Incredible second position for Oliveira at Red Bull Spanish GP06/05/2018
Red Bull KTM Ajo rider takes his third consecutive podium finish after climbing thirteen places. Brad Binder adds ten points to his tally with sixth place.
This Sunday at the Jerez-Angel Nieto Circuit, Miguel Oliveira converted his worst position on the starting grid this year into his best finish of the season to date. The Portuguese went from fourteenth to second during the Red Bull Spanish GP, to claim the 25th podium of his career. Teammate Brad Binder repeated the sixth position he took at Austin and Qatar, equalling his best results in 2018.
Starting from the fifth row, Oliveira had already moved his way up to eighth on the first sector and was into seventh at the end of the first lap. He continued to move steadily up the order and was second on Lap 5, sticking there for the remainder of the race -albeit trying to catch the leader.
Binder also made a good start, moving up two positions to go into third place on the opening lap. The South African kept in the podium places until the sixth lap, when a loss of confidence with the front end made him slow down his pace and settle for sixth position.
After the first European event of the season, the Moto2 World Championship moves on to Le Mans for the French GP on May 20th. Miguel Oliveira will come into the event third in the overall standings with 63 points, 10 behind the leader. Brad Binder is eighth with 30 points.
1. Lorenzo Baldassarri (Kalex) 39:33.889
2. Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM Ajo) +2.851
3. Francesco Bagnaia (Kalex) +6.250
4. Xavi Vierge (Kalex) +6.953
5. Mattia Pasini (Kalex) +10.138
6. Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Ajo) +11.731
Moto2 World Championship Standing 2018
1. Francesco Bagnaia (Kalex) 73 points
2. Lorenzo Baldassarri (Kalex) 64 points
3. Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 63 points
4. Mattia Pasini (Kalex) 58 points
5. Alex Marquez (Kalex) 47 points
8. Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 30 points
AKI AJO – TEAM MANAGER
“We have to be very happy with today’s race, especially with what Miguel [Oliveira] did, because it’s been a very difficult weekend for him. We don’t know exactly what the reason is, but above all on Friday and Saturday he seemed to be under pressure. I am very happy because he has made a change of mentality and did an excellent job in the race. Of course, this second position means almost more than a victory, because he took some very important points for the World Championship.
The sixth position for Brad [Binder] is also good but he is always looking to improve and go for more -I’m sure it is not enough for him. We have to analyse what happened today in the race, look at the setup and learn from this race in order to be on the podium at the following rounds; I’m sure he will soon.”
44 MIGUEL OLIVEIRA
“Qualifying yesterday was very hard for me, because I couldn’t find the right line. I knew inside that I had some strong points for this race but yesterday I couldn’t place higher than 14th position. I knew I had to give everything in the race and climb positions as quickly as possible. On the first few laps I realised that the group at the front was breaking away, but I thought I would be able to catch up with them. Fighting for the victory was difficult because Baldassarri was very strong and gave everyone else no chance.
This second position, with all the fans that have come from Portugal cheering me on -it’s like my home Grand Prix- feels even better than a regular victory.”
41 BRAD BINDER
“Normally I feel better in the race than in practice, but I don’t know what happened this Sunday. I almost lost the front end several times during the race -at least 5 or 6 times- so I was lucky to be able to finish. It’s not the result I had hoped for because the team did a great job all weekend, and for some reason in the race things did not go well. It was a shame not to be able to round off a great weekend with a better result. At Le Mans we will try for more.”