Miguel Oliveira feels at home at Red Bull Ring


Red Bull KTM Ajo rider finishes 3rd on first day of Austrian GP, with Brad Binder in 18th place.

The Red Bull KTM Ajo team made a positive start to the Austrian GP this Friday. The event is considered a home race for the team, due to the location of partners Red Bull and KTM in the country, and thus the Grand Prix is one of the biggest of the year. Miguel Oliviera needed only a few laps to be strong at the Red Bull Ring, finishing third on Friday and leading the way several times during the two Free Practice sessions. Brad Binder had a more difficult adaptation to the Austrian track, finishing 18th.

FP1 for the Moto2 class was barely ten minutes old before it began to rain intensely. Oliveira used these minutes before the track was fully wet to adapt perfectly with his KTM and set the best time of the session: 1:31.203. Binder lacked track time in his first contact with the Austrian circuit with the Moto2 bike, and was nineteenth with a 1:32.511. Both riders spent the final 17 minutes riding in the wet.

The weather stabilised for FP2, which took place in completely dry conditions. Again Oliveira was very strong from the start, taking the top spot on his opening stint. Always in the fight to be fastest, the Portuguese rider eventually placed third with a 1:30.394. His teammate improved his feelings from the morning session, and like Oliveira his times also fell. Binder was 18th -1:31.305-, only one second of the fastest rider.

After a positive Friday, the Red Bull KTM Ajo team will try to fight for KTM’s first pole position at the Red Bull Ring in Moto2, tomorrow from 15:05 local time.

Results (Combined practice times FP1-FP2)
1. Franco Morbidelli (Kalex) 1:30.2111
2. Thomas Luthi (Kalex) 1:30.242 +0.031
3. Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 1:30.394 +0.183
4. Mattia Pasini (Kalex) 1:30.421 +0.210
5. Isaac Viñales (Kalex) 1:30.473 +0.262
18. Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 1:31.305 +1.094


“It’s been a difficult day. We found it hard to get grip, but I think tomorrow it will be much better. In general, all the first days have been difficult this season. Tomorrow I hope to be able to take a step forward, right from the beginning. We mainly have to improve the front, to get a better feeling, stop the bike better and have more confidence when entering corners. We are clear about what we need to do and tomorrow we will put it into practice. It’s been a good experience to celebrate my birthday here, and I’ll try to plan something for when we finish the GP.”

“The day went pretty well today. We had some more work to do, because we had to prepare the setup based on a softer tyre than what we had last year. We worked hard on it, thinking about the race. Everything has been very consistent and very good, I was able to lead the timesheets for a long time and this morning I was fastest. I have a very good feeling for tomorrow. The goal for qualifying must be to get on the first or second row.”