Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Brad Binder was once more the leading KTM representative in MotoGP as the South African registered the 17th quickest lap-time at Misano for the Gran Premio Octo di San Marino e della Riviera di Rimini.
– MotoGP moves to Misano for the first of two visits in 2021
– Binder the quickest of the KTM riders in Q1 at Misano
– Changeable weather conditions create tricky mixed Free Practice sessions in San Marino
– Fernandez takes fifth Moto2™ Pole Position
MotoGP dropped into San Marino for the first of two non-consecutive events around the flat and winding Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli. Both days of practice and qualification were marked by changeable conditions on the Adriatic coastline as sunshine and warm temperatures were mixed with cloud cover and heavy showers. Free Practice 2 on Friday afternoon, in particular, was a washout.
Saturday’s crucial FP3 was held under blue skies and the KTM contingent sought the best mix of traction and acceleration with their tire allocation. The lap-times in FP3 saw the top sixteen riders split by less than a second. By the time of the Q1 and Q2 runs, it was Binder who came closest to escaping Q1 and the Styrian GP winner was less than half a second from making the cut, despite a small tumble in the final minutes of the session. In the end he classified 7th, meaning 17th on the grid. Tech3 KTM Factory Racing’s Iker Lecuona was hobbling slightly after a crash during the wet FP2 but the Spaniard was able to make 20th. Miguel Oliveira was 21st and Danilo Petrucci was 22nd.
The 27-lap MotoGP race begins on Sunday at 14.00 CET.
Brad Binder: “It was a difficult day for us. We tried hard but couldn’t quite find the setting to be comfortable and to improve my feeling on the bike. I think we could have done better in qualifying but – unfortunately – I got a big rear-kick going into Turn 1 and I washed the front tire. We’re struggling a bit with one-lap pace, more than we’d like, but the race is tomorrow and we’ll try as hard to see what we can do.”
Iker Lecuona: “I don’t know what I need to improve, I have the feeling that I am on the limit. In FP3 I was a bit faster, but I still found it hard to go faster today. In Qualifying we improved a bit. Now we wait for the weather tomorrow. In case of rain, I think we can try to fight for a decent position, if it’s dry, our goal is to finish as the best KTM.”
Miguel Oliveira: “A very tough qualifying. The team tried to give me some different bike settings so we could work to be faster but we couldn’t even match last year’s pace. So, tough times for us but we won’t give up and we’ll try the best we can for tomorrow’s race. We’ll keep fighting.”
Danilo Petrucci:“A tricky weekend for us in general. The track is very bumpy and we struggle to find a good setup for our bike. We miss a lot of corner speed and can’t go as fast as we like. The weather seems to be a bit unpredictable tomorrow and to be honest, I hope it’s going to rain, because then we have a better chance for a good result, as we are struggling a lot in dry conditions.”
KTM GP Academy
Niccolo Antonelli was the quickest KTM RC4 rider in Moto3 and will sit 3rd – the last slot on the front row of the grid – for the 23 circulations of the opening race on Sunday. Red Bull KTM Ajo’s Jaume Masia was 5th and four places ahead of teammate Pedro Acosta. Red Bull KTM Tech3’s Ayumu Sasaki was less than a second away from Romano Fenanti’s Pole Position but rested 13th while teammate Deniz Öncü suffered a crash in FP3. The Turk could not take part in Qualification and remains a doubt for Sunday.
qualification was headed by Red Bull KTM Ajo’s Raul Fernandez. The race winner in Aragon stormed to a lap more than three tenths of a second better than Sam Lowes and earned his fifth Pole Position of his rookie Moto2 season. Teammate and championship leader Remy Gardner was just over half a second adrift in 4th.
Raul Fernandez: “This morning was really nice and the feeling with the bike was great. I was worried about the rain for qualifying but I was happy to take another pole position. We were fast and strong. It was tricky with my hand because I could not do more than five laps as I want but we did some good work. It’s incredible to have another Pole Position and I want to give a big thanks to my team.”
Races: September 19th, 2021 – Moto3 11.00 CET | Moto2 12.20 CET| MotoGP 14.00 CET
Results Qualifying MotoGP Gran Premio Octo di San Marino e della Riviera di Rimini
1. Francesco Bagnaia (ITA) Ducati 1:31.065
2. Jack Miller (AUS) Ducati +0.249
3. Fabio Quartararo (FRA) Yamaha +0.302
4. Jorge Martin (ESP) Ducati +0.598
5. Johann Zarco (FRA) Ducati +0.771
17. Brad Binder (RSA) Red Bull KTM Factory Racing (Q1) +1:32.427
20. Iker Lecuona (ESP) Tech3 KTM Factory Racing (Q1) 1:32.481
21. Miguel Oliveira (POR) Red Bull KTM Factory Racing (Q1) 1:32.821
22. Danilo Petrucci (ITA) Tech3 KTM Factory Racing (Q1) 1:32.891
Results Qualifying Moto2 Gran Premio Octo di San Marino e della Riviera di Rimini
1. Raul Fernandez (ESP) Red Bull KTM Ajo 1:36.264
2. Sam Lowes (GBR) +0.351
3. Augusto Fernandez (ESP) +0.524
4. Remy Gardner (AUS) Red Bull KTM Ajo +0.597
Results Qualifying Moto3 Gran Premio Octo di San Marino e della Riviera di Rimini
1. Romano Fenati (ITA) Husqvarna 1:41.756
2. Dennis Foggia (ITA) Honda +0.257
3. Niccolo Antonelli (ITA) KTM +0.264
4. Andrea Migno (ITA) Honda +0.343
5. Jaume Masia (ESP) Red Bull KTM Ajo +0.355
9. Pedro Acosta (ESP) Red Bull KTM Ajo +0.802
13. Ayumu Sasaki (JPN) KTM +0.973