Miguel Oliveira starts inside the Top 3 in Barcelona


Red Bull KTM Ajo rider adapts quickly to redesigned final sector of the Barcelona-Catalunya Circuit, taking the third best time of the day. Binder places 21st.

The Red Bull KTM Ajo team made a great start to the seventh round of the Moto3 season, the Catalan GP. Miguel Oliveira led the morning session, feeling good with his KTM bike and immediately comfortable with the new design of the last sector of the track. He finished third on the combined timesheet for the day. Teammate Brad Binder finished 21st and, although still experiencing discomfort in his left elbow, was able to improve in the second session.

The Moto2 riders were the first to undertake a practice session in normal conditions, and Oliveira and Binder were able to use slicks in FP1. The Portuguese rider was among the fastest from the start, and 15 minutes from the chequered flag he took the top spot. His best time was a 1:50.165. Binder rode the entire session with a used tyre, and finished 24th -1:51.986.

In the afternoon session, the dynamic from the morning was repeated. Oliveira ran a strong pace and was again one of the fastest riders immediately. He was ninth -1:50.741- after tyre issue on his last stint. Binder finished 21st -1:51.604- but lowered his previous best time by 3 tenths and is clear about where he can improve tomorrow.
Moto2 qualifying practice takes place tomorrow from 3:05pm local time.

Results (Combined practice time FP1-FP2)
1. Franco Morbidelli (Kalex) 1:49.731
2. Alex Marquez (Kalex) 1:50.047 +0.316
3. Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 1:50.165 +0.434
4. Takaaki Nakagami (Kalex) 1:50.325 +0.594
5. Simone Corsi (Speed Up) 1:50.358 +0.627
21. Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 1:51.604 +1.873

“The day didn’t go badly. I had a lot of trouble with my left elbow; it hurt a lot, even more than in Mugello, and it’s something I hadn’t counted on. We still have a lot of work to do with the bike, but above all we have to improve in the last sector. I’m not enjoying that part and I can’t go fast there; I certainly prefer the old layout, but we’ll do our best to get used to the new one. Now it’s time to go to Clinica Mobile and arrive as prepared as possible tomorrow.”

“The FP1 went quite well. As we expected, in the afternoon it became warmer and we continued riding with the tyres used in the morning –finding a very good pace. When we put the new tyre on, it seemed like it wasn’t in optimum condition and I didn’t have enough grip to put in a quick lap. The change to the last sector makes it a bit slower, and it’s harder to take well at first. It does not benefit us too much for the race, because it is quite slow and does not allow us to use different lines; but this is the decision that was made at the time, so we have to deal with it.”