Oliveira wins and Binder places third in dream season finale12/11/2017
Portuguese wins third consecutive Grand Prix and is joined on the podium by Red Bull KTM Ajo teammate, as the project’s first season in Moto2 comes to a close.
The first season for Red Bull KTM Ajo in Moto2 finished in the best way possible at the Valencia GP, as Miguel Oliveira took a third consecutive victory in the race. In addition, Brad Binder was also on the podium for the third round in a row, placing third.
Unlike his two previous victories, at the Ricardo Tormo Circuit Miguel Oliveira had to fight his way through the field. At the start of the race, the Portuguese rider joined teammate Binder and another rider in pursuit of first-placed Franco Morbidelli, progressing to second place in 10 laps. Despite the gap of 1.8 seconds between he and the Italian, Oliveira upped his pace to catch and overtake him with 6 laps remaining, capping the season with a win.
A similar script was followed by Binder, who rode behind Oliveira and closed in on the podium spots for a final assault on Lap 12. Increasing his pace, the South African broke away from the rider in fourth, but was unable to catch the pair out in front. The 2017 rookie rounded off the rostrum and continued his excellent progress made in the final stage of his rookie season.
The duo, who will continue representing Red Bull KTM Ajo in the Moto2 World Championship next season, finished 2017 with Oliveira in 3rd place overall -241 points- and Binder in 8th -125 points. Post-season testing at the end of KTM’s first campaign in Moto2 kicks off on Thursday at Jerez.
Aki Ajo – Team Manager
“This end to the season in Moto2 has been incredible, and we couldn’t have asked for more. Three wins and three further podiums, in three races. I have no words to describe it. None of us could have expected this; I don’t know how to express how grateful I am to everyone. We have to thank the riders, the staff, KTM, Red Bull and all the partners. Without them we could not be where we are. We are all very motivated for next year, we have a great challenge ahead and we face it with great enthusiasm.”
1. Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 40:18.480
2. Franco Morbidelli (Kalex) +2.154
3. Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Ajo) +4.181
4. Francesco Bagnaia (Kalex) +11.181
5. Alex Marquez (Kalex) +12.146
Moto2 World Championship Standing 2017
1. Franco Morbidelli (Kalex) 308 points
2. Thomas Luthi (Kalex) 243 points
3. Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 241 points
4. Alex Marquez (Kalex) 201 points
5. Francesco Bagnaia (Kalex) 174 points
8. Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 125 points
41 BRAD BINDER
“I am very happy to be back on the podium. Unfortunately I made some mistakes during the race, but you learn from everything. I want to congratulate Miguel [Oliveira] and Franco [Morbidelli], because they did an incredible job both today and throughout the season. It’s an incredible feeling to think about how we started out in Qatar, finishing the race 20th and 34 seconds behind the winner, and to now see that we have taken three consecutive podiums. We have undergone an incredible evolution over the course of this year. Every time I got on the bike I learned something, I learned how to handle the KTM better and now I have almost mastered it perfectly. I look forward to seeing what next year brings!”
44 MIGUEL OLIVEIRA
“It was a dream final Grand Prix. I came to this race in Valencia with the sole intention of having fun and we achieved that; I am very happy with this result. We would never have imagined that we could put together a run of three consecutive victories. I cannot thank the team and KTM enough for all the effort they have made throughout the season. It has been a very good season for us and I’m sure that next year we can do even better and fight for the title -which should be the goal.”