Fifth consecutive front row for Miller

17/05/2014

Red Bull KTM Ajo rider Jack Miller takes second on grid for French Grand Prix, just 25 thousandths of a second off pole. Karel Hanika places eleventh –his best starting position to date.

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Just 25 thousandths of a second separated Jack Miller from a fourth consecutive pole position, in qualifying for the French Grand Prix. At the Le Mans circuit, the Australian took second on the grid for tomorrow’s race. The current Moto3 World Championship is yet to start from off the front row this season. Red Bull KTM Ajo teammate, Karel Hanika, also took an excellent result. He will take off from the fourth row, from eleventh position after his best qualifying session so far.

Day two of the French Grand Prix began with the final free practice session. Miller was again amongst the frontrunners, leading the timesheet for a large part of the session. In the end, with a series of five consecutive 1:43 laps, the Australian set his best time of the weekend up to that point: 1:43.100, for third. Hanika dedicated the session to working on his setup with used tyres, taking twenty-second with a 1:43.873.

Miller started strong in qualifying, becoming the first rider to go round in the 1:42’s in the opening ten minutes. The time was chipped away at during the afternoon run, with his final best a 1:42.516. An excellent job was helped by his teammate as the duo found the best lines possible. Hanika took another step forward as a result, and moved up to eleventh place after a 1:43.112 lap.

Tomorrow sees the fifth Moto3 race of the 2014 season, starting at 11am local time. Miller will defend the lead of the series standings, whilst Hanika will look to add points to his tally at his first French Grand Prix.

Results – Qualifying practice
1. Efren Vazquez (Honda) 1:42.491
2. Jack Miller (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 1:42.516 +0.025
3. Alex Rins (Honda) 1:42.718 +0.227
4. Alexis Masbou (Honda) 1:42.752 +0.261
5. Niklas Ajo (Husqvarna) 1:42.769 +0.278
11. Karel Hanika (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 1:43.112 +0.621

 

Jack Miller >> Audio (only for radio use)

“We definitely have a very good bike at our disposal for tomorrow’s race; it has worked really well so far and I feel calm about things. We also have no tyre problems whatsoever. I feel relaxed and confident ahead of tomorrow. Right now I am a little sad, because we missed out on pole position, but getting onto the front row is a very good result and tomorrow I want to go even better.
The times today were very tight, although I feel that with less traffic I could have gone quicker. In any case, we are happy because we’ve done an excellent job for tomorrow’s race.”

Karel Hanika >> Audio (only for radio use)

“I am very happy because we have been working hard all weekend and have finally found a good qualifying spot. Not everything went perfectly this morning, because we needed to change some things with the bike, but bearing in mind the fact that we were riding on used tyres, the results were interesting.

In qualifying we took a big step forward. We worked with [Miller], Niklas [Ajo] and Danny [Kent] and were cooperating really well -like yesterday- which helped us a lot. We had a good qualifying session today, after a great job by the entire team. I am very happy.

We shall see how we start tomorrow. We have prepared the bike and feel good with the tyres, so if we get off the line well then we could be up in the lead group. That’s where we want to stay; it might not turn out that way, but I will try to stick with them for as long as I can. I think that we can get a good result and fight for the Top 10.”

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