Brad Binder fastest on Day 1 Down Under26/10/2018
Red Bull KTM Ajo Moto2 rider starts strong at Phillip Island, with teammate Miguel Oliveira in sixth.
Last year, the Red Bull KTM Ajo Moto2 team achieved a one-two finish at the Australian GP. This Friday, Brad Binder and Miguel Oliveira demonstrated that they are in good shape to repeat that feat in the 2018 edition of the race. Both made the most of good track conditions to place inside the Top 5 in the two Free Practice sessions held today, finishing the first day with Brad Binder as the fastest rider and Miguel Oliveira close behind in sixth position.
The first Free Practice sessions made it clear that Phillip Island remains a good track for the Red Bull KTM Ajo riders. Both were among the frontrunners at all times as they put in laps on the perfect asphalt surface, with the Portuguese heading the timesheet in the first few minutes. Employing a different strategies, Binder and Oliveira steadily improved their times, finishing in second and fifth place, respectively.
In the afternoon session, enjoying similar track conditions, the Red Bull KTM Ajo duo rode alongside one another on their first stint. Both lowered their times from FP1 on their third lap, with what proved to be their top times on Friday. Binder was first -1:33.701-, with teammate Oliveira less than 4 tenths slower -1:34.087.
Qualifying for the Australian GP takes place tomorrow from 2:30pm local time. Last year, Oliveira and Binder occupied third and fourth on the grid, respectively.
Results (Combined practice times FP1-FP2)
1. Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 1:33.701
2. Marcel Schrotter (Kalex) 1:34.788 +0.087
3. Mattia Pasini (Kalex) 1:34.010 +0.309
4. Iker Lecuona (KTM) 1:34.051 +0.350
5. Francesco Bagnaia (Kalex) 1:34.066 +0.365
6. Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 1:34.087 +0.386
44 MIGUEL OLIVEIRA
“Today might have started late due to the delay to Moto3 FP1, but in the end it turned out to be a productive day. I think we have already found a setup for the bike with which I feel comfortable, so the feeling is positive. In the afternoon we were able to do a series of good laps with a good pace. I need to get more comfortable when the wind is blowing more, but in general I feel strong. Let’s hope that tomorrow the weather is stable, so that we can continue with the good work we started today.”
41 BRAD BINDER
“Today went really well. In fact, we could see that from FP1. I struggled a little on my first stint, but after I stopped in the garage everything was much easier. The afternoon also went very well. I felt strong from the beginning, with some good laps and a good pace, so overall I am very happy. I wanted to try to make some very small changes at the end of the session, which didn’t end up working out. The final feeling about today is that we are fast and that I feel comfortable on the bike, so I will continue in the same way tomorrow.”