Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Miguel Oliveira will line-up in 6th position for the Liqui Moly Motorrad Grand Prix Deutschland after entering the Q2 qualification session directly as one of the pacesetters at a hot Sachsenring circuit. In Moto2 Raul Fernandez seized a third Pole Position of his debut term in the class.
– Oliveira takes the last spot on the second row of the grid
– Binder just 3 tenths of a second from Q2 and lines-up in 13th
– Fernandez on Moto2 Pole with all-time Moto2 track record
– Kaito Toba is the top Moto3 qualifier on the KTM RC4 in 5th
– A total 74 KTM race bikes on track in Germany spread between the GP classes and Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup & Northern Talent Cup
Lofty temperatures in the saxony region of Germany created fine conditions for rapid lap-times of the compact Sachsenring and the formative stages of the eighth round of 2021 MotoGP. The curling nature of the historic counter clockwise course provided a different technical challenge compared to the recent fast flow of Mugello in Italy and the mix of varied corners of Barcelona in Cataluyna.
KTM travelled to Germany after two successive podium finishes and their first victory of the season in Spain. The victor of round seven, Miguel Oliveira, was on the pace from Friday’s Free Practice, topping FP2 and earning a slot directly through to Q2. The windy nature of Sachsenring was an effective stage for Tech3 KTM Factory Racing’s Danilo Petrucci to find a better feeling on the KTM RC16 and the Italian was close to Q2 distinction. Both Brad Binder and Iker Lecuona were rookies to the demands of the German circuit on MotoGP machinery as the championship could not visit the site in 2020.
On Saturday Oliveira did his best to negotiate a difficult Q2 where yellow flags and other riders hesitating to push meant he was able to record a lap good enough for 6th and only three tenths of a second away from Pole Position. The Portuguese was the sole KTM rider in the session after Brad Binder had made admirable progress in FP4 but couldn’t squeeze through Q1 due to front wheel chatter in the stifling climate. The South African was just three tenths from an attempt at Q2. Petrucci ended the day in 19th while Lecuona was 20th after a late crash.
30 laps of MotoGP action will begin at 14.00 CET on Sunday.
Miguel Oliveira: “It was a bit chaotic today. I felt good with the bike in Q2 but couldn’t make any clean laps so I was a bit disappointed by that and our strategy which means the second row. The pace is there, and we are one of the strongest so we need a good start tomorrow, to hold our position and maintain the tire life to be able to fight for a long race.”
Brad Binder: “I’m happy with the improvements I made in FP4 but when it came to qualification something didn’t feel quite right. There was an issue with the left side of the front tire and we need to have a look at it. I pushed as hard as I could and then came in to try and new one. I wanted another time attack but the same issue came up. We’ll have a look but in general I’m happy with the better pace from the day. I’m still not quite fast enough but I’m consistent. Hopefully tomorrow I can find the final step-up I need.”
Danilo Petrucci:“It was not an easy qualifying. I found some traffic when I was improving my lap time. On top of that, my setup didn’t feel perfect, as I felt some strange vibrations and therefore it wasn’t possible to improve the lap time. I’m pretty confident regarding my race pace, although we start really far back. I still think that we can have a good race tomorrow.”
Iker Lecuona: “Overall, it was a difficult day. In the morning, I went wide in turn one as I made a mistake on the brakes and I had a small crash. I struggled quite a lot. Finally, in FP4 we tried something on the base setting in order to improve for the race. This was a success and we went a few tenths quicker. So, this is positive for tomorrow. In Qualifying I tried to push at my maximum. On my fast lap, I did a small mistake again and crashed in turn one. Luckily, I’m fine. Q1 was pretty tight, I just lost half a second to the front. Tomorrow in the race, we will see what we can do but I’m convinced we can fight for the top 10.”
KTM GP Academy
In Moto3 Red Bull KTM Tech’3 Deniz Öncü qualified in 11th position to occupy a space on the fourth row and was two places ahead of Red Bull KTM Ajo’s Pedro Acosta. The leading KTM racer was Kaito Toba on the CIP Green Power RC4 who was less than half a second from the Pole Position effort and will start the 27-lap race from the middle of the second row in P5. Öncü’s teammate, Ayumu Sasaki had been ruled out of the Grand Prix due to injury sustained two weeks previously in Barcelona.
Moto2 remained in the grip of Red Bull KTM Ajo duo Remy Gardner and Raul Fernandez. The riders ended Free Practice on Friday with 1st and 2nd positions on the timesheets. After Q2 on Saturday it was Fernandez who was able to post the quickest lap. The Spaniard’s excellent maiden campaign in Moto2 continues, although championship leader and teammate Gardner was not far away in 3rd place: the Australian missed out by just over three tenths of a second.
The seventh outing of the fourteen-round 2021 Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup occurred at the Sachsenring on Saturday afternoon and David Alonso ran out as winner from Marcos Uriarte and David Muñoz. The Columbian leads the championship from Muñoz by six points.
The German Grand Prix brought the 2021 Northern Talent Cup back to the grid. The first of two races across the weekend was won by Jakub Gurecky on his KTM RC4R.
Races: June 20th, 2021 – Moto3 11.00 CET | Moto2 12.20 CET | MotoGP 14.00 CET
Results Qualifying MotoGP Liqui Moly Motorrad Grand Prix Deutschland
1. Johann Zarco (FRA) Ducati 1:20.236
2. Fabio Quartararo (FRA) Yamaha +0.011
3. Aleix Espargaro (ESP) Aprilia +0.211
4. Jack Miller (AUS) Ducati +0.272
5. Marc Marquez (ESP) Honda +0.331
6. Miguel Oliveira (POR) Red Bull KTM Factory Racing +0.356
13. Brad Binder (RSA) Red Bull KTM Factory Racing (Q1) 1:20.736
19. Danilo Petrucci (ITA) Tech3 KTM Factory Racing (Q1) 1:21.137
20. Iker Lecuona (ESP) Tech3 KTM Factory Racing (Q1) 1:21.154
Results Qualifying Moto2 Liqui Moly Motorrad Grand Prix Deutschland
1. Raul Fernandez (ESP) Red Bull KTM Ajo 1:23.397
2. Fabio Di Giannantonio (ITA) +0.347
3. Remy Gardner (AUS) Red Bull KTM Ajo +0.372
Results Qualifying Moto3 Liqui Moly Motorrad Grand Prix Deutschland
1. Filip Salac (CZE) Honda 1:26.913
2. Dennis Foggia (ITA) Honda +0.183
3. Tatsuki Suzuki (JPN) Honda +0.214
5. Kaito Toba (JPN) KTM +0.437
11. Deniz Öncü (TUR) Red Bull KTM Tech3 +0.780
13. Pedro Acosta (ESP) Red Bull KTM Ajo +0.993
17. Jaume Masia (ESP) Red Bull KTM Ajo +1.480