Third row for Oliveira in the wet


Red Bull KTM Ajo rider takes seventh position on the starting grid for the Argentinian GP. Teammate Brad Binder will start from the sixth row.


The rain played a big part in the second Moto2 World Championship qualifying session of the year, held this afternoon at the Termas de Rio Hondo circuit. Miguel Oliveira and Brad Binder had been inside the Top10 for every practice session, but in qualifying they placed seventh and sixteenth, respectively. Despite this, both are confident that they can fight for the podium in tomorrow’s race.

Intermittent light rain during FP3 allowed the Moto2 riders to try out wet tyres on the track for the first time, on an asphalt that has been partially resurfaced this year. The Red Bull KTM Ajo riders were competitive in such conditions, with Oliveira in third position -1:57.880- and Binder in sixth -1:58.571.

The rain fell again right as Moto2 QP got underway. This meant that both Oliveira and Binder hurried to set a good lap time before the asphalt condition worsened. Both achieved their best lap times in the first 15 minutes. In fourth and eighth place during most of the session, changes of positions in the final minutes relegated them to seventh -1:57.006- and sixteenth -1:57.898-, respectively.

Tomorrow’s race will start at 1:20pm local time -6:20pm CET-, one hour later than usual. Last year, Miguel Oliveira got his first podium in the intermediate class in Argentina, and Binder was on the Moto3 rostrum in 2016.


Results (Qualifying session)
1. Xavi Vierge (Kalex) 1:56.137
2. Lorenzo Baldassarri (Kalex) 1:56.408 +0.271
3. Danny Kent (Speed Up) 1:56.536 +0.399
4. Mattia Pasini (Kalex) 1:56.591 +0.454
5. Jorge Navarro (Kalex) 1:56.679 +0.542
7. Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 1:57.006 +0.869
16. Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 1:57.898 +1.761


“It was a bit of a strange qualifying session, because it wasn’t raining at the start -and then it rained only at certain points of the track. To tell the truth, when it was raining more intensely I didn’t feel completely comfortable on the bike, and that meant that I couldn’t improve my time.
We’re starting from seventh, which isn’t bad at all, but we’d like to be further forward on the grid. We will have to have some good opening laps and regain as many positions as possible, in order to latch onto the frontrunners.”

“Qualifying didn’t go as we’d planned today, although we didn’t feel bad in the wet conditions in FP3. When I tried to push on my first run in qualifying, I didn’t feel comfortable on the bike, and after my first stop it was raining a lot and I knew that the track was wet -and that the grip level would be lower. There was more grip than I thought in the final minutes, but I felt it when I was on my final lap. It wasn’t the session that we were hoping for, but fortunately the race is tomorrow. I think that I will be able to do a great job in any conditions.”