Top 5 finishes for Oliveira and Binder at the start of Argentina GP06/04/2018
Miguel Oliveira and Brad Binder enjoy two positive Free Practice sessions, stating their case as candidates for the podium and completing the day in second and fourth place, respectively.
The second Grand Prix of the year -and the only round held in South America- got underway this Friday at the Autodromo Termas de Rio Hondo. The Red Bull KTM Ajo Moto2 riders had a great first day, completing both FP1 and FP2 among the fastest on track and having the best pace. Second position for Miguel Oliveira and fourth for Brad Binder on the combined timesheet allows them to aspire to the podium on Sunday.
Both Miguel Oliveira and Brad Binder came out very strong in the first Free Practice of the weekend. Both were permanent fixtures at the sharp end of the timesheet, alternating amongst themselves in the top spot. Only small changes in the last 3 minutes meant that Oliveira and Binder finished the session in second -1:44.631- and fourth place -1:44.745-, respectively, less than 3 tenths off the fastest rider.
In the afternoon, the rain made an appearance and made work somewhat more difficult. Before the first drops fell, Oliveira and Binder were in first and second, respectively. However, after a quarter of an hour, the light shower slowed down the pace and prevented the pair from improving on their morning times. The rain intensified with 18 minutes to go, forcing the riders to enter the pits. Finally, Oliveira finished second -1:44.805-, 3 thousandths of a second off the best time of the session, and Binder was sixth -1:45.055.
After today’s results, expectations for tomorrow’s QP are high. The starting grid for Sunday will be decided from 1:30pm local time -6:30pm CET.
Results (Combined practice times FP1-FP2)
1. Mattia Pasini (Kalex) 1:44.461
2. Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 1:44.631 +0.170
3. Francesco Bagnaia (Kalex) 1:44.736 +0.275
4. Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 1:44.745 +0.284
5. Alex Marquez (Kalex) 1:44.802 +0.341
44 MIGUEL OLIVEIRA
“Today has been a very productive day. We had a first session in which we were looking at what the new asphalt was like. At the end of the day we were able to put in a lot of laps and we were lucky with the weather, as it didn’t rain until the middle of the second session. We were hoping to improve our lap times a little in the afternoon and see what the bike needed to finish defining the setup, but it started to rain. Tomorrow I think that if the weather is good we can have a good qualifying session, in order to begin the race with a chance.”
41 BRAD BINDER
“Today was a good first day here in Argentina. We were very lucky with the weather, compared to the forecasts. From the first lap this morning I felt very steady on the bike, and I’m very happy with how things have gone. In the second practice we tried to put in a lot of laps before the rain arrived. In summary, it has been a positive and satisfying day. I hope the weather continues to be good throughout the weekend; we still have several sessions ahead of us and we should make the most of them.”