Brad Binder returns to winning ways with victory in Germany15/07/2018
Red Bull KTM Ajo rider takes first victory in Moto2, while Miguel Oliveira finishes 4th, cutting the gap to the World Championship leader to just 7 points.
A great performance by Red Bull KTM Ajo rider Brad Binder at the German Grand Prix saw him end the first half of the season with a victory -his first in the Moto2 World Championship. Teammate Miguel Oliveira finished 4th, reducing the gap to the series leader to 7 points. These excellent results allow the Red Bull KTM Ajo team to go into the summer break with 24 points in the team standings.
As has become customary, Binder and Oliveira had their best showing of the GP weekend on Sunday. Binder, who started from 10th on the grid, moved his way up the order and took the lead with a series of passes on Lap 10. From that moment on, despite not establishing a large gap, he rode steadily to claim the win. It is the first victory for a South African in the intermediate class since Kork Ballington in 1980 at another German track: Nurburgring.
Oliveira made a good start that allowed him to climb six places from 15th on the grid, but contact with another rider early on pushed him back to 12th. Little by little, the Portuguese rider made progress to move into 4th -a position he held at the chequered flag despite a push for podium spots.
With 141 points to his name, Oliveira is now just 7 points off the lead of the Moto2 World Championship. Binder now lies 6th, with 91 points. A two week break awaits for the Red Bull KTM Ajo riders, who will return to action at Brno, from August 3rd to 5th.
1. Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 39:46.306
2. Joan Mir (Kalex) +0.779
3. Luca Marini (Kalex) +0.933
4. Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM Ajo) +2.143
5. Sam Lowes (KTM) +6.376
Moto2 World Championship Standing 2018
1. Francesco Bagnaia (Kalex) 148 points
2. Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 141 points
3. Alex Marquez (Kalex) 113 points
4. Joan Mir (Kalex) 95 points
5. Lorenzo Baldassarri (Kalex) 93 points
6. Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 91 points
Aki Ajo – Team Manager
“We have to be very happy with today’s results. This year in Moto2 we have had excellent days and others that have not been so good, and that’s kind of what happened here in Germany. Our race pace is very good and that helps us a lot, but we need to get better grid positions. I am very happy about Brad’s [Binder] first win; he has improved his performances a lot in recent races and had a good weekend. It has also been a positive Grand Prix for Miguel [Oliveira]; he has not had the perfect feeling during the weekend, especially in practice, but fourth is good for the title fight and in the race he showed that he is a fighter, coming back after contact with another rider on the first few laps. Many thanks to Red Bull, KTM and all the partners that support us, and to all the staff for the work they have done throughout the first half of the season; now it’s time to make the most of the summer break.”
44 MIGUEL OLIVEIRA
“It was a very hard race, but it was a shame that I couldn’t get up to the front group because I felt good. I wanted the podium, and that’s why I fought for the third position until the final laps, but in the end we fell a little short. I am very happy with the result, especially in terms of the title, because we have cut the gap to the leader. Now we are 7 points behind and this gives us a lot of motivation to continue working when we come back from the summer break.”
41 BRAD BINDER
“I tried not to do anything crazy at the start, because I knew our rivals would be a little faster than us, and everything went perfectly. I was able to overtake most of the riders on the first laps and then, seeing that I had enough pace, I went after the lead. At the end of the race I had to be careful, because my rear tyre was practically worn out and I suffered a lot on the final laps. I controlled the lead but it was very tough, as even on the last lap I almost had a highside at Turn 1. It was amazing to get the victory, and I can’t thank my team enough for their help. Honestly, I still can’t believe it -it doesn’t seem real to me. This year we have been suffering a lot and now we have a victory to our name. We couldn’t have finished this first half of the championship any better.”