KTM will count on two RC16s within the first three rows of the start grid for the Gran Premio Oakley D’Italia and the first of four rounds of MotoGP in the next five weeks. Brad Binder was the quickest of the Red Bull KTM Factory Racing and Tech3 KTM Factory Racing quartet at a warm Mugello.
– Binder is 6th fastest and on the second row while Oliveira sits in 7th after both enter Q2
– Binder rushes to equal fastest ever MotoGP top speed with 362.4 kmph in FP3
– Acosta in the middle of the Moto3 front row after taking 2nd in Q2
– Fernandez scores second Moto2 Pole Position in a row
– Taiyo Furusato wins round five of the Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup
The glorious setting and the sweeping corners of the Autodromo del Mugello made a welcome return to MotoGP after missing the calendar in 2020. The fast 5.2km layout staged its 35th Grand Prix for what is round six of the 2021 contest and counted on warm and dry late spring conditions.
The Red Bull KTM Factory Racing and Tech3 KTM Factory Racing teams got straight to work optimizing the setting of the KTM RC16 to best suit the 15 turns of varying gradients and speed.
Miguel Oliveira and Brad Binder were consistently hitting lap-times near the top of the leaderboard of the Free Practice sessions and also around the peak of the speed traps along the vast 1.1km straight. During FP3 on Saturday morning Binder equaled the fastest recorded figure in MotoGP history when his #33 KTM RC16 was clocked at 362.4 kmph.
The Portuguese and the South African both advanced directly to Q2. Binder reached as high as 3rd and was in contention for a front row slot until he rested in 6th for his highest qualification placing this season so far, just half a second from Pole Position. Oliveira was very close: his 7th spot came with an effort just two thousandths of a second slower than Binder.
Tech3 KTM Factory Racing duo Danilo Petrucci and Iker Lecuona could not squeeze through the Q1 outing and will fill 18th and 20th positions on the grid.
The 23 laps and 120km of the Italian Grand Prix will begin at 14.00 CET on Sunday.
Brad Binder: “I felt fast and I’m really happy to qualify 6th. I’ve been missing a decent qualification this season so far. The weekend has been going well and when I put in a soft tire I always seem to be able to find a decent lap-time. I couldn’t quite make the perfect lap today but I’m excited with the speed I have and to see what we can do in the race.”
Miguel Oliveira: “Our best qualification of 2021 so far and although I missed the second row by fractions of a second I have to be happy. Together with the team we have put together a very solid weekend up until this point so I’m looking forward to tomorrow’s race.”
Danilo Petrucci:“I have to admit, that I’m not happy about this Qualifying. I couldn’t really use all the potential of the bike, but I’m quite satisfied with my pace in Free Practice 4. As there was a huge accident before our session, I think it’s not the right time to speak too much about results.”
Iker Lecuona: “It was a very difficult day. I’m still struggling a lot. We tried many things with the base setting and I tried to improve my riding style, I think I improved, especially with my lines. Yet, we are still facing a difficult time. I’m fighting, and I stay optimistic that we can come back tomorrow in the race and at least fight for some points. But for the moment, we need to work hard.”
KTM GP Academy
Pole Position belonged to as Tatsuki Suzuki as World Championship leader Pedro Acosta used the power of his Red Bull KTM Ajo KTM RC4 to fill 2nd place after Q2 qualification. The teenager was just half a second behind the Japanese at the end of the session. Acosta will be able to look behind and see teammate Jaume Masia close-by on the grid; the Spaniard was 5th fastest and the second of eight KTM’s in the top fourteen. Ayumu Sasaki was 10th on his Red Bull KTM Tech3 machine and fit to race after his part in the multi-ride incident that caused the Qualification to be delayed.
Red Bull KTM Ajo’s Raul Fernandez was two tenths of a second faster than Sam Lowes and picked up his second Moto2 Pole Position in his rookie term in the class. Fernandez heads his teammate and series leader Remy Gardner, who was 4th and fronts the second row.
Mugello entertains the fifth and sixth rounds of fourteen in the 2021 Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup, and Saturday saw Taiyo Furusato sweep to the checkered flag for the fifth start the championship. The Japanese, in his first race appearance of the season, pushed up from 19th on the grid and was a slender nine thousands of a second ahead of Brazilian Diogo Moreira, who was later penalized to 3rd position on the podium for exceeding track limits on the final circulation.
Races: May 30th, 2021 – Moto3 11.00 CET | Moto2 12.20 CET | MotoGP 14.00 CET
Results Qualifying MotoGP Gran Premio Oakley D’Italia
1. Fabio Quartararo (FRA) Yamaha +1.45.187
2. Francesco Bagnaia (ITA) Ducati +0.230
3. Johann Zarco (FRA) Ducati +0.245
4. Aleix Espargaro (ESP) Aprilia +0.351
5. Jack Miller (AUS) Ducati +0.411
6. Brad Binder (RSA) Red Bull KTM Factory Racing +0.556
7. Miguel Oliveira (POR) Red Bull KTM Factory Racing +0.558
18. Danilo Petrucci (ITA) Tech3 KTM Factory Racing (Q1) 1:46.548
20. Iker Lecuona (ESP) Tech3 KTM Factory Racing (Q1) 1:47.084
Results Qualifying Moto2 Gran Premio Oakley D’Italia
1. Raul Fernandez (ESP) Red Bull KTM Ajo 1:50.723
2. Sam Lowes (GBR) +0.267
3. Jorge Navarro (ESP) +0.374
4. Remy Gardner (AUS) Red Bull KTM Ajo +0.583
Results Qualifying Moto3 Gran Premio Oakley D’Italia
1. Tatsuki Suzuki (JPN) Honda 1:56.001
2. Pedro Acosta (ESP) Red Bull KTM Ajo +0.596
3. Gabriel Rodrigo (ARG) Honda +0.684
5. Jaume Masia (ESP) Red Bull KTM Ajo +0.984
10. Ayumu Sasaki (JPN) Red Bull KTM Tech3 +1.205
13. Deniz Öncü (TUR) Red Bull KTM Tech3 +1.573