Oliveira adapts to Assen on satisfactory Friday


Red Bull KTM Ajo rider completes positive first day at the ‘Cathedral of Motorcycle Racing’ with a sitxh position. Brad Binder places twenty-fifth on the combined timesheets.


The Red Bull KTM Ajo Moto2 riders fulfilled their first objective on Friday at Assen, verifying the usefulness of the setup they had prepared for the Dutch GP. At another circuit completely new for the KTM machine, both Miguel Oliveira and Brad Binder completed a positive first day in which they improved their times in each of the two sessions. Oliveira was the standout, placing third in the morning and sixth in the afternoon. Binder, twenty-fifth on the combined timesheet, had his progress hindered by a crash.

The positive conclusions drawn from the Barcelona test last week paid off immediately. Oliveira was up into the Top 10 right from the opening laps of the day, moving up to third at the midway point of FP1. Maintaining his pace, the Portuguese set his best lap time of 1:38.783 on his final lap. Binder also set his top time with a final attempt, with a 1:40.455. He finished 24th, despite not changing tyres in his only stop in the pits.

Oliveira was in second within the first ten minutes of FP2. The Portuguese continued his great work and it was during these early stages that he set his best lap, a 1:38.463. From that moment on, he focused on consolidating his pace. Binder was only been able to complete 9 laps before a crash at Turn 16 -from which he escaped unhurt- 17 minutes before the end left him out for the rest of the session. Nevertheless, he set a new personal best time of 1:39.634, again for 24th.

Qualifying for the Moto2 Dutch GP takes place tomorrow at 3:05pm, in a 45 minute session.


Results (Combined practice time FP1-FP2)
1. Franco Morbidelli (Kalex) 1:38.061
2. Takaaki Nakagami (Kalex) 1:38.216 +0.155
3. Thomas Luthi (Kalex) 1:38.242 +0.181
4. Alex Marquez (Kalex) 1:38.380 +0.319
5. Axel Pons (Kalex) 1:38.454 +0.393
6. Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 1:38.463 +0.402
25. Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 1:39.634 +1.573


“This morning was tricky. Obviously the track is the same, but the way of riding here in Moto2 is very different from Moto3. So it’s almost been like learning the circuit from scratch. The second session was better. I suffered some problems with the gear shifts and it was because I put the bike in neutral that I crashed. It was a stupid crash, but these things happen and there is not much I can do. Tomorrow will be another day: Now we have to analyse all the data and see how high up we can get in qualifying session. A place in the Top 15 will be the main goal.”

“It’s been a very positive Friday. Throughout the day we made practically no changes to the bike, because I feel very comfortable riding. We went out with the setups we worked on at last week’s test, and it paid off. We will see what the weather is like tomorrow, but it is clear that in qualifying we will try to risk a little more to complete the best possible lap. I think I’m prepared to fight for the front two rows. It all depends on the weather tomorrow and how quickly we can adapt to the conditions of the moment.”