Miguel Oliveira to start Catalan GP from seventh


Red Bull KTM Ajo rider will begin race in Barcelona from third row of the grid, while Brad Binder, in 21st, will do so from row seven.

Qualifying for the Catalan GP took place this Saturday, with Miguel Oliveira placing seventh and Brad Binder twenty-first. The Red Bull KTM Ajo team riders had to adapt to a further change to the chicane on the last sector, which has now has returned to the Formula 1 layout, and high temperatures. Brad Binder continued to make improvements, despite pain in his left elbow.

Heat at the Barcelona-Catalunya Circuit from the early hours of the morning made things tough for the Moto2 riders. Oliveira quickly got familiar with the new chicane and, with used tyres, sought to find a good race pace whilst placing among the fastest riders. Despite not running soft tyres, he was able to set his fastest time of 1:50.667 on his last stint, for seventh place. Binder continued adapting his riding to favour his left arm, which is still causing him discomfort, and finished twenty-third -1:51.663.

In qualifying, track temperatures of around 50ºC affected grip levels. Oliveira and Binder had trouble finding their best form. However, they continued to gain confidence on their KTM bikes with each stint, setting their quickest times on their final attempts. Oliveira will head the third row after clocking a 1:50.276 for seventh, whilst Binder was 21st with a 1:51.097.

The Moto2 Catalan GP takes place tomorrow at 12:20pm local time.

Results (Qualifying Practice)
1. Alex Marquez (Kalex) 1:49.408
2. Mattia Pasini (Kalex) 1:49.515 +0.107
3. Lorenzo Baldassarri (Kalex) 1:50.052 +0.644
4. Takaaki Nakagami (Kalex) 1:50.201 +0.793
5. Thomas Luthi (Kalex) 1:50.206 +0.798
7. Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 1:50.276 +0.868
21. Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 1:51.097 +1.689

“This weekend is much tougher than last weekend, since my left elbow hurts a lot. In addition, I’m also having difficulty finding a good feeling with the bike, especially under braking, as I lack some strength when I enter lefthanders. But I’m happy, because little by little we are improving. I like the new chicane a little more, because it is more normal compared to the layout used yesterday. Tomorrow we are going to have a difficult race, because it’s going to be very hot and that means less traction. Making another comeback like Mugello will be tough, but I’ll stay focused, try to do my job and see how far we can go.”

“Today we have made improvements. At the end of qualifying, on the last stint, we were able to improve our time and finish in seventh position. We still have doubts about which tyres are best for us, although it seems that many riders are in the same situation as us. Tomorrow we will try to get a good start and be as far forward as we can. We expect a hot day. It will be a difficult race, but we will do our best.”