Miguel Oliveira will start the Czech Grand Prix from the front row of the grid, after placing second in a dry qualifying session at Brno. He was just 0.032s off pole position, whilst teammate Brad Binder took his best Moto2 qualifying result to date with tenth place. The day was a big one for Red Bull KTM Ajo, as in the morning it was announced that the project had been extended for two more years, with both current riders remaining part of the team in 2018.
In the last Free Practice session of the weekend, the Moto2 riders experienced completely different conditions to those of Friday. Ambient temperatures of around 30ºC and a dry track allowed them to improve their times from yesterday. Oliveira and Binder followed different strategies: While the former decided to make a pit stop to fit new tyres -placing eleventh with a 2:03.211 lap-, Binder completed the entire session with a single set -twentieth, 2:03.748.
For qualifying, the track temperature was clocked at a high of 45ºC. Oliveira was up into fourth on his first stint, but it was not until his final run that he was able to lower his time. A magnificent 2:02.643 lap placed him second, 0.032s off pole. Binder has completed his best lap on his second stint. His tenth position -2:03.062- is a big step forward for the South African, who until now had a highest grid position of 17th in the Netherlands.
Satisfied with the work done today, Oliveira and Binder will tomorrow undertake the first race of the second half of the season, starting at 12.20pm local time.
44 Miguel Oliveira:
“It was a very difficult qualifying session because it was very hot. The conditions were difficult. Our strategy was to try to set a good lap quickly at the beginning, but we ended up getting it at the end. I’m happy to be second but the most important thing is to be on the front two rows. We are ready for tomorrow, whatever the conditions. I want to add that I am very proud to be able to renew for another year with the Red Bull KTM Ajo team in Moto2. In the rookie year for our project we are already doing big things, at circuits where we had no references, so I am very happy to be able to continue for another season and will look to do even better in 2018.”
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