Saturday, April 15, 2017
Miguel Oliveira and Red Bull KTM Ajo take first podium in Moto2
04/09/2017 - Termas de Rio Hondo Circuit, Argentina
In their debut season in the intermediate class, Red Bull KTM Ajo only needed two Grands Prix to achieve their first big success. The team took their first podium in Moto2 at the Argentinian GP, courtesy of Miguel Oliveira. The Portuguese claimed an incredible second position that is also his personal first rostrum in Moto2. It is the best position for a Portuguese rider in the history of the intermediate class, and caps a perfect weekend in which he took a podium, pole position and the fastest lap of the race. Rookie Brad Binder finished in ninth position, having climbed 15 places, and collected his first points in Moto2.
Oliveira had made history in getting pole position, and did likewise in the race with an excellent second place. The Red Bull KTM Ajo rider dropped a couple of positions on the opening laps, and was third behind Morbidelli and Marquez. The Portuguese pushed hard to catch the two after they escaped, but it was a last-lap crash by one of them that allowed him to move up a place.
Starting from the eighth row of the starting grid and not 100% physically, the challenge for Brad Binder in his second Moto2 race was big. After making an excellent start and gaining seven places on the first lap, the South African gradually overtook several riders to place in the group battling for sixth place. He completed the 23 laps in ninth position.
After the first two GPs of the year, Miguel Oliveira is third in the overall standings with a total of 33 points. Brad Binder is thirteenth with the seven points he took today.
The bad news on Sunday was for Brad Binder. The discomfort in his left arm -injured in preseason- forced him to go to the medical centre and then undergo x-rays. The medical staff have decided that he will have to undergo another surgical procedure over the next few days.
Aki Ajo - Team Manager
"The Moto2 race in Argentina went very well. It is only the second race for this project and we have already achieved a podium, so many thanks to all those who are working for this. These are great times for everyone involved in this project, especially for Miguel [Oliveira] who has also done a great job during the winter. I always repeat that this is a long term project, but that it is very important to get good results at the beginning in order to continue with very high motivation. Our goal is, of course, to be at the top of this class and to be fighting for the championship one day, but we're going step by step.
I also want to emphasise that I am very happy with what Brad [Binder] did today in the race. He had a great race and a great fight. We all know how difficult his winter has been, due to his arm problem. Especially today, we had to decide whether to ride or not, because we were not sure about the pain in his arm. It was very necessary to have this performance -even more so now that we know that he is going to have another operation and will miss some races."
1. Franco Morbidelli (Kalex) 39:50.036
2. Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM Ajo) +1.683
3. Thomas Luthi (Kalex) +10.551
4. Lorenzo Baldassarri (Kalex) +15.577
5. Xavi Vierge (Tech3) +24.527
9. Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Ajo) +25.622
Moto2 World Championship Standing 2017
1. Franco Morbidelli (Kalex) 50 points
2. Thomas Luthi (Kalex) 36 points
3. Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 33 points
4. Lorenzo Baldassarri (Kalex) 21 points
5. Xavi Vierge (Tech3) 18 points
13. Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 7 points
41 BRAD BINDER
"Today has been a really good day for me. Since I started riding with this new bike, I hadn't felt comfortable. Yesterday night I was thinking and wondering why, since I had not had any big scares and things seemed to always be under control, so I did not understand why I was so slow. Today I went out on track and I gave 110% from the first laps to the end. Something changed in the warmup. The biggest problem has been that overnight I had a lot of pain in my arm, and this morning it was very swollen. Today I had some x-rays done; we saw that it was broken again and that the plate had moved, so I will have to undergo another operation and rehab it again.
I want to thank the whole Red Bull KTM Ajo team, KTM and my crew for giving me an incredible bike. It's amazing to get my first Top 10 in my second race and I cannot wait to get back on track."
44 MIGUEL OLIVEIRA
"Getting this second position today in Argentina is fantastic. The start of the race was not easy, since I had a few scares when I was in the leading group. Then two riders escaped ahead of me and I was not able to keep up. Little by little I tried to catch them as I think I had better pace, but I didn’t know if it was good enough to pass them. I tried and never gave up. On the last lap I saw that Marquez had crashed. It was a shame, but I made the most of it to climb one step further up on the podium. I am very happy with this result; it is a reward for the good work we have done over the course of these past few months."