Day of adaptation for Oliveira and Binder at Mugello


Red Bull KTM Ajo Moto2 riders start work setting up their KTM machines for the Italian track, ending the first day in eleventh and seventeenth place, respectively.


Only four days after they last got onboard their KTM bikes in a test, Miguel Oliveira and Brad Binder started the sixth round of the season, the Italian Grand Prix. Both riders focused their work in the two Free Practice sessions on adapting the setup of their bikes to the track. After the pair clocked their best times in the afternoon, they finished eleventh and seventeenth, respectively, on the combined timesheet.

At a long track like Mugello, taking advantage of the 45 minutes of track time becomes more important than ever. Therefore, both riders ran a single stop strategy, using new tyres for the second stint. Oliveira adapted best to the circuit, and was always amongst the Top 3. He placed third, with a 1:52.843 time. It was harder for his teammate to go fast, although a 1:53.716 on his final lap put him sixteenth.

In the afternoon, both riders were able to lower their FP1 times on their first stint. From then on, both Oliveira and Binder took two trips to the pits, putting in their best laps in the final minutes of the session. Oliveira was eleventh -1:52.741-, while Binder was seventeenth -1:53.110-, going more than half a second faster than in FP1. The quickest 17 riders were all within a second of each other.

The Moto2 riders will battle for pole from 3:05pm local time tomorrow. The best result for both at last year’s Italian Grand Prix was the third row earned by the Portuguese.


Results (Combined practice times FP1-FP2)
1. Joan Mir (Kalex) 1:52.124
2. Sam Lowes (KTM) 1:52.236 +0.112
3. Francesco Bagnaia (Kalex) 1:52.237 +0.113
4. Mattia Pasini (Kalex) 1:52.265 +0.141
5. Alex Marquez (Kalex) 1:52.515 +0.391
11. Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 1:52.741 +0.617
17. Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 1:53.110 +0.986


“Today we have found ourselves in a similar situation to the last few races. We find it hard to go fast with new tyres, and we could say that is a similar scenario to in the qualifying session, when you have to look for a fast lap. We are finding it difficult to handle the grip that the tyres give, and this doesn’t let us get the most out of them. We have to improve, but I have full confidence in the team that we can find a solution.On the other hand, our race pace with used tyres wasn’t a problem either, as we are always very good in this aspect and today showed it again; the only thing we have to find is something that allows us to get high up on the starting grid -so we do not have to make an extra effort on Sunday.”

“It’s been a difficult first day. For some reason, it was difficult for me to corner well. We have to work and study the telemetry this afternoon to try to get the most out of it. Now it’s time to take away the positive points and separate them from the points we have to work and improve upon; we can get a better result than 17th. Tomorrow we will have to try something different and I hope we can find a good setup and strategy for both the qualifying session and the race.”