Oliveira and Binder face the unknown11/10/2017
Red Bull KTM Ajo intermediate class riders will compete in Asia for the first time with a Moto2 bike. The first stop will be this weekend in Japan.
With their best performance of the season at the Aragon GP still fresh in their minds, the Red Bull KTM Ajo duo of Miguel Oliveira and Brad Binder head to Motegi this weekend for the fifteenth round of the season. In what will be the first triple flyaway for the KTM project in Moto2, as well as for the riders, expectations are high after both achieved good results in recent rounds.
Miguel Oliveira’s goal for the coming races will be to consolidate his third place in the overall standings, which he regained after taking to the podium at MotorLand Aragon. This will be the first time that the Portuguese undertakes these three Asian races as a Moto2 rider, as an injury prevented him from participating in his rookie year. Oliveira has a podium in Japan from 2015, during his previous spell with Red Bull KTM Ajo in Moto3. He would go on to take victories in Australia and Malaysia that year.
Brad Binder, who had already been crowned Moto3 World Champion coming into the Japanese round last season, finished second and just 17 thousandths of a second off the win at Motegi in 2016. The South African rider also got on the podium in 2014, finishing third on that occasion. Binder will try to take a step forward that will allow him to be competitive in the race from the start. In the last two Moto2 rounds he has finished fifth -his best result in the intermediate class- after starting from 17th and 20th, respectively.
Both riders will try to give the KTM Moto2 a positive first visit to Japan. Sunday’s race will take place at 12:20pm local time, 5:20am CET.
Circuit information – Twin Ring Motegi
Length: 4.801 m / 2.983 miles
Width: 15 m
Left corners: 6
Right corners: 8
Longest straight: 762 m / 0.473 miles
41 BRAD BINDER
“I’m anxious to start the flyaways, and in addition I’m in very good shape, after working hard these two weeks in which we haven’t had races. Since I started competing in the World Championship, these have been my three favourite races. This year will be even more special, since for the first time I will be riding a Moto2 bike at these special circuits. I especially want to ride at Motegi this weekend, because there is hard braking and that’s where I feel strongest with this bike. The goal will be to improve in every race, which is what we have been doing all year, to end up taking great results. It will not be easy because I will have to learn the circuit and get on the pace at the same time; if I want to do well, I have to do it before Sunday morning, because if not I’ll have to lose time fighting back on the opening laps. Let the action begin!”
44 MIGUEL OLIVEIRA
“I can’t wait to start the flyaways. It’s three races in a row that I like a lot and that also bring back good memories of my experience with the Red Bull KTM Ajo team in 2015. Last year in Moto2 I wasn’t able to do the flyaway rounds, so I will have to discover how the Moto2 works at these tracks as I go along -although I don’t think this is a problem. We start this long journey with the goal of getting as many points as possible and consolidating third place in the overall standings. We are determined to continue with the positive work and results we have achieved at recent races.”