Positive start for Miller in Austin

12/04/2014

Red Bull KTM Ajo rider second quickest in practice for Red Bull Grand Prix of The Americas. Karel Hanika places seventeenth.

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The spectacular Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas, today hosted the first two free practice sessions for the second race meeting of the year. The current leader of the Moto3 World Championship, Jack Miller, started the weekend excellently with the second fastest time of the day and placing inside the top three in both sessions. Improving lap after lap was Karel Hanika, who despite a crash in the second practice session set his best time on his last attempt –taking seventeenth place on the combined timesheet.

In the first 40 minutes of practice for the weekend, Jack Miller came out strong. He led from early going in the opening session, holding the top spot until halfway through. Hanika took things slightly easier, but his previous experience of the circuit enabled him to play around with the setup of his KTM right from the get-go. At the end of the session, Miller set the third fastest time –2:18.424– whilst his teammate was fifteenth –2:20.373.

With track temperatures up to 38ºC, Miller laid down a marker halfway through the second session. He was the first to go round in under 2:17. Two magnificent laps put him at the head of the timesheets for most of the session, and on his penultimate lap he improved again –clocking a 2:16.825 lap which placed him second. Hanika also lowered his times onboard the Red Bull KTM Ajo machine in the opening 20 minutes, but had a small crash on the final turn with 10 minutes remaining. He went back out to set his fastest lap of the day –2:18.995– and claim seventeenth.

Tomorrow sees a final practice session ahead of qualifying, which takes place at 12:35pm local time. Last year Miller took fourth on the grid for the race –a joint season best– and Hanika was on pole for the Red Bull Rookies Cup contest.

Results (Combined practice time FP1-FP2)
1. Efren Vazquez (Honda) 2:16.696
2. Jack Miller (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 2:16.825 +0.129
3. Isaac Viñales (KTM) 2:17.275 +0.579
4. Jakub Kornfeil (KTM) 2:17.317 +0.621
5. Alex Rins (Honda) 2:17.454 +0.758
17. Karel Hanika (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 2:18.995 +2.299

Jack Miller >> Audio (solely for radio use)

“Today was a good day. We did the work scheduled for the day. We are still perfecting some aspects of the setup, but we already have some ideas to try for tomorrow. At the moment we’re feeling good, so I think that tomorrow we can have a good qualifying session to help us in the race.”

Karel Hanika >> Audio (solely for radio use)

“Today went pretty well and we were able to complete some good laps. Initially I was trying different lines, trying to get the best possible braking and acceleration points. I know I can still go faster, because there are some areas of the circuit that I have to improve in. I have to try to prevent crashes like today’s, however, because they force me to lose what are valuable minutes for us. We have started better than at Qatar, so I’m happy. Tomorrow I think will be even better.”

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