Miguel Oliveira to start from fourth row at Mugello


Red Bull KTM Ajo Moto2 rider takes eleventh place in the qualifying session on Saturday. Brad Binder is nineteenth, for a spot on the seventh row.



Miguel Oliveira had placed eleventh at Mugello in Free Practice on Friday, and did likewise on Saturday in qualifying. The Portuguese improved on his best lap time of the weekend by more than half a second, as well as taking a step forward with the setup of his bike. Brad Binder will head the seventh row after also setting his best time.

The last Moto2 Free Practice was a different experience for each of the two Red Bull KTM Ajo riders. Brad Binder made one stop to fit new tyres, although his best lap was set in the early stages. A 1:52.718 was almost half a second faster than his best time from yesterday and placed him fourteenth. Oliveira ended the session in eighteenth position with a 1:52.741, making two pit stops and focusing his work on riding with used tyres and looking for race pace.

Both riders reserved several compounds of new tyres for qualifying, but the pair made a change to their usual strategy and set their best laps on their first stints. A 1:52.145 gave Oliveira eleventh place, whilst Binder was nineteenth with a 1:52.433. The high level of competition was once again shown, as the first 19 riders were separated by just a single second.

Starting from 12:20pm, Miguel Oliveira and Brad Binder will look to improve upon their fifth and tenth positions from last year’s Italian GP.


Results (Qualifying session)
1. Mattia Pasini (Kalex) 1:51.575
2. Marcel Schrotter (Kalex) 1:51.605 +0.030
3. Alex Marquez (Kalex) 1:51.642 +0.067
4. Francesco Bagnaia (Kalex) 1:51.921 +0.346
5. Simone Corsi (Kalex) 1:51.959 +0.384
11. Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 1:52.145 +0.570
19. Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 1:52.433 +0.858


“After yesterday, we had planned to make changes and take a step forward in FP3, but unfortunately the changes didn’t work out as expected. Luckily, we were able to turn the situation around and in qualifying I felt much better riding the bike. I’m happy and confident ahead of tomorrow’s race. It’s been a tricky start of the season, in terms of qualifying. We’re finding things a bit more difficult, partly because our rivals have also improved a lot. Today we saw that the times are very tight, since going a tenth faster could have put us fourth. That’s what I’ll take away from today.
Tomorrow I will go all-out and try to recover positions as we always do. We know that we are strong in the race and we can achieve a good result. In addition, in the warmup we will try to take another step forward. Finishing in the Top 5 would be a good result with how the weekend has gone, although of course we aren’t setting limits for ourselves.”

“We have found something that seems to work better, but it’s unbalanced the bike in other aspects, so the position is still not good. We couldn’t set a good time, so this is the result we have at the moment. It’s clear that there is something that we are missing, but the only thing we can do now is continue working hard and try to find something new that will help us.
It is important to stay focused and continue to strive as before to find something that makes us feel more comfortable. Tomorrow I will give my all; I will try to make a good start to get overtaking as soon as possible. Last year I took off from 24th and finished 10th, so I hope I can do the same tomorrow.