Brad Binder will roll onto the third row of the grid for the last Grand Prix of the 2021 MotoGP season at the Circuito Ricardo Tormo in Valencia, Spain. The Red Bull KTM Factory Team rider set the 7th fastest lap in Q2 for his best Saturday performance since the Italian Grand Prix.
– Decent qualification for Brad Binder with 7th and third row for round eighteen
– Pedro Acosta takes his KTM RC4 to a first Pole Position in Moto3™
– Remy Gardner 8th on the Moto2™ grid and poised for world title bid
After a wet start on Friday, the Gran Premio Motul de la Comunitat Valenciana developed into a mild, dry and sunny event for the final run of practice and qualification in the current MotoGP season. Brad Binder was the closest of the KTM quartet to almost make it through to Q2 and the South African held 11th in FP3 until his lap was then removed due to yellow flags being waved in sector 1.
Q1 began with Red Bull KTM Factory Racing and Tech3 KTM Factory Racing hunting one of the top two slots. Binder again was the more proactive and clocked two laps to consolidate 2nd place and earn his entry to the next phase of qualification. Iker Lecuona was just a hundredth of a second ahead of Danilo Petrucci with the pair 15th and 16th on the grid. Miguel Oliveira ranked 20th.
In Q2 Binder registered seven laps and his fifth effort was the standout, just half a second away from Jorge Martin’s Pole Position chrono. With 7th place he was able to stamp his second-highest grid spot of the season, after having set 6th in Mugello and round six of 2021.
Brad Binder: “In general I’m happy with the way qualification went today. I’d say we made a positive step. I was happy to get through Q1 and I only had one set of tires and managed just one flying lap, which was a bit of a shame but we went OK. The guys did well to give me something that worked for Q2 and the feeling is a bit better. I believe I can do a good job tomorrow but it won’t be as simple as it looks because we’ll have to manage the rear tire well.”
Iker Lecuona: “We were struggling throughout the day and worked very hard to find a good base. At the same time, we are very close. In FP3 I finished about five tenths behind the top and was in P14, so it’s super–tight. In Q1, I was pushing a lot, I made some mistakes but I’m happy because we are there, we have the speed. For sure tomorrow we have to give a bit more but we are ready to fight.”
Danilo Petrucci:“It was a very tight qualifying and everybody is so close to each other. I didn’t do the best lap but I was pushing a lot and was still missing some hundredths. I still think we can do a decent race tomorrow. I feel good with the bike and with a fine start I believe there is the chance for us to score some points.”
Miguel Oliveira: “FP4 was a good improvement for us in terms of speed and pace everything looked OK for qualifying. When we added the new tires and less fuel – the normal procedure for us in qualifying – we easily found a limit on the lap-time again. It is frustrating because I am putting in a lot of effort and things are not coming my way. Also, for the team because there are no clear answers. I don’t know what kind of race we can have tomorrow. We have a long way to come back.”
KTM GP Academy
Moto3 qualification involved an intense chase with the front row slots and with only one second splitting the top 15 riders. KTM counted on Red Bull KTM Ajo’s new World Champion Pedro Acosta to mark the difference. The 17-year-old was three tenths of a second faster than Tatsuki Suzuki for his very first career Pole Position.
Pedro Acosta: “I was missing a pole position and we got it today. I didn’t care too much about whether I got one or not, although it was one of the goals for this weekend and I’m happy to have achieved it. There are riders who will be strong tomorrow but we are as well. We found a good pace. It will be a very exciting race.”
Red Bull KTM Ajo’s Raul Fernandez pushed to 5th place in Moto2 Q2. Only a small crash at the slow-speed Turn 2 prevented another attack for Pole Position.Teammate and world championship favorite Remy Gardner completed a conservative session to classify 8th on the grid but still only a tenth of a second from 1st.
Races: November 14th, 2021 – Moto3 11.00 CET | Moto2 12.20 CET| Moto2 14.00 CET
Results Qualifying MotoGP Gran Premio de la Comunitat Valenciana
1. Jorge Martin (ESP) Ducati 1:29.936
2. Francesco Bagnaia (ITA) Ducati +00.64
3. Jack Miller (AUS) Ducati +0.389
4. Joan Mir (ESP) Suzuki +0.459
5. Johann Zarco (FRA) Ducati +0.482
7. Brad Binder (RSA) Red Bull KTM Factory Racing 0.573
15. Iker Lecuona (ESP) Tech3 KTM Factory Racing (Q1) 1:30.994
16. Danilo Petrucci (ITA) Tech3 KTM Factory Racing (Q1) 1:31.045
20. Miguel Oliveira (POR) Red Bull KTM Factory Racing (Q1) 1:31.319
Results Qualifying Moto2 Gran Premio de la Comunitat Valenciana
1. Simone Corsi (ITA) 1:34.956
2. Celestino Vietti (ITA) 0.049
3. Augusto Fernandez (ESP) +0.070
5. Raul Fernandez (ESP) Red Bull KTM Ajo +0.080
8. Remy Gardner (AUS) Red Bull KTM Ajo +0.161
Results Qualifying Moto3 Gran Premio de la Comunitat Valenciana
1. Pedro Acosta (ESP) Red Bull KTM Ajo 1:38.668
2. Tatsuki Suzuki (JPN) Honda +0.310
3. Izan Guevara (ESP) GASGAS +0.385
4. Andrea Migno (ITA) Honda +0.392
5. Filip Salac (CZE) KTM +0.424
13. Deniz Öncü (TUR) Red Bull KTM Tech3 +0.825
23. Jaume Masia (ESP) Red Bull KTM Ajo 1:39.980
26. Ayumu Sasaki (JPN) Red Bull KTM Tech3 1:40.339