Binder achieves fantastic Top 5 finish with wet weather masterclass


South African rider finishes 5th in the San Marino GP and takes his best result to date in Moto2, racing in difficult conditions. Miguel Oliveira suffers a crash when riding in third.

In what has become something of a frequent occurence in the Moto2 class, Brad Binder put in another fantastic comeback at the San Marino GP on raceday. The South African climbed from 17th to 5th at Misano, in what is his best result in the intermediate class to date. He did so on a completely wet track, with rain falling throughout the race. Teammate Miguel Oliveira had an unfortunate race, crashing out on the opening laps when riding in the Top 3.

Binder appears to be at his best on Sundays in recent Grands Prix, and he provided something special in the San Marino GP. Despite starting from far back on the sixth row of the grid, and having to contest with intense rain, the Red Bull KTM Ajo rider was up into 9th within just five laps, and was 7th before Lap 10. He settled in that position, riding with an incredible pace, and on the penultimate lap he set the fastest time of the race, to help him climb to an excellent fifth place.

Miguel Oliveira had also been able to put his difficult qualifying session behind him in the early going, placing 3rd on the second lap and remaining in the podium spots during the initial stretch. However, the difficult conditions on track took their toll, and the Portuguese crashed out at Turn 15 on Lap 9.

Oliveira is currently 4th in the Moto2 World Championship standings with 141 points, whilst Brad Binder is 13th with 56 points. The next round will take place on September 22nd-24th, at a MotorLand Aragon circuit where Binder was crowned Moto3 World Champion last season. Before that, both riders will participate in a private test next week in Valencia.

Aki Ajo – Team Manager
“The conditions of the track were very difficult today, and we saw a lot of crashes. I’m very happy about Brad’s [Binder] great result; his starting position was not very good, but on Sundays he always fights a lot and is in the battle. On the other hand, Brad is aware that he is a rookie and that he has to improve throughout the weekend, and is evolving in that direction to be stronger in the future. With Miguel [Oliveira], his weekend started very well, but then we experienced some difficulties. Despite everything, we thought we were pretty prepared for the race -even if it rained. His performance was very good, but under these conditions anything can happen. We are getting stronger and stronger, we are positive and we want to move forward.”

Results (Race)
1. Dominique Aegerter (Suter) 51:39.709
2. Thomas Luthi (Kalex) +1.400
3. Hafizh Syahrin (Kalex) +7.875
4. Francesco Bagnaia (Kalex) +21.223
5. Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Ajo) +23.849
-. Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM Ajo) DNF

Moto2 World Championship Standing 2017
1. Franco Morbidelli (Kalex) 223 points
2. Thomas Luthi (Kalex) 214 points
3. Alex Marquez (Kalex) 155 points
4. Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 141 points
5. Francesco Bagnaia (Kalex) 124 points
13. Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 56 points


“At the beginning of the race I saw many riders having problems, and it was not something that was reassuring. I also had a lot of difficulties, but when I calmed down I figured out how I could best ride the Moto2 bike in rainy conditions and what points of the track were really slippery. In those areas I tried to keep the bike as straight as possible, and where there was more grip I pushed a little more. Overall, I’m happy, it has been my best result in the class so far and I’ve achieved fastest lap of the race. On the last lap I was very strong, because I wanted to overtake the rider ahead of me. I managed it, and I’m very pleased to achieve this Top 5 we had been looking for.”

“It is bad news for the team to have suffered a crash, as the podium was a result that would have suited us very well for the championship. Unfortunately I entered corner a bit faster and it was enough to lose the front end. I’m going to take away the positives: We went fast in the race, we made a good start and we were able to fight. Now we’ll have a couple of days of testing in Valencia to finish preparing for the next GP in Aragon -and for the flyaways.”