Binder and Oliveira start Dutch GP weekend in eleventh and twelfth


Red Bull KTM Ajo Moto2 riders take part in first Free Practice sessions on a sunny day at Assen.


The sun made a welcome appearance for the Moto2 riders at the start of the Dutch GP weekend this Friday at Assen. There, Brad Binder and Miguel Oliveira had a positive day in which they tried out various things with one eye on tomorrow’s qualifying session. Although their work was different, the Red Bull KTM Ajo riders finished eleventh and twelfth, respectively.

Binder and Oliveira put in as many as 22 laps in FP1. Making just a single stop in the garage, both had enough time to look for an optimal race pace. However, their fast laps came at very different times: While the Portuguese clocked his 1:38.920 before his first stop -placing thirteenth-, the South African left it until his final lap to rise to fourth place with a 1:38.571.

In the afternoon, each rider employed their own strategy again. Oliveira focused on his setup for qualifying, one of the main objectives of the weekend. This allowed him to set a new personal best lap of 1:38.579 -placing tenth. His teammate tried a new front end setup, which unfortunately did not provide as good a result as expected. His 1:38.893 put him seventeenth and he could not improve on his morning time.

Qualifying takes place tomorrow at 3:05pm. Binder was fifth on the grid at Barcelona a fortnight ago, whilst Oliveira started off from seventeenth.


Results (Combined practice times FP1-FP2)
1. Francesco Bagnaia (Kalex) 1:38.091
2. Joan Mir (Kalex) 1:38.191 +0.100
3. Luca Marini (Kalex) 1:38.246 +0.155
4. Fabio Quartararo (Speed Up) 1:38.256 +0.165
5. Lorenzo Baldassarri (Kalex) 1:38.371 +0.280
11. Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 1:38.571 +0.480
12. Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 1:38.579 +0.488


“We didn’t end up finding the ideal path to follow in practice. We worked with different tyres throughout the day: In the morning we used the harder compound, while in the afternoon we used the softest option. In FP2 we tried to simulate a qualifying situation but we still have to improve more in that respect. However, finishing tenth in the afternoon and 4 tenths off the top is not bad, although we would like to be higher up. We are about to reach the halfway point of the season and it is important to understand which direction to take to continue improving and understanding the bike.
We hope that with the work done today we can improve and start from higher up the grid on Sunday, since my goal is to qualify as well as possible tomorrow. We cannot repeat the qualifying result from the Catalan GP.”

“The morning session went well for us, but in FP2 we tried something different with the front end that did not quite work out as expected. It was a setup that was impossible to change in the middle of the session, so we had to ride the entire 45 minutes with it. However, it didn’t go badly and we are going in a good direction.
Tomorrow we will try something different and we will go back to the base setup from FP1. Today it was difficult for me to find a good pace since I had problems with the front end, but tomorrow will be another day and I hope that we will do better. I think we can take a good result in the qualifying session.”