Promising start to the Japanese GP for Red Bull KTM Ajo Moto218/10/2019
Brad Binder and Jorge Martin were second and third respectively on Friday’s combined FP1 and FP2 timesheets.
The Red Bull KTM Ajo Moto2 team had a positive opening day at the Japanese GP, with Brad Binder and Jorge Martin amongst the fastest and most consistent riders on Friday at Motegi. The South African led the morning session and was at the top for much of FP2, eventually finishing second in the afternoon just ahead of his teammate, Jorge Martin, in third position.
Binder looked strong right from the early hours of the morning, placing himself at the head of the timesheets at the beginning of FP1. The South African put together four fast laps in the second half of the practice, also demonstrating his consistent pace. Finally, Brad finished 1st, with a 1:51.055 on his last attempt. His teammate, Jorge Martin, made good progress throughout the session, moving into the Top 5 in the last minutes. The Spaniard ended 4th, with a 1:51.390 best effort.
In the afternoon, Brad Binder was back on the pace, leading the way for much of FP2. On his last lap, the South African beat his morning time to finish FP2 second by just a tenth of a second, with a 1:50.828 which also put him second overall on the combined timesheets. On the other side of the box, Jorge Martin took a big step forward, riding consistently towards the top. The Spaniard ultimately was 3rd with his personal best of the day – 1:50.901.
Brad Binder and Jorge Martin’s Friday results would provisionally put them straight into Q2, with a possibility of rain for FP3 on Saturday morning. The Moto2 grid positions at the Japanese GP will be contested tomorrow in Q1 and Q2, at 1:30 pm and 1:55 pm local time, respectively.
Combined practice times (FP1 – FP2)
1. Alex Marquez (Kalex) 1:50.647
2. Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 1:50.828 +0.181
3. Jorge Martin (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 1:50.901 +0.254
4. Luca Marini (Kalex) 1:50.921 +0.274
5. Sam Lowes (Kalex) 1:50.929 +0.282
41 BRAD BINDER
“Overall, today was a pretty good day. I rode really well this morning, but in the afternoon we made some changes and I didn’t feel as good on the bike, even though I improved my times. I wasn’t able to make a perfect lap, however I’m happy, because it’s the best I’ve felt on a Friday so far. We solved some issues which we had struggled with at the last few races, so I think that thanks to these improvements everything will be easier in the next Grands Prix. I’m ready to work hard again tomorrow, and I hope the weather will be good so I can prepare for Sunday’s contest.”
88 JORGE MARTIN
“I’m happy with how the day went. From the first moment we were competitive and we worked very well. In the afternoon, the objective was to get into Q2, as tomorrow it could rain, and we achieved that goal. Being third is a great result to start the Grand Prix. We had a small issue with the rear shock that meant we lost some time, but still I was competitive when riding alone and I have a good pace. Tomorrow we will try to improve by those two tenths that would get us into the fight for the front spots.”