Top 10 placing for Red Bull KTM Ajo riders in Sepang


Miguel Oliveira goes seventh and Brad Binder tenth, on a positive first day of the Malaysian GP.


Intermittent rain was a thorn in the side of the Red Bull KTM Ajo riders in Sepang on Friday. Whilst conditions limited their dry track time, Miguel Oliveira and Brad Binder used the final part of FP2 to work on the setup of their KTM bikes and take a step forward in their preparations for Sunday’s Malaysian GP. The Portuguese finished the first day in seventh place, while the South African was close behind in tenth.

The first half of FP1 was affected by the mixed conditions of the track surface, which forced the Moto2 grid to go out on wet tires. As the Malaysian track dried out, the riders were able to change to slicks and start working in earnest on setups. Both Oliveira and Binder improved their lap times, after completing the 45 minute session in eleventh -2:09.267- and eighteenth -2:09.780- position, respectively.

FP2 started with track conditions similar to those from the morning, and the Red Bull KTM Ajo riders waited until the asphalt had dried to emerge from the garage. That moment came after a quarter of an hour, and the pair quickly improved their times from the morning. Oliveira was always in the Top 10, to finish the session in seventh place with a 2:07.551 lap. Binder was tenth -2:07.685- just 7 tenths off the top.

Tomorrow’s qualifying session will get underway at 1:30 pm local time. Last year, Miguel Oliveira earned a position on the front row for the Malaysian GP.


Results (Combined practice times FP1-FP2)
1. Alex Marquez (Kalex) 2:06.928
2. Fabio Quartararo (Speed Up) 2:06.958 +0.030
3. Luca Marini (Kalex) 2:07.089 +0.161
4. Francesco Bagnaia (Kalex) 2:07.106 +0.178
5. Mattia Pasini (Kalex) 2:07.107 +0.179
7. Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 2:07.551 +0.623
10. Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 2:07.685 +0.757


“This first day went well, although it was a bit strange due to the weather conditions. In the end I was able to put in 5 good consecutive laps, pushing hard, with suitable track conditions. Obviously that it is not enough to make a complete analysis of where we are, but we are already competitive. I think we are still lacking something in order to be fully prepared for Sunday, so this is what we will look for tomorrow. Today the grip level was not optimal either. I feel good on the bike so tomorrow we hope at least to set a good time in FP3 to define our setup. I’m sure we’ll be ready for a good QP session.”

“I have the feeling that today I put in, at most, 5 laps at my maximum. We would have liked to have done more laps, but the conditions did not allow it. In general, from what we have been able to test out, the feeling has been quite positive. I think we can improve in small aspects but I am confident that we can put more kilometres under our belt and keep working tomorrow before the QP.”