MotoGP 2022 - Round 19 of 20, Sepang International Circuit - Qualification
20 intense and simmering laps of the Sepang International Circuit will begin tomorrow with Red Bull KTM Factory Racing launching from the fifth row for what will be the penultimate round of the 2022 season. KTM were also sizzling through Moto3 and Moto2 classes in Malaysia with spots on the second line of each respective grid.
- Binder tops Free Practice on Friday and is less than two tenths of a second from Q2
- Miguel Oliveira to start from 19th place on Sunday
- Remy Gardner is the last rider to dip under the two-minute lap-time mark and is 20th with Tech3 KTM Factory Racing teammate Raul Fernandez in 22nd
- Two Red Bull KTM Ajo representatives on the second row of the Moto3™ grid
- Augusto Fernandez rides to P6 in Moto2™
The Petronas Grand Prix of Malaysia gave MotoGP another consecutive weekend of racing and marked the final date of a four-event continental swing. The 20-round calendar is drawing to a close with only fixtures in Malaysia and Spain left to run and the stuffy temperatures and unstable climate of Sepang was the stage for the first Grand Prix in the country since 2019.
After a decent recovery in Australia the previous week, Red Bull KTM started on a stronger footing at the track south of the capital city of Kuala Lumpur. Brad Binder was fastest in Free Practice 1 and when the rain fell before FP2 the South African was able to maintain his top position on Friday. Binder held a top ten slot in FP3 but was narrowly nudged out of Q2 contention with teammate Miguel Oliveira also not far away from the cut.
Race pace and set-up looked promising for the duo in FP4 but it was Binder who was the more proactive in Q1 and his best attempt almost allowed him to glide through to Q2; just two tenths of a second was the divider and #33 was less than half a second from the peak of the time sheets. Oliveira was 9th in the session which meant 19th for the grid.
Tech3 KTM Factory Racing watched Remy Gardner lap to 20th place and Raul Fernandez was 22nd fastest. The two rookies for 2022 at least had previous experience of Sepang on the KTM RC16 thanks to their shakedown testing laps at the site at the beginning of the year.
For the Central European audience, the Moto3 race will begin at 06.00 with Moto2 at 07.20 and MotoGP at 09.00.
Brad Binder: “It’s a pity not to enter Q2 but we don’t quite have the speed of the other guys over one lap. I gave my best in Q1 but it has been another learning experience for us and we know where we need to improve. Our race pace is not too bad so we’ll have to go again tomorrow and the key will be to keep as consistent as possible and that means we’ll be strong at the end of the race.”
Miguel Oliveira: “Not a satisfying day. We found a few changes that seem to work in FP4 but with a new tire in qualifying we had a strange vibration on the front and we couldn’t change it. So it limited what we could do in the session. We are missing some grip and we will see what we can find in the warm-up but the comeback tomorrow depends on the physical condition; it will be a long tough race.”
Remy Gardner:“Today was a bit crazy. I went down twice. I tried the hard front tire and didn’t like it and then struggled in Turn 8 with the bumps. I rode pretty well and I’m just two tenths away from Miguel and I did the best I could. We’ll try and finish tomorrow. It’s really hot out there!”
Raul Fernandez: “A tough day and pretty difficult to handle after knowing our feeling here from the test. The team worked well and KTM gave me everything I needed but I had to think too much while riding the bike; in terms of pace and the one-lap speed I was too slow. We’ll have to see for tomorrow.”
KTM GP Academy
1st place on the Moto3 grid was secured by Dennis Foggia on Saturday afternoon. As in Japan, Thailand and Australia, a great deal of the Moto3 contingent were making serious races laps of the wide Sepang layout for the first time but it was Red Bull KTM Ajo pair Jaume Masia and Daniel Holgado whom stood out from the KTM runners as the Spaniards rode to 4th and 5th respectively with their KTM RC4. Red Bull KTM Tech3’s duo Adrian Fernandez and Deniz Öncü could not escape Q1 and will sit 19th and 25th on the grid.
Moto2 Pole Position was snared by Ai Ogura. Red Bull KTM Ajo’s Augusto Fernandez was on a mission in Malaysia as the Spaniard went 1st, 5th, 4th in Free Practice and then rode to 6th, just three tenths of a second away from his Japanese rival in Q2. Teammate Pedro Acosta tasted the Malaysian asphalt in FP3 but was typically quick in qualification and took 8th place on the grid.
Results Qualifying MotoGPPetronas Grand Prix of Malaysia
1. Jorge Martin (ESP) Ducati 1:57.790
2. Enea Bastianini (ITA) Ducati +0.456
3. Marc Marquez (ESP) Honda +0.664
4. Marco Bezzecchi (ITA) Ducati +0.700
5. Alex Rins (ESP) Suzuki +0.785
13. Brad Binder (RSA) Red Bull KTM Factory Racing (Q1) 1:59:053
19. Miguel Oliveira (POR) Red Bull KTM Factory Racing (Q1) 1:59.699
20. Remy Gardner (AUS) Tech3 KTM Factory Racing (Q1) 1:59.803
22. Raul Fernandez (ESP) Tech3 KTM Factory Racing (Q1) 2:00.077
Results Qualifying Moto2 Petronas Grand Prix of Malaysia
1. Ai Ogura (JPN) 2:06.405
2. Tony Arbolino (ITA) +0.083
3. Aron Canet (ESP) +0.247
6. Augusto Fernandez (ESP) Red Bull KTM Ajo +0.333
8. Pedro Acosta (ESP) Red Bull KTM Ajo +0.529
Results Qualifying Moto3 Petronas Grand Prix of Malaysia
1. Dennis Foggia (ITA) Honda 21:11.411
2. Izan Guevara (ESP) GASGAS +0.224
3. Sergio Garcia (ESP) GASGAS +0.263
4. Jaume Masia (ESP) Red Bull KTM Ajo +0.340
5. Daniel Holgado (ESP) Red Bull KTM Ajo +0.425
19. Adrian Fernandez (ESP) Red Bull KTM Tech3 (Q1) 2:12.909
25. Deniz Öncü (TUR) Red Bull KTM Tech3 (Q1) 2:13.444
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