MotoGP shimmered in the Texan sunshine at the Red Bull Grand Prix of the Americas and round four of the 2022 series. During a regular practice and qualification schedule in the USA Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Brad Binder was the fastest KTM RC16 rider as the South African claimed 17th place on the start grid for Sunday’s race.
- Binder the leading MotoGP RC16 rider again but will sit on the sixth row
- Miguel Oliveira and the Tech3 KTM Factory Racing duo take 20th, 21st and 22nd
- Deniz Öncü top KTM RC4 runner in Moto3™ with 4th
MotoGP circulated one of the most technical and challenging layouts on the calendar for round four as the championship returned to the undulating Circuit of the Americas in Austin just six months after the previous visit late in 2021. Hot sunshine and blustery conditions marked two days of the event program as the teams and riders did their best to alter set-up to suit the mix of twisty corners, a long straight, hard-braking and slow curves that form the 5.5km trajectory.
Red Bull KTM Factory Racing and Tech3 KTM Factory Racing worked their way through the conundrum of optimizing the RC16 both for the rapid time attack pace and competitiveness for the long 20-lap distance on Sunday afternoon. After Free Practice 3 on Saturday morning the top 16 riders were split by one second.
All four KTM riders had to negotiate Q1. Binder was able to record his best chrono of the session at the last attempt but it was less than a second away from Q2 entry for the fourth time this year. Miguel Oliveira pushed to improve his competitiveness from Friday but had to settle for 20th. Raul Fernandez was just four hundredths of a second quicker than teammate Remy Gardner but the Australian also had a difficult task in Q1 after a crash.
Brad Binder: “It’s been a challenging weekend for us so far and a bit more difficult than we thought it would be. We’ve fought hard both days and it’s a bit disappointing to be back in 17th place. We need to understand what is going on and work for tomorrow: the points count for Sunday, not today. We need to dig deep and get a bit more comfortable for the race and if we can do that then I’m sure we can leave here with some solid points.”
Miguel Oliveira: “Tough times for sure and we didn’t expect to struggle so much here in Austin but we must keep working hard and keep our spirits up. We know this race will not define us. There is an opportunity tomorrow to get out there and fight for points and go to Europe with something in our hands. We still have some time to work and improve the bike and it all counts tomorrow.”
Raul Fernandez: “We had a difficult day today. In a similar way to yesterday, we had a good pace but we struggled to do a fast lap with the qualifying tyres. Tomorrow is the race, it is an important day and I will try to do my best. Thanks to the team for their job.”
Remy Gardner:“It is a great shame that I crashed. In order to do the lap time, I had to push a lot. When I was overriding, the times were improving but unfortunately I went too far. On the first flying lap, I had a really good sector one and was confident but it got cancelled because of a yellow flag. After my crash, I lost a bit of confidence for the second run and was not able to improve my time from this morning. Tough day in the office, but hopefully we can come back from this tomorrow.”
Moto3 & Moto2
Red Bull KTM Tech3’s Deniz Öncü was a slim half a second away from Pole Position in Moto3 as the Turk’s 4th place in Q2 saw him narrowly miss out on the front row of the grid. Red Bull KTM Ajo’s Jaume Masia was just behind in 5th as the Spaniard’s teammate, Daniel Holgado, dashed to 7th spot. Adrian Fernandez will start the race a little further back in 19th after missing the cut in Q1.
Moto2 class Pole Position was earned by Cameron Beaubier. Red Bull KTM Ajo’s Augusto Fernandez had a setback in Q2 with a fall midway through the session that left the Spaniard unclassified and down in 18th place. Rookie teammate Pedro Acosta fared better and was 10th fastest for the most advanced spot on the fourth row.
Races: April 10th – Moto2 18.20 CET | MotoGP 20.00 CET | Moto3 21.30 CET
Results Qualifying MotoGP Red Bull Grand Prix of the Americas
1. Jorge Martin (ESP) Ducati 2:02.039
2. Jack Miller (AUS) Ducati +0.003
3. Francesco Bagnaia (ITA) Ducati +0.128
4. Johann Zarco (FRA) Ducati +0.531
5. Enea Bastianini (ITA) Ducati +0.539
17. Brad Binder (RSA) Red Bull KTM Factory Racing (Q1) 2:03.467
20. Miguel Oliveira (POR) Red Bull KTM Factory Racing (Q1) 2:03.983
21. Raul Fernandez (ESP) Tech3 KTM Factory Racing (Q1) 2:04.140
22. Remy Gardner (AUS) Tech3 KTM Factory Racing (Q1) 2:04.185
Results Qualifying Moto2 Red Bull Grand Prix of the Americas
1. Cameron Beaubier (USA) 2:08.751
2. Celestino Vietti (ITA) +0.340
3. Aron Canet (ESP) +0.532
10. Pedro Acosta (ESP) Red Bull KTM Ajo +1.174
18. Augusto Fernandez (ESP) Red Bull KTM Ajo
Results Qualifying Moto3 Red Bull Grand Prix of the Americas
1. Andrea Migno (ITA) Honda 2:15.881
2. Dennis Foggia (ITA) Honda +0.067
3. Xavi Artigas (ESP) CFMOTO +0.252
4. Deniz Öncü (TUR) Red Bull KTM Tech3 +0.516
5. Jaume Masia (ESP) Red Bull KTM Ajo +0.595
7. Daniel Holgado (ESP) Red Bull KTM Ajo +0.737
19. Adrian Fernandez (ESP) Red Bull KTM Tech3 (Q1) 2:17.659