Miguel Oliveira to start Austrian GP from third row


Portuguese rider to start eighth at Red Bull Ring, whilst teammate Brad Binder will take off from 18th.

The Red Bull KTM Ajo team continued their preparations for the Austrian GP with Saturday action at the spectacular Red Bull Ring. Miguel Oliveira and Brad Binder again improved their times, first in FP3 and later in qualifying, to take 8th and 18th om the grid, respectively, for Round 11 of the season.

The final Free Practice session saw Oliveira suffer a crash at Turn 4, ten minutes in. Although he escaped unhurt, his bike was sufficiently damaged as to oblige his team to undertake an heroic effort to get him back out on track. He used the remaining quarter of an hour to set a new personal fastest time of 1:30.094 -fifth. Binder also lowered his lap times from Friday, despite using the same set of tyres for the entire 45 minutes, setting a 1:30.607 best -seventeenth.

Both riders continued their consistent improvement in qualifying. Oliveira set his quickest lap of 1:29.998 in the opening 20 minutes, on his sixth lap, and remained inside the Top 10 for the remainder of the session. He will start from eighth on the grid for the Austrian GP. Binder clocked a 1:30.286 on his final lap -his best time so far this weekend. He will begin Sunday’s race from the sixth row, in eighteenth place.

The Moto2 Austrian GP begins tomorrow afternoon at 12:20pm, with great expectation for the Red Bull KTM Ajo riders at a home round for partners Red Bull and KTM.

Results (Qualifying Practice)
1. Mattia Pasini (Kalex) 1:29.364
2. Franco Morbidelli (Kalex) 1:29.395 +0.001
3. Alex Marquez (Kalex) 1:29.570 +0.176
4. Francesco Bagnaia (Kalex) 1:29.581 +0.187
5. Thomas Luthi (Kalex) 1:29.696 +0.302
8. Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 1:29.998 +0.604
18. Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 1:30.286 +0.892

“Today was a difficult day. I didn’t feel too comfortable and things didn’t come easy for me. We took too many risks and didn’t reap any reward. In the end, we just have to focus on tomorrow and the race, and I am excited because I think that we are going to have an interesting fight. I am confident that, like at other times this season, tomorrow I will be able to make another good comeback. We will try.”

“Despite suffering a crash in FP3, in qualifying later on I felt very comfortable on the bike again. We didn’t finish very far off the fastest riders, despite the fact that we tried a big change for qualifying that didn’t work out as we had hoped. At the moment it seems that this circuit is a little harder to prepare a setup for, but tomorrow we will give our all again and do the best we can in the race.”