Red Bull KTM Ajo take on new challenge in Argentina23/04/2014
Round Three of the Moto3 World Championship will be a special and historic occasion, as Grand Prix racing returns to South America after a nine-year absence. The Argentinian circuit of the Autódromo Termas de Río Hondo will be the scene of this latest event, with the new 4.8km track debuting on the calendar. Jack Miller will be chasing another victory for the season at the track, after winning the opening two races of 2014. Karel Hanika has his sights set on continued progress after placing in the Top 10 for the first time at Austin.
The circuit features 14 corners, of which 5 are lefts and 9 rights, plus a straight over 1km in length. It is run in a clockwise direction and is the only track of which no Moto3 rider has prior experience, as only a select number of Moto2 and MotoGP riders participated in two-day test there.
Unfamiliarity with the circuit should not be a handicap for Red Bull KTM Ajo’s Australian rider, who has taken two wins from as many races at the start of the campaign. Jack Miller leads the overall standings and became the first Moto3/125cc rider from his country to take two consecutive wins when he triumphed at Austin. The victory also raised KTM’s uninterrupted run of wins in the lower cylinder class to 23. Miller is on a continual quest for improvement and knows that there is still plenty more hard work to be done –despite his exceptional start to the year.
Teammate Karel Hanika also wants to continue moving forward. Fourteenth in Qatar and tenth at Austin, the Czech rider hopes to maintain his upward trajectory in Argentina. A good performance in qualifying will be important to his chances, as he aims to avoid the need to fight back through the field in the race itself. Always ready to get onboard his KTM and learn more, Hanika currently has 8 points to his name and is the top rookie so far in the series.
The Red Bull Argentinian Grand Prix will be the final round before a return to Europe. The first practice sessions for the Moto3 field begin on Friday at 9am local time, whilst the race itself will begin at the traditional start time of 11am on Sunday.
Circuit information – Autódromo Termas de Río Hondo
Length: 4.806 m / 2.986 miles
Width: 16 metres
Left corners: 5
Right corners: 9
Longest straight: 1.076 m / 0.669 miles
“We have undoubtedly started the season well and it would be impossible to have done better, but we can’t settle for this. I didn’t think I’d win the opening two races, although I felt good in preseason. The KTM is working very well and I feel better every day, so I’m happy. This weekend is a step into the unknown. I have only seen the track on the internet, but it doesn’t mean much because I’ve only got a first impression. It will be important to put in laps by foot or on the scooter to analyse it in situ, so that on Friday we can put in as many laps as possible. I can’t wait to get back on the bike.”
“We took another step forward at Austin. It was a really good weekend for us, because after getting stuck in a bit of a rut in practice we were able to get a good start and take our first Top 10 finish. I’m happy about that. I think that it is in practice and qualifying that I have to improve, because I get pretty nervous. It happened to me in Qatar and at Austin, and on both occasions I felt much better on the Sunday. The KTM is always working well, so it must be an issue with me. The bike has good power and a good chassis, and whenever it is too powerful for us it is down to the weight of the rider. This round is going to be tough, but I’ve tried to watch various Argentinian series here on the internet in order to get a first impression of the track. It’s going to be a new one for everybody, so I can be up at the front from the start. I am excited to be going to South America for the first time.”