Miguel Oliveira starts German GP inside the Top3


Portuguese rider finishes third in Friday practice at Sachsenring, after topping the timesheets in FP1. Brad Binder completes the day in eighteenth place.

The Red Bull KTM Ajo Moto2 team had a positive first day of action at Sachsenring on Friday. Despite having to face a new circuit for the KTM Moto2 bike, as well as a resurfaced track, Miguel Oliveira finished the day in third position, as well as being the fastest rider in FP1. On the other side of the garage, Brad Binder continued his learning process in Moto2, rounding off a successful day in eighteenth place.

Oliveira dominated FP1 for the German GP from start to finish, riding quickly and consistently. Although there were a few spots of rain at the start of the session, the 45-minute practice was dry and the Portuguese adapted rapidly to the new asphalt. He improved his times on ten occasions, and was the only rider to go round in the 1:24s, with his best lap a 1:24.976. Binder also had a good session, with the sixteenth best lap -1:26.090. Like his teammate, he did not change tyres.

In the afternoon, the rain made an appearance during MotoGP FP2, leaving the track in mixed conditions for the Moto2 field. Miguel Oliveira and Brad Binder went out with wet weather tyres, but soon returned to the garage. They then waited for the asphalt to dry out to avoid taking unneccesary risks, taking part in only the last 21 minutes of FP2. With the hardest tyre compound available, Oliveira set a 1:25.306 time for seventh in the session. Binder, 19th with a 1:26.303 lap, clocked his best time on his final attempt.

Qualifying for the Moto2 German Grand Prix takes place at 3:05pm tomorrow. The Red Bull KTM Ajo team will look for their second pole position since starting their Moto2 project.

Results (Combined practice time FP1-FP2)
1. Thomas Luthi (Kalex) 1:24.848
2. Marcel Schrotter (Suter) 1:24.894 +0.046
3. Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 1:24.976 +0.128
4. Franco Morbidelli (Kalex) 1:25.077 +0.229
5. Francesco Bagnaia (Kalex) 1:25.080 +0.232
18. Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 1:26.090 +1.242

“This first day went well, and in general my feeling was good. We need to be faster, obviously, but I’m satisfied. We missed part of FP2 and we had several things to try. We are trying to improve the front end, because we have some work to do with this aspect. The positive is that I’m getting more and more comfortable with the bike and I’ve started to understand the track a little better. Looking ahead to tomorrow, I think we can take a big step forward. I hope we can make another move in the right direction and qualify better than at Assen. We are making progress little by little but we are always going forward.”

“Today we did quite well. This morning I felt very strong, and we immediately used the softer tyre option we have here. In the afternoon I had no choice but to go out with the hard tyre, but it is not ideal. In any case, we did a good job, I am happy with today’s result, and we are keeping going. We will see what the weather is like tomorrow, but whether it is dry or wet, I want to be competitive. In the dry I feel strong, although perhaps I’m lacking a little bit of feeling in the wet. I hope to improve that if the situation arises tomorrow.”