth- on the final lap. Oliveira eventually crossed the line seventeenth, finishing outside the points for the first time this season.

Following the French GP, Miguel Oliveira is fourth in the overall standings with 59 points; Brad Binder is nineteenth with 7 points, and Ricky Cardus is twentiefth -also with 7. The next Moto2 World Championship round will take place at Mugello, Italy, between June 2nd-4th.

Aki Ajo – Team Manager
“It has been a difficult weekend for our Moto2 project. From Friday onwards, the conditions have been very difficult, with the surface in a different state for each of the sessions and very little dry track time. Practically only today in the warmup and the race has it been completely dry. We need to analyse where we made mistakes and where we can improve, since that is what we are here for. If we continue working like we have so far, we will get another good performance next time out.”

Results (Race)
1. Franco Morbidelli (Kalex) 42:17.557
2. Francesco Bagnaia (Kalex) +1.714
3. Thomas Luthi (Kalex) +5.837
4. Alex Marquez (Kalex) +6.212
5. Mattia Pasini (Kalex) +13.537
13. Ricky Cardus (Red Bull KTM Ajo) +23.801
17. Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM Ajo) +26.394

Moto2 World Championship Standing 2017
1. Franco Morbidelli (Kalex) 100 points
2. Thomas Luthi (Kalex) 80 points
3. Alex Marquez (Kalex) 62 points
4. Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 59 points
5. Francesco Bagnaia (Kalex) 53 points
19. Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 7 points
20. Ricky Cardus (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 7 points

“This weekend at Le Mans we have encountered more difficulties than normal. I wasn’t able to ride comfortably, with my riding style. I took a while to understand how to ride the bike, and it is a very short circuit with very low corner speeds. In the race I lost confidence with the bike; the start was tough but in the final stages I improved a lot, although by then I was already too far back. I tried to learn from others to see where to improve, but it was very difficult. Now we have to move on to Mugello. It’s just one bad race and we will continue to work hard, as I think this is one of those moments that remind us that this is a new project and we must work from scratch at every race. I thank the team, who have always done a great job, and we will continue to fight to the fullest.”

“We’re not leaving Le Mans as happy as we could be. We’ve taken a bit of a back seat over the weekend -not like at Austin where we regularly entered the Top 10- but we’ve done a great job and we’ve drawn some good conclusions. At the start we had some problems with the bike and we were overtaken by other riders. I waited for the fuel tank to empty a little and for my nerves to calm, and then I improved my pace and rode with better times than some of the Top 10. I can take that from this race: We had pace and we were fast enough to fight with Top 8, but it wasn’t to be. We will continue working with the Test team so that the official riders can improve. I want to thank this wonderful team, the partners, Aki [Ajo] and my mechanics for these three races we have ridden together. I congratulate them for the group of people they have and I wish a speedy recovery to Brad [Binder].”