Oliveira to start from third row at Mugello


Red Bull KTM Ajo rider sets ninth best time in QP for Italian GP, on another positive day. Binder will start from the eighth row after suffering pain in his left arm.


Miguel Oliveira remained in the Top 10 on the second day of the Italian GP. The Red Bull KTM Ajo rider continued to improve the setup of his KTM bike for tomorrow’s race, putting in his best laps with a worn tyre. Oliveira will start the Sunday contest from the end of the third row -ninth- with the aim of latching onto the lead group. Brad Binder suffered much more difficulty with his left arm after yesterday’s efforts, and had to settle for 24th and a spot on the eighth row on the grid.

Temperatures remained ideal in FP3 for the intermediate class. Both Oliveira and Binder came out strong in the opening minutes, with the Portuguese momentarily among the Top 5. Oliveira improved his best time fast from yesterday, later focusing on the last two sectors that he has found most difficult to date. He finally finished eighth -1:52.537-, with teammate Binder in 21st place -1:53.200-.

As happened yesterday, in the afternoon the asphalt temperature reached a scorching 54ºC. The high temperatures made many of the riders complete their best lap in the early stages of qualifying. That was the case for Miguel Oliveira and Brad Binder, who did so in their second run. The Portuguese set his best time of the whole weekend to get ninth -1:52.489-, while the South African, suffering from problems with his left arm, repeated his morning lap time of 1:53.216 for 24th.

Tomorrow, starting at 12.20pm local time, both riders will look for a result that will allow them to leave Tuscany feeling good. Oliveira and Binder have experienced victory at Mugello, after doing so in Moto3 in 2015 and 2016, respectively.


Results (Qualifying Practice)
1. Franco Morbidelli (Kalex) 1:51.679
2. Alex Marquez (Kalex) 1:51.715 +0.036
3. Mattia Pasini (Kalex) 1:51.758 +0.079
4. Thomas Luthi (Kalex) 1:52.045 +0.366
5. Takaaki Nakagami (Suter) 1:52.173 +0.494
9. Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 1:52.489 +0.810
24. Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 1:53.216 +1.537


“It had been a weekend that was going well. We had made a good start and I felt pretty good. Yesterday I felt that we had improved a lot and that my hand had a good reaction after completing the first few laps. However, this morning I woke up with stiffness and swelling in my muscles and I had to force things with my elbow a lot all day. I ended up with a lot of pain. We knew it could happen and it is normal after the operation. Tomorrow we will try again and we will be stronger all the time.”

“Just as we did yesterday, today we worked well and experienced another positive day. We were able to improve our best time of the weekend, even though the heat was extreme, thus getting a good position to start the race from tomorrow. We have improved our setup and we got the most out of the used tyres, completing my best laps with them. It will be interesting to see what the race pace is tomorrow; we will have to get a good start and place ourselves in a group as far forward as possible. Logically we will try to get the maximum from the race, and place as high up as we can.”