Positive start for Oliveira in Jerez


Portuguese rider finishes seventh on difficult first day of Red Bull Spanish Grand Prix, affected by morning rainfall. Teammate Ricky Cardus places 23rd.


The Red Bull KTM Ajo team started their first European round of the Moto2 World Championship this Friday at Jerez. Conditions at the Andalusian circuit were very different for each of the two Free Practice sessions on Day 1, with FP1 affected by rain and FP2 drier but still tricky for the intermediate class. Miguel Oliveira -7th- and Ricky Cardus -23rd- completed a positive day of practice, although a dry track is expected for the rest of the weekend.

On a completely wet track early in the morning, Oliveira and Cardus did a great job with cut tyres. The latter was the standout in the 45-minute session, and despite heavy rain in the final minutes rose to second place with a 1:59.339 lap. Oliveira was eighth with a 2:00.160 best time.

In the afternoon the track was much drier, albeit still far from in ideal condition. The two Red Bull KTM Ajo riders were strong from the beginning of FP2, with both in the Top 10 for a few moments. Oliveira set his best time of 1:43.544 on his last outing, finishing the day in seventh position. Cardus suffered a crash 10 minutes from the end of the session, at Turn 9, and although he was uninjured and went back out on track, he was not able to lower his best time of 1:44.287 for 23rd.

Tomorrow Oliveira and Cardus will look for a good position on the starting grid, in qualifying at 3:05pm local time.

Results (Combined practice time FP1-FP2)
1. Alex Marquez (Kalex) 1:43.121
2. Dominique Aegerter (Suter) 1:43.279 +0.158
3. Xavi Vierge (Tech 3) 1:43.351 +0.230
4. Fabio Quartararo (Kalex) 1:43.377 +0.256
5. Franco Morbidelli (Kalex) 1:43.417 +0.296
7. Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 1:43.544 +0.423
23. Ricky Cardus (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 1:44.287 +1.166


“The track was not so bad in the afternoon, but for me the fact that it was wet in some parts meant my riding wasn’t as precise. You always have some doubts. We had a very good pace with the soft tyre and we also made two runs with the hard tyre. The set-up with which we ended preseason testing has been a great help, and we have not changed much. For tomorrow we will keep the bike as it is. The reference is good, so tomorrow we will start another day.”

“During the first session we felt very comfortable. I was calm and kept upping the pace. On my last lap I felt good and I was able to ride second. In the second session we tried many different configurations, and we focused on the future for the team and for KTM, which is also part of my work. In the final part of the session I made a mistake and I fell at Turn 9 when I hit a pothole, so I apologise to the team for that. I couldn’t improve my time, we are 1.1 seconds from the top, but I have a good feeling with the bike and I hope we will improve tomorrow. We will give everything in qualifying and do what works best for us to go for a quick lap.”