Good start for Brad Binder and Jorge Martin in Qatar


Red Bull KTM Ajo Moto2 riders complete two positive Free Practice sessions at first Grand Prix of 2019 season.


The wait finally came to an end for Brad Binder and Jorge Martin, as on Friday the pair kicked off a brand new season in the Moto2 World Championship at the Losail International Circuit. The Red Bull KTM Ajo duo carried over their good feeling from the test into the opening two Free Practice sessions of the year, improving their lap times from FP1 to FP2.

Brad Binder and Jorge Martin took advantage of the warm track temperatures during FP1 to continue finetuning the setup of KTM’s Moto2. The South African rider began the session amongst the frontrunners and eventually finished 6 tenths off the top spot, in 12th place. The current Moto3 World Champion, Jorge Martin, suffering some discomfort to his ribs due to a small fissure incurred at the Qatar Official Test, was 14th in the first session.

Once the floodlights were turned on for FP2, the Red Bull KTM Ajo Moto2 pair improved their times early on. Brad Binder was eighth both in the session and on the combined timesheets with a 1:59.059, whilst his team mate, Jorge Martin, was 14th with a personal best of 1:59.235.

These results would place both riders provisionally Saturday’s Q2 session, with one more practice to go. Saturday sees the new Moto2 qualifying procedure run for the first time from -18:25pm local time.


Results (Combined practice times FP1-FP2)
1. Lorenzo Baldassarri (Kalex) 1:58.635
2. Marcel Schrotter (Kalex) 1:58.869 +0.234
3. Remy Gardner (Kalex) 1:58.899 +0.264
4. Sam Lowes (Kalex) 1:58.954 +0.319
5. Alex Marquez (Kalex) 1:58.964 +0.329
8. Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 1:59.059 +0.424
14. Jorge Martin (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 1:59.235 +0.600



“It has been a tricky day for us but I’m happy, since we found the right path to follow. We had some issues in the test but now I feel more comfortable and we’ve gained a lot of confidence. In FP2 we took a step forward and we found out several things, which is very positive. I can’t wait for tomorrow; we will try to apply everything we have learned so far. We’re going to push very hard to get a good spot on the grid.”


“I didn’t feel very comfortable this morning, since the track conditions were not the best and we also went out with the soft front tyre -which is usually the most difficult for me. In the afternoon session I began to feel some discomfort with my rib. Despite this, it seems that we have improved the bike a little. We still have room to make some progress and that is very positive, I hope that tomorrow we can find the right way forward and get a good grid position for the race on Sunday.”