MotoGP 2021 – Round 02 of 19, Losail (QAT) – Race
Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Brad Binder regained a fantastic ten positions to classify 8th at the Grand Prix of Doha and the second round of the 2021 MotoGP series. The performance and result rounded-off a challenging term for KTM at the Losail international Circuit in positive fashion.
– Binder charges from 18th on the grid to 8th place after tire choice gamble.
– The South African posts new highest classification for the RC16 after only 5 GPs at Losail.
– Oliveira, 9 seconds from the winner, earns final point in closest top 15 result ever.
The wind continued to blow and the dust plumed across the flat and floodit Losail International Circuit as the MotoGP teams returned to speed for the second dose of action in Qatar. Both Red Bull KTM Factory Racing and Tech3 KTM Factory Racing had another chance to improve the set-up of the RC16 for what was the fifth GP – and in only four years – for the factory at the venue.
Brad Binder: “Much happier, especially to have finished in the top ten today at least. Things were really difficult for us here in Qatar. When I arrived at the track this morning I said to myself ‘whatever the situation, I don’t care, I am just going to give my best every single lap’ and instead of trying to chase something that was a little bit out of reach I just tried to do what I could each lap and in the race it seemed to pay off. I’m really happy to have made up ten spots today.”
Miguel Oliveira: “It was a good start to the race but coming into the first lap already my dashboard went blank and the hardest thing for me to manage was the shifting points. We also needed to understand how to get more agility in order to defend our position better but we had a good step forward here in Qatar. We learnt even more about the bike and now we start the European rounds with even more motivation to improve.”
Danilo Petrucci: “It was a very difficult race. I didn’t start badly but I was too slow on the first lap and was not able to stay with the big group in front of me. By the middle of the race it was OK. But I never had a really good feeling to push. I struggled a lot with the front and rear grip.Then, we lost a lot on the main straight, so I couldn’t defend myself. I thought to be faster but in the middle of the race I couldn’t pass the rider in front of me. Still, we gained some experience and collected some data, so we are looking forward to the next race.”
Iker Lecuona: “First, I have to say sorry to my team and then I also have to say ‘thank you’ to them. We struggled a lot during this weekend but we finally tried something on the bike, which made me feel better and a lot more confident. We knew we could fight for the points. In the race, I did always 55’s low, I passed many riders and caught the group in front of me. But then, I suddenly lost the front. I eventually felt really confident with the bike and felt very fast. I need to take this to Portimao.”
MotoGP finally escapes the rigors of Losail and Qatar and will fly back to Europe for a well-earned break. The spectacular challenge of the Algarve International Circuit will restart the series for round three in a fortnight for the Grande Premio 888 de Portugal: Miguel Oliveira’s home race and where he convincingly took the RC16 to victory last November.