Third row for Oliveira in Japan


Red Bull KTM Ajo Moto2 rider will take off from ninth position, just ahead of teammate Brad Binder in tenth.


The second day of the Japanese GP weekend ended with a third and fourth row for the Red Bull KTM Ajo Moto2 riders. Miguel Oliveira was ninth and Brad Binder tenth, as they made progress in preparation for tomorrow’s race, improving their lap times in each of the sessions. Both will try to make a good start that will allow them to fight for the podium.

FP3 was the first time that the Moto2 riders were able to ride in completely dry conditions. This was taken advantage of by the Red Bull KTM Ajo riders to lower their times during the 19 laps they put in. Oliveira improved by more than a second from Friday, to finish fifth on the timesheets with a time of 1:51.698, whilst Binder was fifteenth -1:52.336.

In qualifying, both riders were able to lower their lap times again. However, each one of them had had different strategies. While the Portuguese put in his best lap -1:51.331, ninth- on his first run, the South African linked together two fast laps -1:51.340, tenth- in the final stages. The first 20 riders on the timesheets were separated by just 1 second.

The Moto2 race will take place tomorrow at 12:20pm local time -5:20am CEST. Oliveira and Binder will chase a podium that they achieved in Moto3 in 2015 and 2016, respectively.


Results (Qualifying Session)
1. Francesco Bagnaia (Kalex) 1:50.759
2. Fabio Quartararo (Speed Up) 1:50.924 +0.165
3. Iker Lecuona (KTM) 1:50.990 +0.231
4. Marcel Schrotter (Kalex) 1:51.043 +0.284
5. Lorenzo Baldassarri (Kalex) 1:51.092 +0.333
9. Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 1:51.331 +0.572
10. Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 1:51.340 +0.581


“Today in qualifying we were able to improve our time from the morning, where we were focusing on the race with a full tank. In the afternoon we tried to improve the setup, but we’re still finding it hard to stop the bike on the brakes. It will be important to get the most out of the warmup tomorrow and try to find a solution that will help us to ride more comfortably. I expect a tough race, but Twin Ring Motegi has places where you can pass, so I’m optimistic about getting a good start and recovering positions on the opening laps. We will continue working hard so that tomorrow we can get the best possible result.”

“This morning I didn’t feel comfortable riding. In the afternoon my feeling wasn’t good, but it was a lot better than in FP3. I feel like I’m pushing really hard, but maybe not in the places where I should. Tomorrow we have to give it gas from the start and overtake as many riders as possible on the first few laps. Hopefully the tyres will hold up for us to have a good end to the race.”