Red Bull KTM Ajo take historic one-two finish in Moto2 Australian GP22/10/2017
Miguel Oliveira achieves his first victory in Moto2 -also the first for KTM in the class. Brad Binder rounds off a perfect day with second place, for his first podium.
Sunday at the Australian GP could not have gone better for the Red Bull KTM Ajo Moto2 team. An historic day for the team, the Austrian factory and for Portugal saw Miguel Oliveira take his first victory in the class, becoming the first Portuguese rider to do so and, above all, giving KTM their first win in their maiden year in Moto2. This great success was capped off by the first podium for Brad Binder, a rookie this year, in second place.
Just like he did two seasons ago in Moto3, Miguel Oliveira stood tall on the highest step of the Phillip Island podium today. The Portuguese dominated the race from start to finish. A great start allowed him to take the holeshot, and he held the lead for the remaining 25 laps. With an unmatched pace, Oliveira escaped from teammate Binder and from Franco Morbidelli on the eighth lap, finally crossing the finish line with an almost 3 second advantage.
For Brad Binder, the fight for the podium was more entertaining. The South African has also made a great start, from fourth place, and was just behind Oliveira in the first sector. From that moment, the South African took second position and became embroiled in a battle with Morbidelli. With 7 laps remaining, the group contesting second was bulked up, with Binder being relegated to fourth place. A crash for another rider and his coming out on top in the duel with Morbidelli allowed the South African to take second place.
Both Oliveira and Binder riders gain positions in the overall standings as a result of their historic Australian GP. With just two rounds of the season remaining, Miguel Oliveira has regained third position -191 points- and Brad Binder enters the Top 10 in his first year in Moto2 -89 points. Both riders will try to keep their form going next week at the Malaysian Grand Prix.
1. Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 39:25.920
2. Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Ajo) +2.974
3. Franco Morbidelli (Kalex) +3.846
4. Jesko Raffin (Kalex9 +7.348
5. Xavi Vierge (Tech3) +7.403
Moto2 World Championship Standing 2017
1. Franco Morbidelli (Kalex) 272 points
2. Thomas Luthi (Kalex) 243 points
3. Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 191 points
4. Alex Marquez (Kalex) 190 points
5. Francesco Bagnaia (Kalex) 150 points
10. Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 89 points
41 BRAD BINDER
“It’s really been great to get on the podium. Throughout the weekend, from the first lap I went out on track, I felt very good, and I just tried to put in as many laps as possible on the bike. Early in the race I tried to do my best and I was up there with Miguel [Oliveira], but he had a very good pace and didn’t make any mistakes. Then I started fighting with Franco [Morbidelli] and with Nakagami, and the race became really tight. On the last few laps I started to feel stronger and in the end I was able to fight. Getting second position makes me very happy. I want to thank the team for all the work they have been doing this season.”
44 MIGUEL OLIVEIRA
“I’m very happy; I just feel happiness. I could not be more grateful for this victory because when it started to rain I struggled a little. I already had a certain advantage and was aware that the distance I had from the pursuing riders had been reduced, which created a little stress. As you can imagine, it has been the longest race of my life. I’m very happy with the team and with my first victory in the class, the first for KTM and hopefully not the last.”
AKI AJO – TEAM MANAGER
“After the excellent race today, the first thing I want to do is to thank the riders, KTM, Red Bull, all our partners and the team, because we are very happy to be part of a great project like this year after year. It was an unforgettable race, with Miguel [Oliveira] dominant at all times and setting a steady pace that allowed him to escape, and with Brad [Binder] showing his great evolution and getting a very hard fought and deserved podium. These results are the reward for the great work done throughout the season by all parties involved.”