Oliveira and Binder continue on top as Valencia GP gets underway


Portuguese is fastest rider on day one at the Ricardo Tormo Circuit, with his South African teammate 3rd.

The Red Bull KTM Ajo Moto2 riders are the men of the moment in the intermediate class, and they kept up their flyaway form this Friday as the Valencia GP got underway. Miguel Oliveira and Brad Binder were first and third, respectively, on the combined timesheets after FP1 and FP2.

For Oliveira and Binder, the return to Europe has not changed their excellent performance, and they completed the first quarter of an hour of FP1 in the top two positions. Making a single stop in the pits to fit new tyres, the pair remained amongst the Top 5 at all times and ended the session in first -1:35.847- and third place -1:36.175.

That dynamic repeated in FP2, as both were strong from the beginning of the session. Oliveira improved his lap times progressively to lead the way on his final stint, setting a 1:35.802 that made him the fastest rider of the day. Binder remained in the Top3 for much of the session, maintaining a steady pace and, like his teammate, improving in the afternoon. He clocked a 1:36.010 to secure third position.

Tomorrow both Oliveira and Binder will be gunning for pole in qualifying for the season finale, which will be held at 3:05pm local time.

Results (Combined practice times FP1-FP2)
1. Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 1:35.802
2. Francesco Bagnaia (Kalex) 1:35.859 +0.057
3. Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 1:36.010 +0.208
4. Mattia Pasini (Kalex) 1:36.013 +0.211
5. Alex Marquez (Kalex) 1:36.038 +0.236

“This first day in Valencia has gone very well. Honestly, I did not expect us to be so quick from the get-go. It seems that something has just ‘clicked.’ I don’t know what we’ve done or what has changed, but I’m feeling more comfortable with the bike and stronger with every passing race. It’s the best Friday I’ve had in the intermediate class. Tomorrow I hope that when we go out on track everything is fine and that it is a bit hotter than today. We must continue to work hard on our pace ahead of the race, because if we do that we will definitely get a good qualifying position and we will be ready for Sunday.”

“Today we started the last Grand Prix of the year and our intention is to do our work and also have fun. At the moment we are doing both things. We have made a couple of changes to the bike with respect to the last races, but we are still not 100% happy. The conditions in FP2 were somewhat more difficult because of the wind, although we were able to improve our previous best time, which is very positive. We are ready for tomorrow.”