MotoGP arrived to the hallowed and grippy curves of Le Mans

Jack Miller KTM MotoGP 2024 France Saturday

Jack Miller scrapped to a solid 8th in front of a bumper crowd at Le Mans to obtain a few more championship points in the fifth Sprint of the year. Red Bull KTM Factory Racing teammate Brad Binder managed to regain almost ten positions at the start of the 13-lapper and ended a dramatic two first days of the Grand Prix de France in 15th.

  • Jack Miller makes Q2 directly, qualifies 11th fastest in a very close group of riders all bashing the old lap record and enjoys a hectic fight for the top eight at Le Mans
  • Brad Binder lines-up 22nd on the grid after trials and tribulations through practice and qualification during Friday and Saturday. #33 starts well but cannot impose a decent rhythm and he crosses the line 15th
  • Red Bull KTM Ajo’s Jose Antonio Rueda re-establishes his Moto3™ speed by placing the KTM RC4 on the front row of the grid and with a fast 3rd after Q2
MotoGP arrived to the hallowed and grippy curves of Le Mans to be pleasantly greeted by hot spring sun and early summer temperatures. The grandstands were packed around the 13-corner course as France buzzed to the roar of the series once more after hosting the championship’s 1000th Grand Prix in 2023 and hosting record-busting attendances.
On Friday Miller rode strongly to take P6 in MotoGP Practice, just 0.3 of a second away from provisional Pole Position and went straight through to Q2. Binder had more adversity with three slow-speed tumbles and had to negotiate Q1 on Saturday morning. The South African pushed hard after an early issue limited his track time but could not join his teammate in the next session, taking 22nd on the grid.
The French GP Sprint spun for 13 frantic laps around Le Mans and at the hottest part of the day. Binder had plenty of work to do from the rear of the grid and attacked hard reaching 13th place until front tire temperatures affected his general speed and forced errors. He finished 15th. Miller acquired two points for 8th position and at a circuit where he has tasted podium champagne in the past. MotoGP will charge around Le Mans for 27-laps at 14.00 on Sunday with the Red Bull KTM crew aiming for maximum profit from the French outing.

 
Jack Miller, 11th in qualification, 8th in the Sprint: “I got a good start but I was a bit gentle into Turn 3 and got baulked. The bike was working decently but the rear tire temperature took some time to come up and didn’t really come back to me for five-six laps. The other guys could start the acceleration phase out of the corners a bit earlier so we’ll look at that for tomorrow but the front end of the bike worked really well. We’ve got some information to go over tonight. We’ll have to wait and see for the weather now.”
 
Brad Binder, 22nd in qualification, 15th in the Sprint: “I just couldn’t get going in the Sprint after a decent start. I made a few mistakes and had a lot of front ‘locking’. I went off the track at one point. It was a struggle. It was important to collect some data for tomorrow because I felt great on Friday…but kept crashing! It was crucial not to do that again today. We found something that gives us a good idea for the race. I’m looking for tiny things, and tiny differences will go a long way at the moment.”
Francesco Guidotti, Red Bull KTM Factory Racing Team Manager: “Not the best quali we’ve had but Jack was performing quite well. He didn’t make his best lap in Q2 for a few reasons, like yellow flags, and it could have been better but still an improvement on some other GPs this year. With Brad we had a technical issue in Q1. It was not a failure or malfunction but something was not running right so he preferred the second bike and just found more yellow flags. Starting from where he was meant we couldn’t expect much. The front tire pressure was going to the moon and he could not ride like he wanted. We took some points from the Sprint with Jack, and let’s see tomorrow because it looks like it will be wet.”
Grand Prix of France photographs can be found HERE
Results Qualifying MotoGP Grand Prix of France
1. Jorge Martin (ESP) Ducati 1:29.919
2. Francesco Bagnaia (ITA) Ducati +0.192
3. Maverick Viñales (ESP) Aprilia +0.394
7. Pedro Acosta (ESP) Red Bull GASGAS Tech3 +0.731
11. Jack Miller (AUS) Red Bull KTM Factory Racing +1.088
20. Augusto Fernandez (ESP) Red Bull GASGAS Tech3 +1.31.473 (Q1)
22. Brad Binder (RSA) Red Bull KTM Factory Racing +1.32.228 (Q1)
 
Results MotoGP Sprint Grand Prix of France
1. Jorge Martin (ESP) Ducati 19:49.694
2. Marc Marquez (ESP) Ducati +2.280
3. Maverick Viñales (ESP) Aprilia +4.174
6. Pedro Acosta (ESP) Red Bull GASGAS Tech3 +9.185
8. Jack Miller (AUS) Red Bull KTM Factory Racing +11.516
15. Brad Binder (RSA) Red Bull KTM Factory Racing +16.969
17. Augusto Fernandez (ESP) Red Bull GASGAS Tech3 +23.618

 
KTM GP Academy
Jose Antonio Rueda was at last back to health and returned to the Red Bull KTM Ajo pitbox after missing the last two races in the USA and Spain. The Spaniard immediately got down to work and was 4th fastest on Friday before recording a lap-time that gave him 3rd on the grid for Sunday. Rookie teammate Xabi Zurutuza rested 16th after the first practice sessions. The teenager then improved his efforts on Saturday and burst through Q1 for the first time. He remained with the same standing for the grid formation.

In Moto2 the crew were missing Celestino Vietti with the Italian recovering from left collarbone surgery and Deniz Öncü qualified with 22nd position in his first run at Le Mans in the intermediate class.
Round two of the Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup takes place at Le Mans and Saturday evening Maximo Quiles won the first of two races this weekend in France. The Spaniard led a five-way fight and took the checkered flag by 0.2 of a second.
Results Qualifying Moto3 Grand Prix of France
 
1. David Alonso (COL) CFMOTO 1:40.114
2. Daniel Holgado (ESP) GASGAS +0.011
3. Jose Antonio Rueda (ESP), Red Bull KTM Ajo 0.312
5. Collin Veijer (NED) Husqvarna +0.679
11. Jacob Roulstone (AUS) GASGAS +0.978
14. Tatsuki Suzuki (JPN) Husqvarna +1.090
16. Xabi Zurutuza (ESP) Red Bull KTM Ajo 1.149
17. Joel Esteban (ESP) CFMOTO +1.251
 
Results Qualifying Moto2 Grand Prix of France
 
1. Aron Canet (ESP) 1:35.037
2. Joe Roberts (USA) +0.136
3. Sergio Garcia (ESP) +0.211
7. Izan Guevara (ESP) CFMOTO +0.562
8. Senna Agius (AUS) +0.573
11. Jake Dixon (GBR) CFMOTO +0.771
19. Darryn Binder (RSA) 1:35.947 (Q1)
22. Deniz Öncü (TUR) Red Bull KTM Ajo 1:36.252 (Q1)
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