Oliveira fastest on Friday in Austin20/04/2018
Red Bull KTM Ajo rider dominates the first two Free Practice sessions for the Red Bull Grand Prix of The Americas, with Brad Binder following him close behind in fourth place.
Friday was a magnificent first day at the Circuit of The Americas for Red Bull KTM Ajo Moto2 riders Miguel Oliveira and Brad Binder. The Portuguese was the man to beat, taking the top spot in both FP1 and FP2, whilst the South African finished in a spectacular fourth place overall.
Dust on some parts of the track did not prove to be a problem for Miguel Oliveira, who dominated FP1 from start to finish. He led the way in the opening minutes, improving his own times until just before the chequered flag fell and clocking a top lap of 2:12.104. The first laps at Austin with a Moto2 bike for Brad Binder went well, as he went from being just inside the Top15 on his first stint to finish the 45 minute session in seventh -2:12.597.
In FP2, the Red Bull KTM Ajo riders encountered a cleaner track, which allowed them to ride in the 2:11s from the start. The script remained unchanged for Miguel Oliveira, however, who immediately resumed his position at the top of the timesheets. His 2:11.104 time made him the best rider in the afternoon session. In the middle of the session, Brad Binder was up as high as second place. In the end, he dropped down to a nevertheless impressive fourth place thanks to a 2:11.339 lap.
Tomorrow both riders will look for a position on the starting grid that avoids the need for a raceday fightback. Qualifying takes place at 3:05pm local time (10:05pm CEST), and is expected to be contested in wet conditions.
Results (Combined practice times FP1-FP2)
1. Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 2:11.104
2. Sam Lowes (KTM) 2:11.125 +0.021
3. Alex Marquez (Kalex) 2:11.173 +0.069
4. Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 2:11.339 +0.235
5. Joan Mir (Kalex) 2:11.450 +0.346
44 MIGUEL OLIVEIRA
“I felt good on this opening day of the Red Bull GP of The Americas. Besides topping the timesheets, I also think that we did a good job with the race in mind. Unlike last year, the track isn’t in the best condition, so you can’t lose focus at any time. We will see what happens tomorrow because the forecast is for rain, so we hope to find the best setup for a good spot on the grid. We’re satisfied with the work we did today, and tomorrow we will continue in the same way, whatever the conditions might be.”
41 BRAD BINDER
“This opening day in Austin didn’t go badly, bearing in mind that its the first time I’ve ridden here with a Moto2 bike. I’ve adapted quickly to new tracks and this has been very positive. In the afternoon I put in some really fast laps, but unfortunately we found things a little harder after a stop in the garage. The good thing is that we have a good pace. I hope to do a good job in qualifying tomorrow, so that I can be in a position from which I can fight for the top positions.”