Miguel Oliveira gets back on the podium at Aragon


Portuguese rider takes third place at MotorLand Aragon, after an interesting race. Brad Binder makes another great fightback to place 5th.

The duo of Miguel Oliveira and Brad Binder once again brought joy to the Red Bull KTM Ajo Moto2 team this Sunday at the Aragon GP. Although he was not able to fight for victory, Oliveira claimed his sixth podium of the season after finishing third. Binder made his umpteenth raceday comeback -this time gaining 15 places- to finish fifth, his best position in Moto2, for the second consecutive race weekend.

Oliveira suffered during the initial laps, in which he kept in the fight for third place. After an intense tussle to escape from the pack, the Portuguese rider managed to open a gap and begin his pursuit of the race leaders. After cutting 3 seconds off the gap to both, only 6 tenths separated him from the winner at the chequered flag. The podium was Oliveira’s sixth of 2017.

Binder has gained a reputation as the World Championship’s ‘comeback kid’, and he produced another excellent performance this Sunday. Starting from twentieth position, the South African moved up eight places on the opening lap. On Lap 3 he was tenth, and with seven laps left he entered the Top 5. From this moment on, Binder went all-out and pushed for fourth position -which he would eventually miss out on by just 0.150s.

Oliveira and Binder come into the Asian flyaway rounds, which starts in three weeks’ time, third -with 157 points- and tenth -with 67 points- in the overall standings. Before that, both will participate in a day of testing at MotorLand Aragon on Monday.

Aki Ajo – Team Manager
“It’s been an excellent day. The feeling is the same as after a big victory, because the two riders had a great performance, our KTM is performing very well and we had no problems during the weekend. Of course, we have to see how we can do better, but overall I am very happy and we will go into the coming races with a lot of strength.”

Results (Race)
1. Franco Morbidelli (Kalex) 40:09.904
2. Mattia Pasini (Kalex) +0.145
3. Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM Ajo) +0.577
4. Thomas Luthi (Kalex) +4.181
5. Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Ajo) +4.331

Moto2 World Championship Standing 2017
1. Franco Morbidelli (Kalex) 248 points
2. Thomas Luthi (Kalex) 227 points
3. Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 157 points
4. Alex Marquez (Kalex) 155 points
5. Francesco Bagnaia (Kalex) 130 points
10. Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 67 points

“To start from 20th position of the grid and finish 5th is reason to be more than happy. This morning in the warmup I felt much more comfortable than yesterday; we took a step forward and I went almost 3 tenths faster than in qualifying. Before starting the race I was a bit nervous, because I knew that if I worked hard and everything was perfect, I could have the opportunity to get close to the riders at the front. At first it was difficult because it’s hard to pass riders on the opening corners here, but I was patient and overtook riders steadily. I can’t thank my team enough for what they have done today. I felt that I had the best bike on the grid. We have a test tomorrow, in which we will try some things and I would like to improve my riding as well; I think we can take another step forward.”

“It has been a very good and a very solid weekend. This podium is very important for us after not being able to score points at Misano. I felt very strong all weekend, but at the beginning of the race we lost some time that we weren’t able to recover later on. Anyway, overall it has been a very positive Grand Prix for us. Now we have three races in a row that I like a lot, where I usually get good results, so I will be very focused and we will give everything at Motegi.”