Red Bull KTM Ajo shine in first Official Test of 201922/02/2019
Brad Binder sets the best time at Jerez, with Jorge Martin inside the Top 10.
The Red Bull KTM Ajo Moto2 riders started 2019 in top form this week, completing five successful days of testing at the Jerez Circuit – Angel Nieto -the last three corresponded to the first Official Test of the year for the intermediate class. Brad Binder made daily improvement at the Andalusian track and clocked the best overall time of the Official Test. Rookie teammate Jorge Martin took another step forward with his adaptation to Moto2, placing tenth overall.
Favourable weather conditions allowed Red Bull KTM Ajo to round off a productive week in style. The continued development of the new KTM Moto2 bike and the team’s hard work was reflected on the timesheets on Friday, with Binder occupying the top spot in two of the three sessions. The 2016 Moto3 World Champion was the fastest rider in the combined standings for the day, with a 1:40.982 lap almost two seconds quicker than his best at Jerez in November. He ran a total of 54 laps on the third day of the Official Test.
Martin gained further experience with a race simulation, part of the 43 laps he put in on Friday. The Spaniard, who has fully recovered from the injury he suffered in November, went ninth for the day with a 1:41.385 -tenth overall.
The Red Bull KTM Ajo Moto2 riders have another preseason test on March 1st-3rd in Qatar, where they will make their final preparations for 2019.
Combined standings Moto2 – Jerez test
1. Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 1:40.982
2. Sam Lowes (Kalex) 1:40.989 +0.007
3. Iker Lecuona (KTM) 1:41.111 +0.129
4. Luca Marini (Kalex) 1:41.146 +0.164
5. Lorenzo Baldassarri (Kalex) 1:41.149 +0.167
10. Jorge Martin (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 1:41.385 +0.403
Aki Ajo – Team manger
“We are very happy with how these five days in Jerez have gone. The results obtained in the first test back in November were not as we had hoped. However this time around, after a lot of changes and the work done by KTM, there has been great progress made. We are ready for the season, we have a great pace and, above all, we are consistent. All of our riders have proven that they are fast -not only over a single lap but also in terms of setting a good race pace. Of course, the first race of the season will be in Qatar and we still have to do a test there, so we’ll see what shape we are in when we get there. Right now we feel very happy after the Official Test in Jerez.”
41 BRAD BINDER
“I’m very happy in general with these five days here at Jerez; the team have worked extremely well. I have the feeling that we have taken steps forward constantly. Today we found what we had been looking for since we arrived here on Monday, so I am more than satisfied. I want to thank the team, KTM and everyone for the big effort they have done, especially during the winter break. I feel much more prepared for the Qatar test than I would ever have imagined at the end of last year; I take my hat off to the whole team. Overall it has been a great week, we have been able to complete some long runs and I feel very good.”
88 JORGE MARTIN
“Today has been very positive, and we leave Jerez with the test having gone very well. I am very optimistic ahead of Qatar, because it was a really complete practice in which I was able to put in a very fast lap and then, in the race simulation, I also felt very comfortable. Even though I had a crash on my fifth lap, I still managed to maintain a great pace. For a first race simulation, I’m delighted; little by little I’m learning about the class and I’m getting closer to the top riders. Every day I have been improving and cutting the gap. I have great confidence with the KTM and I hope to continue along this line/in this direction at the beginning of the season.”