Miller ends Valencia test with top Thursday time14/02/2014
Red Bull KTM Ajo rider concludes Valencia test with the fastest time of the final day. Karel Hanika gets back on his bike and improves his times from Tuesday.
The Red Bull KTM Ajo team had reasons to be happy upon departure from Valencia, having undertaken three positive days of testing. Jack Miller dominated the final day of testing and teammate Karel Hanika –absent through a right wrist injury on Wednesday– got back onboard his KTM for another day of improvements. In the combined timesheet from the three days, the Australian claimed the second fastest time of 1:39.462, with his Czech colleague twenty-third with a 1:41.258.
Gusts of wind reaching up to 40 km/h prevented the Moto3 riders from continuing the upward trend of the previous days, and the smaller cylinder class was unable to lower times from Wednesday. Nevertheless, the Red Bull KTM Ajo duo decided to focus on their main objective: Testing out a multitude of setups.
Karel Hanika returned at 10:35 a.m, with a bandaged right wrist and the desire to put in further laps. He rode 47 laps of the track on Thursday, with a best time of 1:41.258 –a personal best for the test– in the second session. His technicians, team and the rider himself opted for a cautious approach, and Hanika sat out the final session.
Teammate Jack Miller made the most of every minute, pushing hard to end the test with a great lap time. He did so, with the fastest lap of the day. He dominated each session, although he was unable to lower his times from Wednesday. He was, however, the only man capable of breaking the 1’40s, setting a best time of 1:39.773.
After this final day at Valencia, the Red Bull KTM Ajo riders will be back in action from next Tuesday, with three days at Jerez.
Combined Standings – 3 days
1. Niccolo Antonelli (KTM) 1:39.454
2. Jack Miller (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 1:39.462 +0.008
3. Danny Kent (Red Bull Husqvarna Ajo) 1:39.726 +0.272
4. Romano Fenati (KTM) 1:39.885 +0.431
5. Isaac Viñales (KTM) 1:40.060 +0.606
23. Karel Hanika (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 1:41.258 +1.804
“Today was a good day, in which we again tried many different configurations that KTM let us work on. Every day we are getting better and better, and for me it’s a great learning experience. This is also a good way to work with the team: We explain what our feeling with the setup is and we adapt that to the bike. At every moment we are studying something. For the test next week we are in good shape and I think we can continue taking things in this direction. We still have room for improvement. Valencia is a strange track, all the bikes I’ve ridden here have suffered with the front grip, but I am very happy with my lap times despite the cold and wind. I’m happy. Our pace is pretty good, I can maintain it for a series of laps and the bike and tyres also hold up well. We’ll see what happens at Jerez.”
“Today I feel much better than yesterday, I was able to do a few laps on the track, so that pleased me. My wrist hurt a little, so we decided not to risk things and did not participate in the last session. Nevertheless, I believe that in the morning we did a very good job with the team. Clearly, if we had not had the crash we could have been a little better with everything and done more laps, but it went well. Looking ahead to Jerez, I want to improve my feel with the rear of the bike and I’m sure we can do that. Next week I’m sure I’ll be ready to have a very good test.”