Red Bull KTM Factory Racing showed the versatility and competitiveness of the RC16 as Jack Miller powered to 3rd position in sunny conditions around the relentless corners of Sachsenring for the Motorrad Grand Prix Deutschland Sprint on Saturday. Brad Binder was also in the mix, watched by a vast crowd, as the South African recorded 6th place in the 15-lap rush.
The seemingly endless spiral of 13 corners at the Sachsenring offers a short, technical and unique challenge on the MotoGP calendar slate. For the many German MotoGP fans vacant viewing spots were hard to come by on Saturday as the first Sprint and the conventional qualification process got underway with bright skies after a wet start.
Jack Miller, a podium finisher at the venue in 2022, qualified 3rd and on the front row. He made a decent start into Turn 1 and fought with Pecco Bagnaia and Jorge Martin in the opening exchanges. He settled into a comfortable 3rd by mid-race distance. The result is his second top three in the relatively new MotoGP Sprint format.
Brad Binder, who describes the Sachsenring as one of his favorite tracks, set two strong laps at the end of Q1 to make the cut in 1st place. The South African gathered important immediate feeling with slick tires on the drying asphalt and he leapt to the top of the screens early on in Q2. He ended the session in 9th. During the Sprint he was mired in a very tight pursuit of 4th and tried every line and possibility to make a pass but on the final lap he was just pipped to 5th and earned four points for 6th.
The 15-lap MotoGP Sprint will be doubled in length for the full Grand Prix distance tomorrow; a contest that will begin at 14.00 CEST.
Jack Miller, 3rd in qualification, 3rd in the Sprint: “The bike is a rocket off the line! It was good because I had a bit of a mind blank but she carried me into a decent start. I could battle with the boys for a while and was really fast in the first two sectors of the lap but I missed a bit down the hill. We’ve got some homework to do tonight but we hope to be back here [on the podium] tomorrow. We got some decent information and I think we were being kind to the tire today. Just another 15 laps to go tomorrow!”
Brad Binder, 9th in qualification, 6th in the Sprint: “A bit of a tough race today. I had a lot of wheelspin when the bike was upright and that made life hard. Otherwise, everything was OK! I struggled to get past Marini. I tried everything I could but I was just smoking the tire. We know what to fix and I think we’re in a great place for the race tomorrow.”
Francesco Guidotti, Red Bull KTM Factory Racing Team Manager: “A nice Saturday. Jack was on the front row and Brad was super in Q1 to go out on a slick tire in damp patchy conditions. The Sprint was exciting: Jack led some laps and took a solid 3rd place and unfortunately Brad was stuck in group and couldn’t move forward. He had contact on the last lap and lost 5th position by a few hundredths of a second. Overall, a positive Saturday because we were fighting where we want to be every week. We’ll try to give the riders an even better bike for tomorrow and we’ll see what else we can achieve.”