Second row for Oliveira at Jerez


Portuguese rider will start Red Bull Spanish Grand Prix from fourth, with teammate Ricky Cardus in 18th place on the grid.

As the forecast had indicated, the sun made an appearance at Jerez on Saturday. With improved conditions, the Red Bull KTM Ajo team riders were able to take a step forward in their performance onboard their KTM Moto2 bikes. Miguel Oliveira will again fight for a good result from fourth position on the grid, whilst Ricky Cardus will do so from 18th -row 6- after improvements made between FP3 and qualifying.

In FP3, the Red Bull KTM Ajo Moto2 riders took to the track with new updates to their fairings, which they were able to test on a completely dry track for the first time this weekend. Oliveira finished 5th, with a best time of 1:42.868, setting his top lap on his last outing. Teammate Ricky Cardus followed the same line of work as Oliveira, completing a satisfactory session in which he put in a best time of 1:43.694 for 23rd place.

The positive momentum would continue in QP, where Oliveira took advantage of the opening minutes to set his personal best lap of the whole weekend to date. His 1:42.409 earned him fourth on the grid. During the rest of the qualifying session, the Portuguese rider maintained a good pace and was satisfied with his performance. Cardus was able to improve his FP3 time to 1:43.323 and will set off from 18th at Jerez tomorrow.

The Spanish GP is the first European event of the season. The Moto2 race takes place at 12:20pm local time on Sunday.

Results (Qualifying Practice)
1. Alex Marquez (Kalex) 1:42.080
2. Franco Morbidelli (Kalex) 1:42.126 + 0.046
3. Dominique Aegerter (Suter) 1:42.312 +0.232
4. Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 1:42.409 +0.329
5. Mattia Pasini (Kalex) 1:42.598 +0.518
18. Ricky Cardus (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 1:43.323 +1.243


“Thanks to the test we did here in March, we had a good references for the setup and for the KTM, so we have been calmer since the start of the GP weekend. We were practically able to repeat the time set in testing, although today I was only one tenth slower. We are happy, we will start from fourth position and we have a good pace, so tomorrow we will give everything to get a positive result. The objective before starting here was the Top 5, and that continues to be the case -although there is no doubt that we will fight for the podium.”

“It has not been an easy day, because we had high expectations based on some of the things we had tested out. In the morning we tried a setup that did not work well, but we decided with the team that it was worth sticking with it for qualifying, in order to finish evaluating its performance. I tried not to think about the session or the grid position, but instead focus on drawing the best conclusions possible. Even so, we have been able to improve our time from FP3. In addition, the positive thing is that we have drawn the conclusions that we wanted and we can give the information that the team needed.

Tomorrow we will take a step back, we will start with a setup similar to Miguel [Oliveira]’s and see if we can have a good race, since both the team and this KTM project in Moto2 deserve it.”