Miguel Oliveira to start from fourth row in the USA


Miguel Oliveira and Brad Binder take twelfth and sixteenth position, respectively, in qualifying at COTA, unable to find the same good feeling as in Free Practices.


Miguel Oliveira and Brad Binder experienced a strange Saturday at the Circuit of The Americas. After completing the three Free Practice sessions as the first and fifth fastest riders, respectively, the Red Bull KTM Ajo pair were unable to repeat their best times in qualifying, and will start the Red Bull GP of The Americas from the fourth and sixth rows.

Flags indicating rain were shown right from the start of FP3, but the rainfall was so mild and intermittent that both Oliveira and Binder rode fast with slicks -albeit without improving their times from yesterday. Oliveira headed the timesheets for a spell, with Binder following him into the Top 10. Finally, the rain sent all the riders back to the pits a few minutes before the 45 minute long session ended, with Oliveira and Binder in fourth -2:11.298- and thirteenth -2:11.926-, respectively.

In qualifying, the rain made way for a completely cloudy sky, but that allowed the riders in the intermediate class to go out again with slicks. However, right from the start the Red Bull KTM Ajo riders did not have the same feeling as before, and were outside the Top5. Neither Oliveira nor Binder were able to repeat their best times from the weekend, settling for twelfth -2:11.321- and sixteenth -2:11.566-, respectively.

Despite starting from further back than expected, Oliveira and Binder will look to get their good feeling back on raceday and ride at the front. The race will start at 12:20pm local time -7:20pm CEST.


Results (Qualifying session)
1. Alex Marquez (Kalex) 2:10.588
2. Sam Lowes (KTM) 2:10.744 +0.156
3. Mattia Pasini (Kalex) 2:10.993 +0.405
4. Francesco Bagnaia (Kalex) 2:11.009 +0.421
5. Joan Mir (Kalex) 2:11.124 +0.536
12. Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 2:11.321 +0.733
16. Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 2:11.566 +0.978


“Overall, it’s been a tough day. The track conditions for qualifying saw the grip level improve greatly. The temperature was lower, there was more rubber laid down and the track was cleaner, but in our case we found that difficult with new tyres and were unable to set a good lap time. In spite of that, we were only 3 tenths off third position. We have to try to improve the setup in the warmup ahead of the race. It will be a long race, so we will try to start well and make up positions.”

“Today definitely didn’t go as we had expected. Yesterday was fairly good and today FP3 wasn’t bad, although I found it difficult to improve some points. The qualifying session did not go well and I can’t believe it. Honestly, I am a bit disappointed after the good work we’ve done so far this weekend. Luckily the most important thing is tomorrow’s race and we tend to perform better on Sundays than the other days. Our bike is very strong with used tyres, so we will see how far we fight back tomorrow.”