KTM will count on two RC16s within the first three rows of the start grid for the Gran Premio Oakley D’Italia and the first of four rounds of MotoGP in the next five weeks. Brad Binder was the quickest of the Red Bull KTM Factory Racing and Tech3 KTM Factory Racing quartet at a warm Mugello.
The glorious setting and the sweeping corners of the Autodromo del Mugello made a welcome return to MotoGP after missing the calendar in 2020. The fast 5.2km layout staged its 35th Grand Prix for what is round six of the 2021 contest and counted on warm and dry late spring conditions.
The Red Bull KTM Factory Racing and Tech3 KTM Factory Racing teams got straight to work optimizing the setting of the KTM RC16 to best suit the 15 turns of varying gradients and speed.
Brad Binder and teammate Miguel Oliveira were consistently hitting lap-times near the top of the leaderboard of the Free Practice sessions and also around the peak of the speed traps along the vast 1.1km straight. During FP3 on Saturday morning Brad equaled the fastest recorded figure in MotoGP history when his #33 KTM RC16 was clocked at 362.4 kmph.
The South African advanced directly to Q2. Brad reached as high as 3rd and was in contention for a front row slot until he rested in 6th for his highest qualification placing this season so far, just half a second from Pole Position.
The 23 laps and 120km of the Italian Grand Prix will begin at 14.00 CET on Sunday.
“I felt fast and I’m really happy to qualify 6th. I’ve been missing a decent qualification this season so far. The weekend has been going well and when I put in a soft tire I always seem to be able to find a decent lap-time. I couldn’t quite make the perfect lap today but I’m excited with the speed I have and to see what we can do in the race.”
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