Second row for Binder in Australia27/10/2018
Brad Binder confirms good feeling from Friday with fifth place in qualifying. Miguel Oliveira will start from the seventh row.
Qualifying for the Australian Grand Prix was perhaps somewhat disappointing for the Red Bull KTM Ajo team, bearing in mind their good first three practice sessions. Nevertheless, Brad Binder will start the race from the second row for the second consecutive year -from fifth place- and Miguel Oliveira will have to fight back from twentieth.
A half-damp track at the start of FP3 put a seed of doubt in the Moto2 riders’ minds, and after an initial lap to scout the terrain, both Oliveira and Binder returned to the pits for 15 minutes, eventually going back out with slicks. For the remaining half hour of the session, lap times from Friday were not improved. A negative note was a crash for Binder at Turn 8, with 25 minutes remaining on the clock. Fortunately he escaped unscathed, but was not able to go back out on track. Oliveira finished in third place with a 1:34.644, with Binder 27th -1:36.785.
A great job by the team allowed Binder to go out on track in qualifying with his bike repaired. Despite enjoying completely dry conditions, the Red Bull KTM Ajo riders struggled to set good times and climb up the timesheets; Oliveira would set his best lap on his first stint, going 20th with a -1:34.556. Binder took a step forward on his final outing, clocking his fastest time and fighting for pole position until the end, but his 1:33.929 lap puts him fifth on the grid.
Tomorrow’s race will start at 2:20pm local time. Last year, Oliveira and Binder managed a memorable 1-2 finish in a spectacular race.
Results (Qualifying session)
1. Mattia Pasini (Kalex) 1:33.368
2. Marcel Schrotter (Kalex) 1:33.624 +0.256
3. Xavi Vierge (Kalex) 1:33.721 +0.353
4. Dominique Aegerter (KTM) 1:33.841 +0.473
5. Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 1:33.929 +0.561
20. Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 1:34.556 +1.188
44 MIGUEL OLIVEIRA
“This afternoon’s qualifying session was tough. The wind increased and I didn’t feel comfortable on the bike; it was very difficult for me to get it into the corners. I’m disappointed with this result, because it is not what I had expected after the good Free Practice sessions we had. Now it’s time to look ahead, and get the best possible result in the race.”
41 BRAD BINDER
“First of all, I want to apologise to the team for my crash in FP3. I should have been more aware of the damp patches on the track. I have to thank all of the Red Bull KTM Ajo team, who helped to get the bike ready for QP. I’m very happy about that. Today was very difficult, because we lacked a lot of grip and I lost confidence with the front end. At the end of the last stint I decided to push hard and see where it took me. I got in some good laps and took fifth position. Tomorrow in the warmup I hope to find more rear grip, so that I can have a good race.”