KTM had a disappointing weekend at the Algarve Grand Prix in Portimao. The four KTM riders already struggled to set competitive lap times on Friday. In the race, the KTM drivers then stood in each other’s way.
Shortly after takeoff, Brad Binder and Tech 3 pilot Danilo Petrucci clashed. Two laps before the end of the race, Miguel Oliveira was brought down by fellow driver Iker Lecuona.
After the collision between Lecuona and Oliveira in turn 13, the race management stopped the race. Oliveira was taken to the hospital for an examination. How did the fall come about? “When I tried to overtake him, I lost the front on a bump and couldn’t prevent the fall,” explains Lecuona.
“I crashed and my motorcycle hit him. I apologized to Miguel and asked if he was okay. He said I shouldn’t worry,” said the young Tech 3 rider, who was on the penultimate weekend of the season was fast, but went to work a little impetuously.
Was Iker Lecuona too hot-headed after the strong warm-up?
Lecuona had already strayed from the line at Turn 1 and lost many positions. After third place in the warm-up, had the Spaniard planned too much? “In the morning I felt really good. I had a good feeling all weekend. But in the race I had problems delaying the bike,” reports Lecuona.
“After ten laps I had problems with the front. I locked the front wheel very often and barely prevented falls three or four times – at Turn 5, Turn 1 and Turn 13. I had major problems with the front tire. We went to the first Sometimes a lot of laps with the hard rear tire and the medium front tire, “notes the Tech 3 driver.
“At the same time, I felt confident about making it into the top 10. I lost contact with the top through a few mistakes, but I knew that I could get a good result. I dueled with Miguel, but also with Brad and Bastianini.” , reports Lecuona, who lost a possible top 10 finish due to the fall.
Brad Binder brings down Danilo Petrucci
For Tech 3 teammate Danilo Petrucci, the Algarve Grand Prix was over after four corners. Brand colleague Brad Binder, of all people, was responsible for the failure. “It is the second time in a row and the fourth time this season that I was pulled out of the race by another driver,” said Petrucci. “It’s not my year.”
Binder hadn’t noticed that the contact with Petrucci had consequences. “I only found out after the race that we collided at Turn 4. I didn’t notice. My former crew chief, who is now Danilo’s crew chief, told me that Danilo had crashed because of me,” commented the two-time MotoGP Run winner.
“I didn’t notice. I only felt a slight contact in Turn 4, but didn’t know what happened. I’m very sorry for Petrucci that he crashed. That wasn’t my intention,” emphasizes Binder.
It is little consolation to Petrucci. The Italian will drive his last MotoGP race this weekend. “I was thinking about not doing a good qualifying because I had good qualifying sessions on the past two weekends. For me it might be better to start from the back row. Then I can overtake other drivers and I won’t get driven off the bike “he jokes.
“No, kidding aside, I’m really disappointed because it was one of our best weekends this season. The circuit is a lot of fun with the MotoGP machine and I wanted to enjoy the race. In Valencia I want to stay out of everything, but this I always try, “says Petrucci.
Only a KTM makes it into the ranking
After the cancellation, Brad Binder was rated tenth and was the only KTM rider to appear in the ranking. “It was a really difficult day. But we were able to take a good step from Saturday to Sunday. My feeling was much better,” explains Binder.
“It was difficult for me at the beginning of the race to be consistent,” reports the KTM works driver. “During the weekend it was generally difficult for me to put together solid lap times. Towards the end of the race I was able to improve. I drove my fastest lap on lap 19. This lap was faster than my lap in qualifying,” the South African marveled.
Binder had similar problems in the race as Lecuona. “I found it difficult to slow down the bike. The front tire was at the limit for the entire race. So it was difficult to drive precisely,” said the former Moto3 world champion.