MotoGP scorched around one of the fastest and most picturesque race circuits in the world for round six of twenty in 2023 and Red Bull KTM Factory Racing were lively players for the Gran Premio d’Italia Oakley. Brad Binder and Jack Miller rocketed their record-breaking KTM RC16 to 5th and 7th respectively at a sunny Mugello.
Thankfully, the heavy Italian rainfall that coated Mugello late on Saturday afternoon had dissipated for race day and as the popular Tuscan venue welcomed the best attendance of the weekend. Less than 24hrs after blazing to record-breaking feats along the sweeping 1.1km straight, Red Bull KTM took to the track with Jack Miller in the center of the second row of the starting grid (5th) and with Brad Binder in the 10th slot.
Across 23 laps it was Binder who was able to move through the order, and after the initial cut and thrust of action where Miller was a protagonist. The South African circulated just out of reach of the tussle for the final spot of the podium but Brad’s 5th represented his second-best classification of the year. Jack had his hands full in a duel for 7th but made sure of the position.
Binder gained 11 points to hold 4th and now with a margin of 15 to 3rd spot. Miller is 7th. Red Bull KTM Factory Racing are currently the 3rd best team, according to the 2023 rankings, and the manufacturer lies 2nd in the Constructors table.
From pace and power to tight turns: the Liqui Moly Motorrad Grand Prix Deutschland takes MotoGP to the popular and populated Sachsenring for round seven of the championship next weekend.
Brad Binder, 5th: “Quite happy with 5th place today considering we started in 10th but we want more! We had a stronger main race today compared to the Sprint yesterday where we lost the opportunity to make more points. I would say our highlight of the weekend is the fact that our guys have built a rocket! It’s working well and we cannot argue with the top speed. Going forward we have some small details to work on and I think we’ll be stronger than what we were today.”
Jack Miller, 7th: “Somewhat satisfied but wanting more. The bike was working well all weekend, we had another decent start today but we were just missing a bit of pace at the beginning compared to the other boys. Around mid-race the gap stabilized and I felt like I was getting more and more comfortable. 7th and ten seconds away from the win meant decent points. Looking forward to Sachsenring already.”
Francesco Guidotti, Red Bull KTM Team Manager: “There was a lot of expectation around this GP because we know that Mugello is a very special track and it is very demanding. We were keen to get here and to understand where we are with our current race package. Brad’s 5th place was not bad but our expectations are higher. Still, the top five is our target every race. Jack did a good job today but said he lacked some feeling on the track from the start and couldn’t push as he wanted. Overall, the achievement of the top speed record is in the books. Let’s go to Sachsenring with a lot of confidence. We’ll be on track again very soon and hoping for good results.”
Results MotoGP Gran Premio d’Italia Oakley
1. Francesco Bagnaia (ITA) Ducati 41:16.863
2. Jorge Martin (ESP) Ducati +1.067
3. Johann Zarco (FRA) Ducati +1.977
5. Brad Binder (RSA) Red Bull KTM Factory Racing +8.925
7. Jack Miller (AUS) Red Bull KTM Factory Racing +10.999
World championship standings MotoGP
1. Francesco Bagnaia (ITA) Ducati, 131 points
2. Marco Bezzecchi (ITA) Ducati, 110
3. Jorge Martin (ESP) Ducati 107
4. Brad Binder (RSA) Red Bull KTM Factory Racing, 92
7. Jack Miller (AUS) Red Bull KTM Factory Racing, 62
KTM GP Academy
The Moto3 Grand Prix was won by Red Bull KTM Tech3’s Daniel Holgado but the KTM Academy select filled an important role in the exciting 17-lap affair that was not decided until the last meters of the final circulation. The Spaniard’s winning margin over Red Bull KTM Ajo’s Deniz Öncü (who set off from Pole Position) was a marginal 0.051 of a second. Both Holgado and Öncü were part of a pack of five riders that offered-up some fantastic entertainment and the all-out blast to the finish line was the critical point of the race.
In the end it was Holgado’s second triumph in a row and his third of the season that made the headlines as Öncü went so close to P1 once more. The result also marked KTM’s first Moto3 success at Mugello in six years. Öncü’s rookie teammate, Jose Rueda, rode to 14th place. Holgado’s pitbox companion, Filippo Farioli, fell out of the race on the second lap.
Daniel Holgado: “A difficult race because Öncü was strong this weekend! I did an amazing job on the last lap. The bike was great, and we worked a lot on my pace. My second consecutive victory and third year this. More again in Germany!”
Deniz Öncü: “The race was really amazing. I tried my best and tried to pull away but the guys were really strong. The team did an amazing job all weekend because we were fast all three days. We know about my disadvantage on the straight but also about my advantage in the fight. My idea was to pass the riders and pull out to the checkered flag. It almost came! I’m sad but also happy.”
Red Bull KTM Ajo’s Pedro Acosta started 2nd on the Moto2 grid and was hunting his second successive victory at Mugello. He ripped away and then comprehensively dominated the race from the lights to the flag. It was his third win this season and fourth top three result; moving him to within 20 points of championship leader Tony Arbolino. Teammate Albert Arenas fell at Turn 1.
Pedro Acosta: “I knew it would be tough and very hard to manage the tire but I want to thank the team a lot because they really worked hard in the three week break. It was tough for me after my mistake in Le Mans so I have to thank everyone that helped me. I was thinking ‘what do I do?!’ but, now, it’s pizza time! We’ll enjoy this one.”
Alberto Ferrandez won the first race of the Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup on Saturday after mastering the difficult and rain-lashed Mugello asphalt. The second leg of the exciting KTM-equipped feeder series occurred in dry conditions and it was the turn of Maximo Quiles to own proceedings. Angel Piqueras was second by less than two tenths of a second and still leads the championship and by a healthy margin with just three rounds (six outings) remaining.
Results Moto3 Gran Premio d’Italia Oakley
1. Daniel Holgado (ESP) Red Bull KTM Tech3 33:27.315
2. Deniz Öncü (TUR) Red Bull KTM Ajo +0.051
3. Ayumu Sasaki (JPN) Husqvarna +0.056
14. Jose Rueda (ESP) Red Bull KTM Ajo +15.701
DNF. Filippo Farioli (ITA) Red Bull KTM Tech3
World championship standings Moto3
1. Daniel Holgado (ESP) Red Bull KTM Tech3, 109 points
2. Jaume Masia (ESP) Honda, 74
3. Ivan Ortola (ESP) KTM, 68
6. Deniz Öncü (TUR) Red Bull KTM Ajo, 53
9. Jose Rueda (ESP) Red Bull KTM Ajo, 39
25. Filippo Farioli (ITA) Red Bull KTM Tech3, 2
Results Moto2 Gran Premio d’Italia Oakley
1. Pedro Acosta (ESP) Red Bull KTM Ajo 35:38.328
2. Tony Arbolino (ITA) +6.194
3. Jake Dixon (GBR) +8.582
DNF. Albert Arenas (ESP) Red Bull KTM Ajo
World championship standings Moto2
1. Tony Arbolino (ITA), 119 points
2. Pedro Acosta (ESP) Red Bull KTM Ajo, 99
3. Alonso Lopez (ESP), 71
13. Albert Arenas (ESP) Red Bull KTM Ajo, 27