Red Bull KTM Factory Racing mixed the rough with the smooth for the first two days of the British Grand Prix and the event that brought the series back to speed after a month’s hiatus. Jack Miller and Brad Binder both achieved Q2 entry during a fast dry Friday and then Miller splashed to the front row with P2 in qualification during the deluge of rain on Saturday. The soggy 10-lap Sprint saw the Australian and the South African finish 7th and 9th.
A freak summer UK storm brought varying conditions at round nine of twenty in 2023 MotoGP: chilly but dry on Friday to soaking wet on Saturday for qualification and the ninth Sprint of the year. Silverstone swung wildly in its technical challenge and the fast, 18-corner and 5.6km length layout tested the teams and riders immensely in terms of traction and versatility of performance in the changing climate.
Red Bull KTM started the British Grand Prix in a formidable vein. Jack Miller slid his way into Q2 during Friday and Brad Binder was consistently competitive near the top of the time sheets. Both riders managed direct Q2 entry Friday afternoon and then braced themselves for the rain on Saturday that slowed the pace and created a lottery in terms of grip and precision. Miller dispersed the water to eye Pole Position and was only outdone by two tenths of a second. Binder was further back in 10th.
The Sprint was a cagey and cautious affair. The track began to dry as the worst of the rain disappeared. Miller started rapidly, briefly led and then had to administer the rest of the distance; crossing the line in 7th for more Saturday points. Binder circulated in the latter half of the top ten after catching up from a miscued start. He ensured he made the flag and was the final points-scorer in 9th.
MotoGP will run the full 20-lap distance on Sunday and at the usual CEST time of 14.00 (13.00 local). The weather forecast is for significantly drier skies.
Jack Miller, 2nd in qualification, 7th in the Sprint: “I felt mega this morning in the wet but the Sprint was a bit different and we missed grip, pure and simple. I did my best to stay with the guys but this is still a new bike for me and we haven’t had many of these half-wet, half-dry conditions this year. So, the big change we make in the set-up between the two means we’re still learning where to meet in the middle. Anyway, we stayed on the bike and were semi-competitive. The positive thing is that the bike still gives a good feeling and I never felt out of control. We have another front row start for tomorrow’s Grand Prix and we’ll be ready whatever the conditions.”
Brad Binder, 10th in qualification, 9th in the Sprint: “I kept spinning when I released the clutch on the grid and was almost last when I went into Turn 1. I cooked the tire in the first laps as I pushed to come back but I didn’t really give myself any other option. We struggled with overheating the tire and laying down some traction but we learned for the future in the wet. I hope it is dry tomorrow because I had a great feeling here yesterday. I think tomorrow will be a lot more interesting.”
Francesco Guidotti, Red Bull KTM Factory Racing Team Manager: “A pretty good start to the second part of the season here in Silverstone with both riders direct to Q2. We had good feelings, good grip and good confidence in the wet in the morning and were ready to attack. Unfortunately, the conditions then changed quite a lot and we couldn’t quite get the set-up on-point to provide the right grip for our riders. Brad had an unusually bad start and Jack could not profit from his front row start so the Sprint was a bit frustrating from the potential we showed up until that moment. We have another chance tomorrow!”
- From KTM Factory Racing