Fourth position for Oliveira at Japanese GP21/10/2018
Red Bull KTM Ajo Moto2 rider gains 5 places at Twin Ring Motegi. Brad Binder finishes in sixth position.
The conditions for the 2018 Japanese GP were in sharp contrast to the wet 2017 edition of the race, and the Moto2 riders enjoyed a dry contest at Twin Ring Motegi this Sunday. Red Bull KTM Ajo riders Miguel Oliveira and Brad Binder made good comebacks to finish in fourth and sixth positions, respectively, and consolidate their second and third positions, respectively, in the overall standings.
Starting from the third and fourth rows, respectively, both Oliveira and Binder got good starts. The Portuguese gained three places, and come the end of the second lap he was up into fifth place. He held the position until 4 laps remained, subsequently passing another rider for fourth.
Binder followed his teammate from Lap 5 onwards, keeping sixth place for all but a single lap from then on. The South African rode a steady race to earn further points for his tally.
After the sixteenth GP of the year, with 3 races remaining, Miguel Oliveira is second in the overall standings and 35 points off the series leader. Brad Binder is third with a total of 167 points. In the team standings, Red Bull KTM Ajo continue in first position with a 22-point lead. The next round of the Moto2 World Championship will be held next week in Australia.
1. Fabio Quartararo (Speed Up) 41:03.849
2. Francesco Bagnaia (Kalex) +0.445
3.Lorenzo Baldassarri (KTM) +1.651
4. Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM Ajo) +11.998
5. Alex Marquez (Kalex) +12.528
6. Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Ajo) +12.793
Moto2 World Championship Standing 2018 – Riders
1. Francesco Bagnaia (Kalex) 279 points
2. Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 244 points
3. Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 167 points
4. Lorenzo Baldassarri (Kalex) 148 points
5. Alex Marquez (Kalex) 137 points
Moto2 World Championship Standing 2018 – Teams
1. Red Bull KTM Ajo (KTM) 411 points
2. Sky Racing Team VR46 (Kalex) 389 points
3. EG 0’0 Marc VDS (Kalex) 265 points
4. Dynavolt Intact GP (Kalex) 232 points
5. Pons HP40 (Kalex) 181 points
AKI AJO – TEAM MANAGER
“It was a difficult weekend for us in Moto2, basically because we didn’t have any previous dry experience at this circuit with our bike; last year the GP weekend was completely wet. On Friday the conditions weren’t good, so we practically started from zero yesterday with our setup for the race. This was probably reflected today in the race, with the riders not feeling completely comfortable. The results haven’t been too bad, but obviously we are not happy about what they mean for the title fight. We know that last year at Phillip Island we did very well with both riders, so we are looking forward to that race and are hoping to repeat the results.”
44 MIGUEL OLIVEIRA
“I did not expect this result, especially since after the warmup I felt pretty good on the bike; I thought the race pace would be similar and that I could be very competitive in the race. We lost too much rear grip and it was not possible to opt for a better place. Things didn’t work out as I had imagined and I think that over the weekend we paid the price for this being the first time we had ridden here in the dry with this bike. The reality is that over the next few races we have to be up at the front and win races if we want to continue to have the opportunity to fight for the championship. Now we go to Australia, where last year we took the victory, so we will try our best to repeat that result.”
41 BRAD BINDER
“We were lacking a little something to go faster, but I think we worked well. It hasn’t been easy; we’ve tried a lot of things out, but the team have done a great job to improve lap after lap and I am very happy about their hard work. The end result is not as good as we would have wanted, so we have things to do ahead of Australia. Last year, both at Phillip Island and the rest of the remaining races we performed very well, so I hope to repeat that this season. We will fight to the end.”