Fifth front row for Oliveira in Sepang


Red Bull KTM Ajo takes second position in qualifying, just 26 thousandths of a second off pole position. Binder continues to take steps forward with eighth place.


Miguel Oliveira and Brad Binder will start the Malaysian GP from the front and third rows, respectively. After reaffirming their good feeling from Friday by placing inside the Top 5 in the last Free Practice session, the Red Bull KTM Ajo riders finished the job by taking very good positions on the grid in qualifying. Oliveira, in second place, will start from the front row for the fifth time this year, while Binder, in eighth, took his second best result to date in a Moto2 qualifying session.

Knowing that dry track time in Malaysia is invaluable, the Red Bull KTM Ajo Moto2 riders made the most of their last 45 minutes of Free Practice. Binder was fifth, clocking his best lap of 2:06.872 on his first stint. Meanwhile, Oliveira improved on each of his three runs and a time of 2:06.698 placed him third.

In qualifying, high ambient temperatures reaching 32ºC meant the Moto2 riders looked to set their fastest laps as early as possible. Oliveira again lowered his best time, and a 2:06.432 on his fourth lap put him just 0.026s off pole. He remained in the spot when the chequered flag fell. Binder was able to lower his fourth lap time on his final attempt, shaving a few thousandths of a second off his 2:06.909 lap but remaining eighth.

Tomorrow’s race will take place at 1:20pm local time -6:20am CET. Both riders will try to fight for a place on the podium. Binder and Oliveira have already been on the rostrum at Sepang, in Moto3 two years ago. 


Results (Qualifying session)
1. Franco Morbidelli (Kalex) 2:06.406
2. Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 2:06.432 +0.026
3. Fabio Quartararo (Kalex) 2:06.478 +0.072
4. Alex Marquez (Kalex) 2:06.511 +0.105
5. Thomas Luthi (Kalex) 2:06.593 +0.187
8. Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 2:06.909 +0.503 



“Today went much better than yesterday. This morning, from the first stint, we maintained a very steady pace and I felt very strong on the bike. In the afternoon, in qualifying, I felt really good on the bike and everything was very easy. On the last lap I was giving it 110%, but on the first sector I slowed down a little -although I was able to recover and set my best time at the end. I’m happy to be starting from eighth. I would have liked to have started a little further forward, but it’s much better than 20th, as I was used to placing this season. We have a very good pace and tomorrow in the race I will try to give my all from the beginning.”


“I felt very good today. I’m very happy with this second position, and with getting back on the front row. I think we can say that we are a little more consistent than at Phillip Island. Tomorrow will be a battle of attrition in a way, because it is very hot, we will lose a lot of grip and it is easy to crash over the course of the race. We will be aware of all these factors and of the weather, which can change at any time; as always we will go out to enjoy ourselves and give everything in the race.”