Brad Binder was the top Red Bull KTM RC16 finisher after 23 challenging laps of the MotorLand Aragón circuit for the Gran Premio Michelin de Aragón. The South African classified 11th just ahead of his teammate Pol Espargaro. KTM celebrated podium presence in both the Moto3™ and Moto2™ categories.
A chilly autumn climate in Aragón greeted the tenth round of 2020 MotoGP. Cold winds and low temperatures forced the Grand Prix schedule to be moved later in the day and to suit the safe operating range of the Michelin tires. The search for grip and consideration of tire wear were the two pressing issues for the Red Bull KTM contingent for the fourth outing on Spanish asphalt this season.
Pol Espargaro was joined by teammate Brad Binder and the Red Bull KTM Tech3 RC16s of Iker Lecuona and Miguel Oliveira as the quartet circulated on the fringes of the top ten for large stretches of the race. Espargaro was overtaken by Binder in the final phases and the South African won the chase to 11th by only three tenths of a second. Behind Espargaro in 12th Lecuona passed the checkered flag in 14th for the rookie’s sixth points-score in the last seven rounds. Oliveira was 16th.
Espargaro is 9th in the world championship standings with Oliveira 10th and Binder 11th.
Brad Binder: “A challenging weekend in general. We had some good sessions but also some where it did not really work out for us. The whole team worked really hard and we tried different things but we couldn’t find the solution. Today I rode my best and tried my hardest from lap one until the end. It was easy to fold the front end today and we lacked some feeling there. It was hard to stay calm and not over-attack the corners. We’ve got the whole week to analyze and come back stronger next weekend.”
Pol Espargaro: “It wasn’t an easy day. We already had a tough job from the grid and on the first laps other riders were touching each other and bits of bikes were flying around! I lost a few positions and was stuck behind some guys but didn’t really have the whole package performing as I needed to today. It’s disappointing but we know we need to work and come up with some ideas to be better for next weekend. We have another chance here at MotorLand and we’ll push for much more.”
Iker Lecuona: “I’m honestly really happy. This morning in warm wp I felt good and had a decent pace, so I knew it would be possible to fight close to the top 10. I lost some positions in the first laps of the race and it was very difficult to manage but later I was behind Miguel for many laps and tried so save my tires for the end of the race. It was a good idea, as Miguel pushed a lot and we could reduce the gap to the front. Finally, I passed him and pushed with this extra grip. I’m very satisfied with my race, as it was very consistent and strong.”
Miguel Oliveira: “It was a tough race. At least I felt competitive in the first half. Later it was quite difficult for me to manage the tire. I finished it quite quick and started to lose time. For sure, I think our potential to improve is quite high. So, we will try to focus on that and just do our best for next weekend.”
Mike Leitner, Red Bull KTM Race Manager: “Firstly the positive aspect of today is that we had three riders in the points but, generally, we’re not so happy because we didn’t make the top ten and we could not make the most of the tires. We need to put our heads together to make better results and get better performance next weekend.”
Moto2 & Moto3
A pulsating Moto3 race saw seven riders split by just three tenths of a second at the after 19 action-packed laps. Darryn Binder pushed his KTM RC4 into 2nd place and was followed by
Red Bull KTM Ajo’s Raul Fernandez. The Spaniard launched from Pole Position for the fourth time in 2020 and finally grasped his first ever career podium finish as the 18-year old captured 3rd. Fellow KTM RC4 rider Albert Arenas was 7th but continues to lead the world championship standings.
Jorge Martin blasted back to the podium in Moto2 after his duel with Enea Bastianini saw the Spaniard make sure of 3rd spot in Aragon. It was the Red Bull KTM Ajo rider’s fifth trophy of 2020. Teammate Tetsuta Nagashima managed a top ten classification with 9th.
In the sixth round of the 2020 Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup Pedro Acosta was unbeatable once more. The young Spaniard added another 25 points to his formidable championship lead.
MotoGP will circulate MotorLand once more for the Gran Premio Liqui Moly de Teruel on October 25th.
Results MotoGP Gran Premio Michelin de Aragón 2020
1. Alex Rins (ESP), Suzuki 41:54.391
2. Alex Marquez (ESP), Honda +0.263
3. Joan Mir (ESP), Suzuki +2.644
4. Maverick Viñales (ESP) Yamaha +2.880
5. Takaaki Nakagami (JPN) Honda +4.570
11. Brad Binder (RSA), Red Bull KTM Factory Racing +13.200
12. Pol Espargaro (ESP), Red Bull KTM Factory Racing +13.689
14. Iker Lecuona (ESP), Red Bull KTM Tech3 +15.291
16. Miguel Oliveira (POR), Red Bull KTM Tech3 +18.284
Results Moto2 Gran Premio Michelin de Aragón 2020
1. Sam Lowes (GBR) 39:33.202
2. Enea Bastianini (ITA) +4.195
3. Jorge Martin (ESP) Red Bull KTM Ajo +4.340
9. Tetsuta Nagashima (JPN) Red Bull KTM Ajo +19.000
Results Moto3 Gran Premio Michelin de Aragón 2020
1. Jaume Masia (ESP) Honda 37:45.009
2. Darryn Binder (RSA) KTM +0.091
3. Raul Fernandez (ESP) Red Bull KTM Ajo +0.196