Oliveira seventh in battle of attrition15/10/2017
Red Bull KTM Ajo rider manages to finish Japanese GP in seventh position, amidst intense rain. Brad Binder crashes out after gaining twelve places.
True to the weather forecasts, intense rain played a big part in the action at Twin Ring Motegi on Sunday. With the track in worse conditions than it previously had been during the weekend, and with the Moto2 race reduced to just 15 laps, Miguel Oliveira was able to salvage seventh position and add 9 points to his tally for the season. Brad Binder was unable to complete the race, despite having made one of his trademark fightbacks to gain 12 places in just eight laps.
Starting from fifth position on the grid, Miguel Oliveira dropped down a place on the opening lap, quickly regaining it on Lap 2. The Portuguese remained in this position until the midway point of the Japanese GP, when he was unable to keep up the pace and was overtaken by two riders.
The rain failed to put off Brad Binder, who made one of his typical charges through the field from the eighth row of the grid. The South African had reached twelfth position before he suffered a crash at Turn 3 of the eighth lap.
With no time to rest, the flyaway rounds continue next week in Australia. Miguel Oliveira will arrive at Phillip Island in fourth place overall, with 166 points; Brad Binder is twelfth with 67.
Aki Ajo – Team Manager
“I’m a bit disappointed with the final result of the Moto2 race, although overall we can continue to be happy with the performance we’ve had over the weekend. We are fairly fast in any conditions, whether in the dry or in the wet, and this weekend has been a practice for us to keep improving in the rain. We are confident ahead of the coming races.”
1. Alex Marquez (Kalex) 32:08.901
2. Xavi Vierge (Tech3) +1.465
3. Hafizh Syahrin (Kalex) +3.134
4. Francesco Bagnaia (Kalex) +5.415
5. Mattia Pasini (Kalex) +5.618
7. Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM Ajo) +7.597
DNF – Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Ajo)
Moto2 World Championship Standing 2017
1. Franco Morbidelli (Kalex) 256 points
2. Thomas Luthi (Kalex) 232 points
3. Alex Marquez (Kalex) 180 points
4. Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 166 points
5. Francesco Bagnaia (Kalex) 143 points
12. Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 67 points
41 BRAD BINDER
“It’s been quite a difficult weekend for me. I struggled a lot in wet conditions. I wasn’t able to have a session in which I felt comfortable. I didn’t go too fast, but in the race I gave 110% and I managed to get up to 12th in just five or six laps, despite starting from 24th. I was trying hard and unfortunately I crashed. In the end, I gave everything I had and I never stopped learning; next time I find myself in this situation I will have learned the lesson from this race.”
44 MIGUEL OLIVEIRA
“It was a difficult race, with lots of water on track. I was not at all comfortable, especially with the rear tyre that didn’t give me a good enough feeling to be able to push more. I was close to the Top 5, but when I understood that I couldn’t go faster I tried to control the race to the best of my ability to finish. Seventh is not the result we had hoped for, but the positive thing is that we finished and now it is time to look ahead to Phillip Island -a circuit that I like and that I think it suits our bike quite well. I’m sure we’ll arrive there strong.”