The Gran Premio Michelin de la Republica Argentina provided swift momentum and a small landmark for Red Bull KTM Factory Racing. On Sunday Jack Miller and Brad Binder rode to 6th and 17th positions just twenty-four hours after Binder had steered the KTM RC16 to victory in the second MotoGP Sprint.
Termas de Rio Hondo dawned wet and dark for the second Grand Prix of the year and after giving MotoGP teams and riders their first taste of mixed conditions through Saturday’s busy event agenda of qualifying and the Tissot Sprint. Brad Binder’s aggressive and brilliant win on Saturday afternoon was typically battling while also full of promise at the same time.
On Sunday the 25-lap full distance Grand Prix gave the South African and Jack Miller (setting off from 15th and 16th on the grid respectively) another chance to chase points and further definition of the race bike package for the long season ahead. Miller rode well to rise from the sixth row of the grid and slid into the contest for the top five. He then fought closely with Fabio Quartararo and succeeded in keeping the former world champion at bay to make sure of 6th. Binder was not able to replicate his first lap prowess from Saturday and his tumble on the first lap after contact with another rider meant a long ride to 17th.
Miller has 25 points and is 6th in the standings, just 10 away from the top three. Binder is close behind in 8th. The Red Bull Grand Prix of the Americas at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas gathers the paddock together for round three on April 14-16.
Jack Miller, 6th: “We wanted a bit more from this wet race but I tried my best from the beginning. It was really tricky in the first few laps to find a position and make a few overtakes on the other guys. Just before mid-race I had some clear track and was catching the guys but had a few issues and couldn’t push any more. I played around with the maps and got comfortable to the point where I could make some moves again. A learning day for us. All-in-all a good weekend and we found out a lot more about our package and our potential. We’ll have another go in Austin.”
Brad Binder, 17th: “I was quite excited to have a wet race; it’s been quite a while since we had one. I felt pretty good. Unfortunately at the end of the back straight I had a bit of a connection with someone and the back-end spun around on me. I picked up and restarted and then just tried to ride. If there had been a red flag or some other incident then I would have had another chance. Anyway, we finished the race: it was really tough and super-long! Overall, it was a good weekend with the win yesterday, I’m looking forward to starting again in America.”
Francesco Guidotti, Red Bull KTM Team Manager: “We knew starting from where we were on the grid that the race would be tricky in these conditions: visibility is poor and you cannot attack into the first corner and around the first laps like Brad showed us yesterday. Jack did a great job from 16th. A shame for Brad and the crash; it ended his race so early. Overall, the weekend was good but we started the GP quite far from the best setting. From that point though we worked well and did a positive job.”
Results MotoGP Gran Premio Michelin de la Republica Argentina
1. Marco Bezzecchi (ITA) Ducati 44:28.518
2. Johann Zarco (FRA) Ducati +4.085
3. Alex Marquez (ESP) Ducati +4.681
6. Jack Miller (AUS) Red Bull KTM Factory Racing +10.562
17. Brad Binder (RSA) Red Bull KTM Factory Racing +48.106
World championship standings MotoGP
1. Marco Bezzecchi (ITA) Ducati, 50 points
2. Francesco Bagnaia (ITA) Ducati, 41
3. Johann Zarco (FRA) Ducati, 35
6. Jack Miller (AUS) Red Bull KTM Factory Racing, 25
8. Brad Binder (RSA) Red Bull KTM Factory Racing, 22
KTM GP Academy
KTM’s influence and presence in Moto3 continues to color the class. Red Bull KTM Ajo’s Deniz Öncü was the fastest qualifier with the KTM RC4 and after his top ten in Portugal was hunting a bigger points bounty in Argentina. The Turk was typically positive in the first two laps but slipped out of a small lead and was forced to restart far behind the pack, eventually reaching 24th
Portuguese Grand Prix winner, Red Bull KTM Tech3’s Daniel Holgado, started from the fourth row. The Spaniard was inside the group charging for 2nd and 3rd positions and settled for a solid 4th. The result keeps Dani at the peak of the championship standings. Filippo Farioli and Jose Rueda were discovering Termas de Rio Hondo for the first time and the Italian reached the finish line in 20th while the Spaniard was 23rd.
Pedro Acosta came to Argentina as the Moto2 championship points leader and after a masterful win in Portugal. The Spaniard, who has only raced at Termas de Rio Hondo on one occasion, was close to Pole Position on Saturday and his 5th place on the grid was just two tenths from the best time. The pace again hinted at Acosta’s potential but the treacherously wet conditions for the 14-lap distance meant that he had to take a measured approach. Teammate Albert Arenas also continues to show competitive promise with top ten pace. The Spaniard rode to 9th for another decent points-haul.
Results Moto3 Gran Premio Michelin de la Republica Argentina
1. Tatsuki Suzuki (JPN) Honda 35:18.099
2. Diogo Moreira (BRA) KTM +4.571
3. Andrea Migno (ITA) KTM +4.699
4. Daniel Holgado (ESP) KTM +8.814
20. Filippo Farioli (ITA) Red Bull KTM Tech3 +47.380
23. Jose Rueda (ESP) Red Bull KTM Ajo +56.852
24. Deniz Öncü (TUR) Red Bull KTM Ajo +83.159
World championship standings Moto3
1. Daniel Holgado (ESP) Red Bull KTM Tech3, 38 points
2. Diogo Moreira (BRA) KTM, 36
3. Tatsuki Suzuki (JPN) Honda, 27
9. Jose Rueda (ESP) Red Bull KTM Ajo, 13
16. Deniz Öncü (TUR) Red Bull KTM Ajo, 6
NC. Filippo Farioli (ITA) Red Bull KTM Tech3, 0
Results Moto2 Gran Premio Michelin de la Republica Argentina
1. Tony Arbolino (ITA) 26:.26.606
2. Alonso Lopez (ESP) +0.663
3. Jake Dixon (GBR) GASGAS Aspar Team +1.961
9. Albert Arenas (ESP) Red Bull KTM Ajo +13.649
12. Pedro Acosta (ESP) Red Bull KTM Ajo +16.913
World championship standings Moto2
1. Tony Arbolino (ITA), 41 points
2. Aron Canet (ESP), 33
3. Pedro Acosta (ESP) Red Bull KTM Ajo, 29
10. Albert Arenas (ESP) Red Bull KTM Ajo, 15