Miguel Oliveira sixth in the rain in Sachsenring QP


Portuguese rider will start from second row for German Grand Prix, after twice leading the qualifying session. Brad Binder will take off from 21st.

After three dry Free Practice sessions, the Red Bull KTM Ajo team riders were presented with wet conditions for qualifying at Sachsenring on Saturday. Having set a good dry pace in FP3, Miguel Oliveira finished 6th in the afternoon session to decide the grid order, taking a step forward in the wet. Teammate Brad Binder will start the race from the end of the seventh row, in 21st place, but is gaining confidence in both sets of conditions.

In the morning, both riders made progress in the dry, improving their times from Friday. Both Oliveira and Binder were in the Top 10 during the first few moments of FP3, the South African clocking his best time of 1:25.567 to eventually place 20th. Oliveira finished 5th after completing 24 laps, setting his best time on his last outing -1:24.769.

Qualifying was held in the wet, and Oliveira headed the timesheets from the start of the session until past the midway mark. After a spell in which the rain became more intense and the riders returned to the pits, Oliveira and Binder went back out and improved their times in the final stretch of QP. The Portuguese set a 1:32.801, placing 6th. Binder improved his wet pace to put in a 1:34.190 lap on his final attempt, finishing 21st.

With the weather forecasts uncertain for Sunday, the Red Bull KTM Ajo team will be prepared for any eventuality when the lights go out at 12:20pm local time.

Results (Qualifying Practice)
1. Franco Morbidelli (Kalex) 1:32.159
2. Alex Marquez (Kalex) 1:32.412 +0.253
3. Sandro Cortese (Suter) 1:32.536 +0.377
4. Mattia Pasini (Kalex) 1:32.678 +0.519
5. Hector Garzo (Tech3) 1:32.747 +0.588
6. Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 1:32.801 +0.642
21. Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 1:34.190 +2.031


“Today we had a difficult wet qualifying session. At first, with the rain, I was pretty slow, but little by little I felt better. I’m not happy with how it went, but I hope that tomorrow we can improve. If it rains in the race, I will simply try to hang on because I have nothing to lose; in the dry I am a bit better and I will also go for it. I think if I adjust a couple of details about my riding in the warmup I can take a step forward.”

“I’m going to focus on the positive from today, which is that we have improved a lot in wet conditions. We led the way for much of the qualifying session, but then it started to rain and when we went back out on track we gradually lowered our times. I sincerely believe that I lacked a push on my last three laps. At the beginning I had another rider behind me and I didn’t want to give him a tow, and on the last two laps I tried to push my hardest to improve the lap time but it was not possible. In any case, the second row is not bad. Tomorrow we will give everything to have a good race, either in the dry or the wet, and collect another Top 5 finish.”