Red Bull KTM Factory Racing clocked a double top ten result at the Liqui Moly Motorrad Grand Prix Deutschland and in front of a sell-out crowd packed into the sunny Sachsenring. The tenth round of the MotoGP world championship saw Brad Binder finish 7th and Miguel Oliveira 9th as all KTM RC16 riders grabbed points in Germany.
The gradients and varying curves of the Sachsenring welcomed back MotoGP fans for the first time since 2019 and hot summer weather forged a memorable 24th visit to the circuit located a short distance west of Dresden and Chemnitz. The grandstands and banking were loaded with 232,000 appreciative spectators for the latest episode of the unpredictable racing series.
The short 3.7km layout produced incredibly close lap-times with up to 20 riders separated by less than a second in Free Practice. Red Bull KTM Factory Racing filled slots on the fifth row of the grid while Tech3 KTM Factory Racing began Sunday’s affair from slightly further back. The 30 circulations represented the highest quantity of laps at any track this season and the tight nature of Sachsenring meant that overtaking was a tricky task. A decent start was essential and in this respect Binder gained three positions on the first lap. The South African then kept pushing through the field. In the early stages he had Miguel Oliveira for company.
Air temperatures breached 30 degrees and created demanding conditions for the riders but also the machinery. Binder progressed up to 7th and was just seven seconds away from the podium. It was his fourth consecutive top ten. Oliveira was 9th and comfortably ahead of 2022 race victor Enea Bastianini. Raul Fernandez had a decent outing to move into the first half of the leaderboard and to then up to 12th for his best MotoGP ranking yet. Remy Gardner was only a tenth of a second away from seizing 14th and ended-up with one MotoGP point.
Binder is 5th in the Riders world championship while Oliveira is 10th. Red Bull KTM Factory Racing sit 5th from 12 in the Teams championship standings and KTM are 4th in the Manufacturers’ table.
From one historic circuit to another: MotoGP next attempts the fast and flowing layout of the TT Circuit Assen in the Netherlands for round eleven next weekend.
Brad Binder: “It’s a been a long weekend for us here. He tried to be competitive over one lap but it’s been really difficult to get in the top ten. In Warm-up this morning I managed to push all the way consistently and could find my pace and all my marks. My goal today was to make sure I finished the race so I’m happy that I could give all I have. We take home a 7th and I expected better at one point but I didn’t have anything left with the rear tire. We just have to keep working. Next week at Assen is a completely different track with different conditions. I hope it will suit us better.”
Miguel Oliveira: “The race was hot, difficult and super-long. We didn’t get the best start and I think that limited the result by the end. The day was determined by missing out on Q2; that was the weekend there. We showed a lot of speed in terms of race pace but couldn’t quite replicate it for the position that we want. We leave Sachsenring with another 9th place. Consistent but not a place to be super-happy about.”
Raul Fernandez: “My best race yet and I felt like a kid out there. I felt like I did in Moto2 last year. We made a small change on the bike but it worked. I could ride easier and freer. I think this will help us at the next race in Assen as well. It was very hard physically because of the temperatures: from the bike, the air and the bikes in front but we pushed through and I’m really satisfied.”
Remy Gardner: “I am a bit disappointed with today’s race. We had a bad start and I found myself last at the end of the first lap so I had to battle it out to catch up, which means that I used my rear tire faster than planned. It was so hot today so it was tough physically as well. I think that I held on pretty well, I was just unable to go fast. We will analyze what happened and not make the same mistakes in the future.”
Francesco Guidotti, Red Bull KTM Team Manager: “Once again we missed Q2 by the smallest of margins and we knew how much that would affect our race, especially here where it is harder to regain positions on the start due to the short straight. We couldn’t use our power like we did in Mugello and Barcelona. We know this circuit is also hard for overtaking so all four riders were very brave. The bike is working well, we just need to be faster in qualifying for that better grid position and to play in the leading group. Our race pace was there. We still need to develop some parts of the bike where we know we can improve. It was a constant and solid race but not where we want to be. Considering the qualifying though we have to be pretty happy.”
Results MotoGP Liqui Moly Motorrad Grand Prix Deutschland
1. Fabio Quartararo (FRA), Yamaha 41:12.816
2. Johann Zarco (FRA), Ducati +4.939
3. Jack Miller (AUS) Ducati +8.372
4. Aleix Espargaro (ESP), Aprilia +9.113
5. Luca Marini (ITA) Ducati +11.679
7. Brad Binder (RSA), Red Bull KTM Factory Racing +15.405
9. Miguel Oliveira (POR), Red Bull KTM Factory Racing +19.740
12. Raul Fernandez (ESP), Tech3 KTM Factory Racing +26.548
15. Remy Gardner (AUS), Tech3 KTM Factory Racing +30.812