Fifth and sixth row for Cardus and Oliveira in France


Red Bull KTM Ajo Moto2 riders have difficult qualifying session, to start from 15th and 17th, respectively, at Le Mans.

After a rainy first day at Le Mans, the Red Bull KTM Ajo riders were able to set up their KTM bikes in two fairly dry sessions on Saturday. After improving their times from FP1 in the last Free Practice session this morning, both riders again lowered their times in qualifying. Ricky Cardus will start the French GP from 15th and Miguel Oliveira from 17th, hoping to improve their dry setups during the warmup and have a good race.

Slick tyres were used from the start in the last Moto2 Free Practice session of the weekend. With a dry line throughout almost the entire track, Cardus and Oliveira rode with the same tyres during the session, looking for the best possible setup for Sunday’s race. This focus did not prevent them from setting fast times in the final minutes, improving from Friday and placing eighth -1:38.030- and twelfth -1:38.077- respectively.

The early stages of qualifying were also held in dry conditions, and it was at this time that Oliveira set his fastest lap of 1:37.440. A brief shower sent all of the Moto2 riders back to the pits, but they returned on track with 24 minutes still remaining. Cardus lowered his best time to 1:37.369 when following his teammate, rising to sixth position, but neither rider was able to improve their times on their final stint with fresh tyres. Cardus was eventually fifteenth -1:37.369- and Oliveira seventeenth -1:37.440.

The Moto2 French GP takes place at 12:20pm local time and is the Red Bull KTM Ajo team’s first intermediate class race at Le Mans.

Results (Qualifying Practice)
1. Thomas Luthi (Kalex) 1:36.548
2. Francesco Bagnaia (Kalex) 1:36.574 +0.026
3. Franco Morbidelli (Kalex) 1:36.649 +0.101
4. Luca Marini (Kalex) 1:36.794 +0.246
5. Dominique Aegerter (Suter) 1:36.863 +0.315
15. Ricky Cardus (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 1:37.369 +0.821
17. Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 1:37.440 +0.892


“In qualifying we didn’t quite find the ideal setup to ride better. We tried things out during the qualifying session, but they didn’t work out as we had wanted and we have to continue working tomorrow. It will be important to have a good warmup, and we will try to push and improve the bike. We’ll see what the track conditions are like, because they’ve changed in practically every session we’ve had this weekend. I feel bad about starting from so far back, but tomorrow we have to focus on reaching the top ten and doing as well as possible.”


“We started very well, were aggressive and had a good feeling on the bike. We were able to push a little more, because there weren’t any puddles on the track. I was in twelfth before it started to rain, and when I went back out Miguel [Oliveira] was my pacemaker and I was able to improve my time.

On the next run I was meant to break away from Miguel so that he could improve his time, but a small mechanical problem obliged me to go back to the pits. Thanks to the great work by my team, the issue was fixed in three minutes. There was barely time to put in another lap, however. We have a good base for tomorrow and we are going to try to improve a few things, but I think that it could be a fun race. I want to thank Miguel for his help with setting a good time, and the team for their work.”