Red Bull KTM Ajo Moto2 pair battle hard on rainy Saturday at Motegi


Jorge Martin and Brad Binder will start from the fifth and sixth rows of the grid, respectively, at the Japanese Grand Prix.

After a great start to the Japanese Grand Prix, the Red Bull KTM Ajo Moto2 duo worked hard in cold and wet conditions on Saturday at the Twin Ring Motegi. Brad Binder and Jorge Martin went directly into Q2 thanks to their Friday lap times, with none of the riders able to improve on their times from yesterday in FP3 due to the rain. The Spaniard will start the 16th race of the season from the fifth row of the grid, with Brad Binder on the sixth.

The last free practice for the Moto2 category took place in the rain, which meant track conditions were difficult. Brad Binder made constant progress throughout the session and, with a place in Q2 already secured thanks to his time on Friday, he focused on finding a good feeling in the wet. On his last lap of 15 undertaken, the South African rider produced a 2:04.634 personal best to put him 12th. Meanwhile, Jorge Martin crashed at Turn 10 at the beginning of FP3, which prevented him from returning to the track and improving on his 2:06.325, which left him 26th.

In the afternoon the Red Bull KTM Ajo Moto2 pair went into Q2, by which time the rain had stopped but the track surface was still wet. Jorge Martin earned the 14th spot of the grid for tomorrow’s race, with his last fast lap of 2:03.077. On the other side of the box, Brad Binder had a tough qualifying session in which he finally finished 18th – 2:05.963 -, to put him on the sixth row.

The Red Bull KTM Ajo Moto2 riders will start their 22-lap race tomorrow at the Japanese Grand Prix at 1:20 pm local time.


Results (Qualifying session)
1. Luca Marini (Kalex) 2:00.985
2. Augusto Fernandez (Kalex) 2:02.133 +1.148
3. Lorenzo Baldassarri (Kalex) 2:02.212 +1.227
4. Alex Marquez (Kalex) 2:02.306 +1.321
5. Jorge Navarro (Speed Up) 2:02.411 +1.426
14. Jorge Martin (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 2:03.077 +2.092
18. Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 2:05.963 +4.978



“This morning I felt quite good on the circuit in completely wet conditions. However, in the afternoon qualifying the track surface wasn’t fully wet, but it wasn’t dry either and we still don’t know why I just didn’t have feeling with the rear tyre. It was skidding all the time. It was quite difficult, as I couldn’t put the bike at the angle I wanted on cornering. We tried out the dry set-up but it was still a little too wet, though we did manage to improve our times a bit. It was a tough day, but the race is tomorrow and we will do our best.”


“It was a tough day. After the crash this morning I didn’t feel that well and I was thinking that I wouldn’t have much confidence in qualifying, but by the time Q2 started the conditions had changed. However, although there was less water, we were unable to find a good feeling, the bike was sliding a lot and I was lacking grip. For tomorrow I’m still optimistic though, because yesterday I had a good pace and I think we can get it back.”