Binder and Oliveira satisfied after close Friday at Sachsenring13/07/2018
Red Bull KTM Ajo riders complete first day of German GP in eighth and thirteenth position, respectively, with 20 riders within the same half a second.
The Red Bull KTM Ajo team had a somewhat deceptive first day at the Sachsenring on Friday. Placing eighth and thirteenth, respectively, might not serve as a true reflection of Brad Binder and Miguel Oliveira’s performances or level of comfort in the two practice sessions. A tremendously tight combined timesheet saw the Top 20 riders separated by less than half a second.
Oliveira and Binder showed, right from their first stint in the morning, that the Sachsenring is excellently suited both to their riding and to the characteristics of their KTM bike. The pair quickly moved into the Top 5, despite doing aerodynamic tests along the way. After a single stop in the pits, Oliveira continued to lower his times, and his 1:25.331 put him fourth -one tenth off the top spot. Binder’s progress was halted by a crash on the final corner with 10 minutes remaining, his 1:25.630 lap seeing him finish tenth.
For the afternoon session, the Red Bull KTM Ajo riders followed different tyre strategies, although both made two stops. The South African used new rubber more than the Portuguese, who only ran one new set of tyres. However, both clocked their best times for Friday after a red flag with 10 minutes left. Binder climbed the most positions, entering the Top 10 with an eighth place -1:24.871-, while Oliveira finished thirteenth -1:25.034.
Tomorrow sees qualifying for the German GP take place from 3:10pm local time, providing a chance for the pair to move further up the order and place high up on the starting grid for Sunday’s race.
Results (Combined practice times FP1-FP2)
1. Xavi Vierge (Kalex) 1:24.750
2. Alex Marquez (Kalex) 1:24.775 +0.025
3. Marcel Schrotter (Kalex) 1:24.779 +0.029
4. Khairul Idham Pawi (Kalex) 1:24.830 +0.080
5. Francesco Bagnaia (Kalex) 1:24.836 +0.086
8. Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 1:24.871 +0.121
13. Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 1:25.034 +0.284
44 Miguel Oliveira:
“It’s been a positive day. We can look back on this Friday as a good day of Free Practices; we can still improve some aspects of the setup, but we have managed to run a good pace and set a time that isn’t too far away from the fastest lap of the day. It’s true that our position is a little unfair, because we only missed out on the Top 5 by two tenths, but we will fight to reduce this small gap tomorrow.
Last year this race went pretty well, so we already knew more or less what kind of plan we have to follow with the bike. We will continue working in this direction in order to improve.”
41 Brad Binder:
“It’s been a good day. At the beginning of FP2 I had some problems, since it was difficult for me to find a good level of grip that would allow me to be consistent. But in the end I watched other riders and that helped me find the right line. In the final part of the session I put in some good laps.
We are focused on tomorrow and want to set a good pace in the morning. I will try to improve on what we have done today and, above all, I will give 100% to be prepared for the race. I think that in general the bike suits this circuit. Even though I was 8th, I’m only 0.1 tenths off the top spot. It’s crazy that everything is so tight. That’s why I think it will be very important that we have a good pace ahead of the race.”