Binder and Oliveira inside the Top 10 on first day of Thai GP

05/10/2018

Red Bull KTM Ajo Moto2 riders start the action at Buriram with the seventh and eighth fastest times of the day, respectively.

The Red Bull KTM Ajo Moto2 riders were amongst the quickest in adapting to the long straights and 12 corners of the Chang International Circuit on Friday. Amidst high temperatures and humidity, both Brad Binder and Miguel Oliveira lowered their lap times constantly and ended the day in seventh and eighth place, respectively.

Oliveira was the first to top the timesheets at the Thai track, setting the early pace. He finished FP1 in second place, with a 1:37.850 best lap. Binder was one of the few riders to make two stops in the garage, but the strategy allowed him to clock his fastest lap of 1:38.434 on his final attempt, for twentieth.

The Red Bull KTM Ajo Moto2 riders starred in the first half of FP2, both riding inside the Top 5. The Portuguese, who completed the session on soft tyres, lowered his morning time on his first stint, with a 1:37.375 that finally earned him eighth place. Just 22 thousandths of a second faster was Binder, in seventh, who improved his feeling on the bike and knocked over 1 second off his previous top time, ending the session with a 1:37.353.

Tomorrow will be a key day ahead of Sunday’s race, as the starting grid will be decided in qualifying from 3:05pm local time -10:05am CET. Brad Binder took pole at the most recent round, the Aragon GP.

Results (Combined practice times FP1-FP2)
1. Mattia Pasini (Kalex) 1:36.839
2. Francesco Bagnaia (Kalex) 1:36.981 +0.142
3. Alex Marquez (Kalex) 1:37.137 +0.298
4. Lorenzo Baldassarri (Kalex) 1:37.145 +0.306
5. Luca Marini (Kalex) 1:37.195 +0.356
7. Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 1:37.353 +0.514
8. Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 1:37.375 +0.536

44 MIGUEL OLIVEIRA

“It was a good first day of the Thai GP. We worked with different tyre compounds in each of the sessions. In the morning things went pretty well; I didn’t have any problem using the hardest tyre and I felt comfortable riding. In the afternoon we rode from the start with the softest compound and the feeling wasn’t the same. We tried to change things for the second stint, but we didn’t find as much improvement as we wanted.

Looking ahead to tomorrow, we already have an idea of what to try, so we need to adapt to the circuit and continue to lower our times. Overall, I like the track and I am confident of getting a great result at the Thai GP.”

41 BRAD BINDER

“This first day in Buriram has gone really well. In the morning there were a couple of aspects that didn’t allow us to be as comfortable as we wanted, but in the afternoon the feeling was much better. We made small changes and it was much easier to ride, so I’m happy, I also think that we still have something up our sleeve that means tomorrow we can improve even more. My pace is good, so I can say that this is one of the best Fridays for us in a long time. Tomorrow I will push to repeat this good position and be as prepared as possible for the race.

I like the circuit. It is not very technical and that makes the times very tight, so qualifying is going to be close. I hope to be in the fight for the front row.”

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