Top 10 by Binder and Oliveira at sunny Jerez


Red Bull KTM Ajo riders take advantage of good weather conditions to finish sixth and ninth on the first day of the Red Bull Spanish Grand Prix.


The newly renamed Jerez-Ángel Nieto Circuit hosted the first day of European action in the 2018 Moto2 World Championship this Friday. The two Free Practice sessions were held in good weather conditions, with the occasional gust of wind, allowing the riders to make progress with their planned work. The Red Bull KTM Ajo Moto2 duo of Brad Binder and Miguel Oliveira enjoyed a positive first day in Jerez, placing sixth and ninth in the combined timesheets.

The favourable weather allowed the Red Bull KTM Ajo Moto2 riders to go fast from the outset. Both Oliveira and Binder made steady improvements in the opening session, adapting lap-by-lap to the conditions presented by the new surface. It was after a long stop in the pits, used to change the setup of their KTM bikes and put on new tyres, that both put in their best times. The Portuguese finished fifth -1:43.208- while his South African teammate set the eleventh fastest time -1:43.327.

Track temperatures rose to 37ºC in the afternoon, with different effects for the Red Bull KTM Ajo pair. Binder managed to take full advantage of these new conditions, lowering his morning best by 3 tenths -1:42.997 for sixth place. Oliveira was only able to almost replicate his previous best, finishing less than 1 tenth off his FP1 time in eleventh -1:43.293.

With some set up changes still to be defined in FP3, both Binder and Oliveira hope to achieve a strong position on the grid in qualifying for the Spanish GP. The session gets uderway at 3:05pm local time.


Results (Combined practice times FP1-FP2)
1. Alex Marquez (Kalex) 1:42.537
2. Lorenzo Baldassarri (Kalex) 1:42.831 +0.294
3. Francesco Bagnaia (Kalex) 1:42.836 +0.299
4. Sam Lowes (KTM) 1:42.836 +0.299
5. Romano Fenati (Kalex) 1:42.965 +0.428
6. Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 1:42.997 +0.460
9. Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 1:43.208 +0.671



“It was a bit of a tricky Friday, and more difficult than I had expected. Especially in the morning, it was very windy and the track had little grip. In the afternoon it improved, but even so we haven’t found a setup with which it is easy for me to ride well with the bike. There are different matters to address than what we encountered in preseason; before it was question of grip and now it is more about confidence with the front end.
We didn’t improve from the morning to the afternoon, so I’m a little frustrated about that. We will try to keep improving for tomorrow. We have some ideas already about what to change -something that we had already tried in the test. so the priority now is to find a setup that makes us go fast.”



“The feeling today was a bit different compared to how it was in the preseason. It seems that there was less grip and that makes things more difficult. This morning I was struggling when I tried to stop the bike but we tried something different in FP2 that proved to be positive. However, what is positive now in terms of braking, means we are struggling in other aspects. The goal for tomorrow is to turn the negative points into positives, like we did today. I feel good and I think we can do a good job.”