Red Bull KTM Ajo look to keep up momentum in Austin09/04/2014
Jack Miller leads Moto3 standings upon arrival at the second round of the year, the Red Bull Grand Prix of the Americas. Karel Hanika is top rookie.
The Red Bull KTM Ajo Team have had a long three-week wait to get back to action following the Qatar GP. Jack Miller’s victory at the Losail Circuit and the first two points of Karel Hanika’s Grand Prix career take the team into round two in great shape. Aki Ajo’s team head into the Red Bull Grand Prix of the Americas, with Miller leading the Moto3 World Championship standings and Hanika the top rookie. Austin is the first of two events which will be held in the United States this year.
The win in Qatar was the first in the career of the Red Bull KTM Ajo team’s Australian star, in addition to being his first podium and the twenty-second consecutive victory for KTM in the class. Brimming with confidence after this sensational start to the season, Miller expects to keep his form going at the 5.5km Circuit of the Americas but knows that there is still room for improvement. His memories of the track allow him to be optimistic, after placing fourth in qualifying and sixth in the race at last year’s event.
Also with a history of performing well at the track is Hanika, who will be riding for the second time at the unique circuit after a successful Red Bull Rookies Cup round there last year. Although aware that this year the situation is much more complicated for him, a victory and a second place from his first visit to Texas have him convinced that improving on his fourteenth place from Qatar is a main goal for this weekend.
Moto3 returns to its normal Friday to Sunday timetable this weekend, with the second race of the year being held at 11am local time.
Circuit information – Austin
Length: 5.513 m / 3.426 miles
Width: 15 metres
Left corners: 11
Right corners: 9
Longest straight: 1.200 m / 0.746 miles
“After the magnificent Grand Prix of Qatar, I have spent three weeks training hard in Spain to be one hundred percent ready for Austin, including a couple of days at the Circuito de Almeria. The first race of the year gave me plenty of confidence in myself and it was very special. Now we go to a circuit which is completely different to Losail. This is a track that I like more, that better suits my riding style. In Qatar I needed to ride more smoothly, whilst in Austin there is more hard braking. I have very fond memories of my first visit to this track. We were on a downer then after a slow start in Qatar, so this year after winning the first race, I hope to keep morale up. Last season I placed fourth in qualifying and finished sixth in the race. Hopefully I can repeat the result from Qatar, but first we have to continue to improve both my riding and some small configuration details for the bike.”
“Between races I had to go back to school. This does not mean that I stopped training hard, however. I believe I should be happy about the first race in Qatar, but I could have done better and we shouldn’t settle. I have to improve in every session, not just one in particular because we have very good bike. It’s true that if I get a better position in the qualifying session then it will be easier to get a good position in the race. That should be the goal, to improve on Qatar. Austin is a track I already know, where I rode in the Red Bull Rookies Cup and I must use that to my advantage. Undoubtedly it will be totally different from last year, when I managed a second position and a victory, because it will be much harder. Here there are riders with much more experience. It’s a track I probably like better than Qatar, but it is really demanding and difficult. It has all kinds of corners; slow ones, fast ones, hard braking and a very long straight. You can come up against everything at this circuit, but already having a reference that will be a help.”