Miguel Oliveira equals best qualifying result of 2018


Red Bull KTM Ajo Moto2 rider heads the second row for the Czech GP. Brad Binder will start from seventh.


The Red Bull KTM Ajo Moto2 riders had established a goal before the Czech GP weekend: Improving their qualifying performances in order to avoid the need for raceday fightbacks. They did just that on Saturday at Brno, with Miguel Oliveira earning fourth position and Brad Binder claiming seventh.

In the last Free Practice session of the weekend, the Red Bull KTM Ajo duo both followed the same strategy. They first made a short stint in order to try out some pending setup modifications, followed by a stop in the garage and a long run in search of race pace. The results were positive, with both lowering their times from yesterday and Oliveira finishing seventh -2:03.216- after setting one of the fastest paces of the Moto2 field. Binder was nineteenth with a 2:03.793 lap.

As is customary in the Moto2 class, the grid places were largely decided in the first 10 minutes of qualifying, taking advantage of the rubber laid down by the MotoGP riders. Miguel Oliveira -2:02.446- and Brad Binder -2:02.493- managed to use this to their benefit by setting their best times of the weekend. The first 9 riders were separated by less than 3 tenths of a second. Both Red Bull KTM Ajo riders used the rest of the session to continue refining their race pace.

Tomorrow sees the tenth race of the season take place, a 19-lap contest that begins at 12:20pm local time. Binder won the final race before the summer break, whilst Oliveira was second at last season’s Czech GP.


Results (Qualifying session)
1. Luca Marini (Kalex) 2:02.244
2. Alex Marquez (Kalex) 2:02.359 +0.115
3. Mattia Pasini (Kalex) 2:02.417 +0.173
4. Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 2:02.446 +0.202
5. Marcel Schrotter (Kalex) 2:02.449 +0.205
7. Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 2:02.493 +0.249


“It was a positive qualifying session. Our strategy changed this weekend; we worked to improve the bike for a fast lap. In the end everything went as we had expected, but of course having only five minutes to set a time means that my lap had mistakes and could have been better. Compared to my grid positions from the last few races it is a much better situation. It’s my best qualifying result of the season, equaling what we did in Qatar, so we are back on the second row and I hope that this is the beginning of a change and that we can continue in this way. Tomorrow we know that the heat will be a factor that might be decisive. We have a very good pace and I feel comfortable, so we will have to manage the physical side of the race in the best possible way to achieve a good result.”

“Seventh on the grid is perfect for me. Throughout the weekend it has been very difficult for me to set a quick lap. I’m happy, because in the end we managed it. We will start from a position where we can take a good result in the race. I hope to have a good race tomorrow. We’ve changed the setup of the bike quite a lot, but tomorrow in the race it will be a very different situation compared to qualifying, because doing 20 laps with the same tyres is nothing like just doing three. I don’t know if I feel as strong as I did in Germany, but tomorrow in the Warmup I will try to set a good pace and I hope to take advantage of it during the race.”