First podium at Motegi in Moto2 the target for Red Bull KTM Ajo17/10/2018
Both Miguel Oliveira and Brad Binder have been on the rostrum at the Japanese track in Moto3, and this year they will seek to repeat the feat in the intermediate class.
The Moto2 World Championship transfers to Japan this week, to a Twin Ring Motegi that holds good memories for both Red Bull KTM Ajo riders in the class. Miguel Oliveira, who lies second in the overall standings, is still in contention for the intermediate class title, whilst teammate Brad Binder hopes to continue consolidating his third position and help the team to get their first Moto2 podium in the Asian country.
The Thai GP gave Miguel Oliveira his ninth podium of the season with third place, but it was not enough to cut the gap to the leader in the overall standings. This will be his goal at Motegi, where in 2015 he managed to place second and narrow the Moto3 title chase. His disadvantage currently stands at 28 points. The Portuguese has ridden a Moto2 bike once at the track, finishing a wet race in seventh last year.
Heavy rain ended Brad Binder’s 2017 race at Motegi prematurely, as after a big comeback at the start he crashed out. This year the South African expects more favourable track conditions and to be fighting amongst the frontrunners in the race -as he did two weeks ago in Thailand. Binder has two podiums in Japan, both achieved in the Moto3 class: In 2014 he finished third and in 2016 he improved on that result with a second position.
Red Bull KTM Ajo remain top of the Moto2 team standings, coming into the 22-lap race that takes place at 12:20pm local time -5:20am CET- on Sunday.
Circuit information – Twin Ring Motegi
Length: 4.801 m / 2.983 miles
Width: 15 m
Left corners: 6
Right corners: 8
Longest straight: 762 m / 0.473 miles
44 MIGUEL OLIVEIRA
“Twin Ring Motegi is a circuit that I like a lot. This is another of the tracks of which I have good memories. Last year the GP was affected by rain and we didn’t have any track time in the dry. In 2015 we achieved a podium here in Moto3, so overall we’ve felt good in Japan. The goal continues to fight for every possible victory until the end of the season. There are three consecutive Grands Prix that we must take advantage of and cut the gap as best we can. Right now we aren’t thinking about that, as instead we are focusing on getting the most out of our potential and doing a great job here in Japan.”
41 BRAD BINDER
“It’s been a different week between races, since I stayed in Thailand to rest up and disconnect a bit. I think it’s been good for me, and I’ve also been able to train in high temperatures to get ready for these three consecutive rounds. The first one will be held at Motegi, a circuit where I’ve always done pretty well in the past, with two podiums in Moto3. Last year every session was in the wet, so I have yet to ride there in the dry with a Moto2 bike. We can’t wait for that. We have reached the final stage of the season and it is amazing how quickly everything has gone. I feel that I’ve been strong in recent GPs and that we are in very good shape. We will continue in the same way to complete the year with great results.”