Red Bull KTM Ajo Moto2 riders ready for first race of 201909/03/2019
Brad Binder and Jorge Martin go directly into Q2, and tomorrow will start from the third and fourth rows of the grid, respectively.
The first Qualifying session of both the season and of the new format took place this Saturday at the Losail International Circuit, with the Red Bull KTM Ajo riders looking to take a strong grid position for the Qatar GP. Brad Binder and Jorge Martin, whose times from Friday were good enough to take them directly through to Q2, will take off from eighth and eleventh, respectively, at the season opener.
Times from Friday went untroubled early on due to the conditions, but reigning Moto3 World Champion, Jorge Martin, started the day as the fastest rider in FP3, overcoming physical discomfort and the heavy gusts of wind that hit the Qatari track today. His teammate, Brad Binder, maintained a good pace throughout the session, but a small crash on the final corner of his hot last lap left him eighth.
In the 15-minutes Q2 session, the South African lowered his personal best from Friday and set a 1:59.038, placing him on the third row in eighth. The Spaniard suffered a crash at Turn 2 midway through the session and was unable to improve his time, and he will start the Qatar GP from 11th on the grid.
The race gets underway on Sunday at 6:20pm local time. Both Red Bull KTM Ajo Moto2 riders have previous podium experience at Losail: Binder was second in the 2016 Moto3 race, and Martin won last season’s lower cylinder class contest.
Results Moto2 Qualifying session
1. Marcel Schrotter (Kalex) 1:58.585
2. Xavi Vierge (Kalex) 1:58.731 +0.146
3. Lorenzo Baldassarri (Kalex) 1:58.784 +0.199
4. Luca Marini (Kalex) 1:58.804 +0.219
5. Remy Gardner (Kalex) 1:58.819 +0.234
8. Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 1:59.038 +0.453
11. Jorge Martin (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 1:59.278 +0.693
41 BRAD BINDER
“Today has gone pretty well. Taking into account the different problems we have had to deal with since the test, eighth on the grid for the race is a positive result. I lacked a bit of pace but I think tomorrow we can get that extra boost we need if we push hard and try our best. I feel steady, so tomorrow I will try to work my way up the field, looking to ride fast laps and avoid early mistakes.”
88 JORGE MARTIN
“It was a strange day for us. We have been working hard and trying out several things, but the track changes a lot from one session to the other, so it is difficult to draw conclusions. Even so, I’m happy because in Qualifying I felt much better with the front end -the most difficult thing for me. We also know where we need to improve to get more rear grip, and that’s a very positive thing. We will take all the information we have gathered today and we will set up my KTM as well as possible for tomorrow. It will be my first Moto2 race, so the goal is to start well, run a good pace and see what we are capable of doing. I’ll give it my all.”