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“It definitely started off a lot better than last year so that’s positive,” begins Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Ajo) as he first debriefs the first race of the year. The South African, who began his rookie Moto2™ campaign in 2017 injured and endured a long recovery, came sixth at the season opener a year on – up from a tough rookie debut in P20 with a broken arm. Binder has more positive things to say, too – but both he and teammate Miguel Oliveira found the conditions each evening more difficult. “The whole weekend I’ve felt really good, really strong. But the colder it got, the more I seemed to struggle with grip - and in the race it was pretty much the same.”
The unique race weekend at Losail – with the first sessions each day taking place in the desert heat and the latter track time after sunset – makes for different conditions. That, Binder says, made a big difference for KTM.
“In Warm Up, FP1 and FP3 I felt really strong. I think maybe the conditions weren’t perfect for our bike, all of us were more or less struggling to find grip. From now on I think we just have to look forward to Argentina and try again there.”
Argentina, Binder affirms, will suit their bike more – and the conditions are sure to be very different to those at Losail.
“Last year I really enjoyed it and the track’s awesome,” the 2016 Moto3™ Champion says of Termas de Rio Hondo. “Going in there I feel quite good, and it’s a track I enjoy which always makes it better. And I think it will suit our bike a lot more than this track.”
Looking to pick up where they left off last year, will the Argentina GP see Binder and Oliveira fighting for the win? The South African came ninth last season, and with a broken arm not yet healed. See how he does this year from April 6th to 8th.
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