Lukas Tulovic starts his comeback race in Austin from P23, Darryn Binder drops out injured
The LIQUI MOLY Husqvarna Intact GP Moto2 team keeps suffering from injuries. Darryn Binder has to retire early after a crash, while team-mate Lukas Tulovic celebrates his comeback after a long recovery break and will start his personal first race of the season from row eight.
Lukas Tulovic has barely returned from his hand injury when the LIQUI MOLY Husqvarna Intact GP team suffered its next injury victim in the form of Darryn Binder, after the South African high-sided off his Kalex in the third practice in tricky conditions on the half-wet Austin track as he attempted to make it straight into Q2. Initial examinations revealed a fracture in the right metacarpal bone. It is still unclear how long the Moto2 rookie will be out of action. An operation in Barcelona next week will provide information on how much time the regeneration will take. The ambitious rider has not lost his smile despite the bitter setback and hopes to be back on the grid as early as Jerez.
On the opposite side of the pits, Lukas Tulovic knows better than anyone what his 25-year-old teammate is going through at the moment, as the German had to sit out the very first two races of the season after also injuring his hand in the pre-season test. But now, last year's European champion is back on the world stage and can hardly wait to start his first race. He will do so from P23 on row eight after the 22-year-old gradually improved in the three practice sessions, despite track conditions on Saturday morning being far from ideal.
The lights go out for the 16-lap race on the 5.5km Texas track for the Moto2 category at 19:15 (CEST).
1. Filip SALAC/ CZE/ KALEX – 2'09.385
2. Barry BALTUS/ BEL/ KALEX – 2'09.539 (+0.154)
3. Tony ARBOLINO/ ITA/ KALEX – 2'09.736 (+0.351)
17. Darryn BINDER/ RSA/ KALEX – 2'10.654 (+1.269)
22. Lukas TULOVIC/ GER/ KALEX – 2'11.191 (+1.806)
1. Celestino VIETTI/ ITA / KALEX – 2'09.432
2. Pedro ACOSTA/ SPA/KALEX – 2'09.452 (+0.020)
3. Filip SALAC/ CZE/ KALEX – 2'09.548 (+0.116)
23. Lukas TULOVIC/ GER/ KALEX – 2'11.077 (Q1)