MotoGP 2023 - Round 1 of 21, Algarve International Circuit – Qualification and Sprint
The highlight of the first day of MotoGP qualification and the first ever ‘Sprint’ was Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Jack Miller taking 5th position at a warm and sunny Algarve International Circuit. The first Saturday of the 2023 season was a hectic one with qualifying followed by the 12-lap Sprint in which the Australian led and finally finished 4th at the Grande Premio TISSOT de Portugal.
- Jack Miller and Brad Binder end qualification with 5th and 15th positions on the grid respectively
- The Australian and South African score 4th and 12th in the short and intense Sprint with the KTM RC16s
- Miller shatters the lap-record on Friday during Practice 2 and goes quicker on Saturday
- Jose Rueda 2nd fastest in Moto3™ and Pedro Acosta on the front row for Moto2™
Jack Miller smashed the lap record by one second during Practice 2 on Friday to head into Q2 as the top ranked rider. He then went faster again but was denied a third fantastic flyer at Pole Position by a slow speed crash at Turn 3. Miller will start the Grand Prix race from 5th and the middle of the second row. Brad Binder was dealing with a stiff neck and shoulder but logged a lap-time good enough to be 15th fastest after Q1 and less than a second from Pole Position.
At 3pm Red Bull KTM Factory Racing lined-up for the first ever MotoGP Sprint: 12 laps of intense action with world championship points at stake and early bragging rights. Miller and Binder filled their grid slots and went full-gas. Miller harnessed all the grip of his soft tire selection and moved up from the fringe of the top five to lead with a thrilling move at Turn 13. He couldn’t quite keep Marc Marquez at bay and took 4th by the checkered flag. Binder was on the edge of the top ten after being bustled in the opening corners and was pipped to the line, eventually taking 12th.
The team and riders will now reset and review their configuration for the full-length 25-lap Grand Prix on Sunday at 14.00 GMT.
Jack Miller, 5th in qualification, 4th in the Sprint: “I was a bit nervous and didn’t know what to expect but it’s safe to say the first Sprint was a success. We threw our nose into the lead there for a little bit. I enjoyed that race a lot. The team and the engineers have been working tirelessly. I’m not a good test rider: I’m a racer! I enjoy risking when it’s worth it. We’ve made some big improvements and we’re showing some potential. It’s been a progression and every time we go out it’s getting better and better. More and more seat time is really helping me. We will have a different strategy for tomorrow and hopefully we can make that work.”
Brad Binder, 15th in qualification, 12th in the Sprint: “The Sprint was a lot of fun. It was pretty wild and I was hung out to dry by other riders on the first lap and that cost me a lot of time. This weekend hasn’t been easy for me so far but I know what I need to do: I have to get fit again because I have been really struggling with my neck and shoulder on the bike. I’ll try and do a good job tomorrow and get some valuable points.”
Francesco Guidotti, Red Bull KTM Factory Racing Team Manager: “A great Friday that allowed Jack to get to Q2 directly with the lap-record. Unfortunately, we know Brad is not in the best condition and we need to give him time to come back to his best level. Jack started well from the second row and fought for the podium until the end of the race: It was a good start of the season and a very good Sprint. It was strange for us to be on the grid on Saturday afternoon and we are trying to extract as much information as possible to see if we can use data for the Sunday race. We will see how this goes, but, I’m sure all the fans enjoyed this extra show! We’ll see what we can do tomorrow.”
Grande Premio TISSOT de Portugal photographs can be found HERE
Results Qualifying MotoGP Grande Premio TISSOT de Portugal
1. Marc Marquez (ESP) Honda 1:37.226
2. Francesco Bagnaia (ITA) Ducati +0.064
3. Jorge Martin (ESP) Ducati +0.228
5. Jack Miller (AUS) Red Bull KTM Factory Racing +0.323
15. Brad Binder (RSA) Red Bull KTM Factory Racing +0.879
Results MotoGP Sprint Grande Premio TISSOT de Portugal
1. Francesco Bagnaia (ITA) Ducati 19:52.862
2. Jorge Martin (ESP) Ducati +0.307
3. Marc Marquez (ESP) Honda +1.517
4. Jack Miller (AUS) Red Bull KTM Factory Racing +1.603
12. Brad Binder (RSA) Red Bull KTM Factory Racing +8.384
KTM GP Academy
The top-ranked KTM RC4 in the Moto3 class was ridden by Red Bull KTM Ajo’s Jose Rueda in 2nd place after Q2. The teenager was less than four tenths away from the Ayumu Sasaki’s Pole Position and narrowly ahead of brandmate Daniel Holgado; the Spaniard took his Red Bull KTM Tech3 RC4 to 4th position. Rueda’s teammate Deniz Öncü was inside the top ten in 8th while Filippo Farioli negotiated his first Q1 outing with 21st.
The Moto2 class saw Red Bull KTM Ajo’s Pedro Acosta regularly placed at the very top of the timing screens. The young Spaniard then emerged from Q2 on the front row and full of promise for the first Grand Prix of only his second term in the class. New teammate Albert Arenas was four positions further back, in 7th, but only half a second from Pole Position.
Spain’s Angel Piqueras seized the first waved flag of the 2023 Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup ahead of countryman Alvaro Carpe and then Finland’s Rico Salmela in 3rd.
Results Qualifying Moto2 Grande Premio TISSOT de Portugal
1. Filip Salac (CZE) 1:42.323
2. Aron Canet (ESP) +0.058
3. Pedro Acosta (ESP) Red Bull KTM Ajo +0.284
7. Albert Arenas (ESP) Red Bull KTM Ajo +0.544
Results Qualifying Moto3 Grande Premio TISSOT de Portugal
1. Ayumu Sasaki (JPN) Husqvarna 1:46.798
2. Jose Rueda (ESP) Red Bull KTM Ajo +0.374
3. Joel Kelso (AUS) CFMOTO +0.450
4. Daniel Holgado (ESP) Red Bull KTM Tech3 +0.614
8. Deniz Öncü (TUR) Red Bull KTM Ajo +0.763
21. Filippo Farioli (ITA) Red Bull KTM Tech3 +1.816
PR Specialist MotoGP
M: +43 676 7654200