Oliveira fast in all conditions at Brno


Red Bull KTM Ajo rider goes fastest in the wet and fourth on a dry track on the first day of the Czech GP. Brad Binder also completes the free practices with a good feeling, placing nineteenth.


The return to work for the Red Bull KTM Ajo Moto2 team at the Automotodrom Brno saw the riders face completely different conditions in the opening two practice sessions. FP1 was a wet affair, taking place in the rain, and FP2 was held in the dry. Miguel Oliveira proved to be the most adaptable, taking the top spot in FP1 and fourth in the afternoon session. Brad Binder, who was back onboard his KTM Moto2 for the first time since undergoing surgery to treat compartmental syndrome in his right arm, was 19th on the combined timesheet for the day.

The rain at Brno was intense right from the first outing on track for Oliveira and Binder. The Portuguese adapted perfectly on his KTM, placing high up the order from the start and only relinquishing first place briefly in the final minutes. He regained the position soon after, on his last lap of the morning -2:15.724. Brad Binder made steady improvement to complete the 45-minute session in fifteenth -2:17.750.

The times from FP1 were smashed on the opening lap of FP2, as the intermediate class riders went out on slicks. The first few laps were not easy for Oliveira, and it was after a change to soft tyres that he was able to break into the Top 5. Despite having to pay another visit to the garage due to a mechanical problem, Oliveira was able to lower his previous best time twice -2:03.421. Binder’s session followed a script similar to that of FP1 and he clocked his best lap on his final attempt. He was nineteenth, with a best time of 2:04.502.

The battle for the tenth pole position of the season takes place from 3:05pm tomorrow.


Results (Combined practice time FP1-FP2)
1. Mattia Pasini (Kalex) 2:02.975
2. Francesco Bagnaia (Kalex) 2:03.237 +0.262
3. Xavi Vierge (Tech 3) 2:03.294 +0.319
4. Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 2:03.421 +0.446
5. Sandro Cortese (Suter) 2:03.430 +0.455
19. Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 2:04.502 +1.527


“Physically, I feel good. As for the setup, I lack a little feeling and we have to find out how we can turn the bike in a little better. That is why FP2 was a difficult session, because I still don’t feel very comfortable with the front and trying to improve every lap was tough. Thanks to today’s work, we have a good starting point for tomorrow because we have understood what we require. I felt better in the wet than in the dry. I hope I can take a step forward tomorrow.”

“I don’t feel completely comfortable with the setup of the bike. We have to work a bit more with the rear so that we can turn better. During FP2 I had a small problem with the rear brake, but the mechanics quickly solved it without any difficulty. They have done a great job that allowed me to get back out on track and do a couple of quick laps. I could have done a third, but another rider slowed me down. I am happy with the work we have done today, and we are on course to hit our objectives.
We could say that I am prepared for any weather conditions because the bike is also running well in the wet. We will take things day by day and see what happens on Sunday.”