First day for Red Bull KTM Ajo at Jerez


Jack Miller and Karel Hanika were back onboard their KTM machines to kick off the Spanish Grand Prix on Friday. Miller set the seventh fastest time of the day, patient whilst Hanika experienced technical problems and placed thirtieth.


The Spanish Grand Prix weekend began with the first two free practice sessions. The practices were not easy ones for the Red Bull KTM Ajo team, pharmacy who did most of their work in the final 40 minutes after suffering mechanical issues in the morning session. Jack Miller concluded the day with the seventh quickest time, with Karel Hanika thirtieth.

Free Practice 1 provided a difficult start for Red Bull KTM Ajo at Jerez. Rookie Hanika was unable to complete a single lap due to a mechanical issue, having to return to the pits after a pair of attempts. Miller was able to participate in the session, although he had to return to the garage for some 15 minutes due to issues of his own. In the end, he placed 12th with a fastest lap of 1:48.793.

In the afternoon, scorching track temperatures of 52ºC made life tough for the Moto3 riders, who needed to put in an extra effort to combat the heat. Miller got down to work with finding the best setup possible, and the Red Bull KTM Ajo rider managed to improve on his time from the opening session. He set a top time of 1:48.060 –fourth in the second practice session. Hanika was 28th, with a time of 1:49.692, after undertaking his first laps of the weekend and reacquainting himself with a track at which he shone in preseason.

The current Moto3 World Championship leader is chasing a third consecutive pole position. If he manages to achieve this, he will become the first Australian to do so in the history of the lower cylinder class. Hanika will attempt to place high up on the grid in order to latch onto the leading group. Qualifying begins at 12:35pm local time on Saturday.

Results (Combined practice time FP1-FP2)

1. Isaac Viñales (KTM) 1:47.388
2. Alex Marquez (Honda) 1:47.699 +0.311
3. Efren vazquez (Honda) 1:47.725 +0.337
4. Romano Fenati (KTM) 1:47.799 +0.411
5. Jakub Kornfeil (KTM) 1:47.843 +0.455
7. Jack Miller (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 1:48.060 +0.672
30. Karel Hanika (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 1:49.692 +2.304

Jack Miller >> Audio (only for radio use)

“The opening day wasn’t so bad. We tried out a lot of things and I felt comfortable with the changes, so tomorrow we will definitely be able to continue improving. I am not worried. We are strong ahead of qualifying, so we shall see what happens. The weather today is completely different to in preseason and makes a difference, so we shall need to adapt. We will try to get the best out of ourselves, but I have confidence in myself and in my team.”

Karel Hanika >> Audio (only for radio use)

“We practically didn’t take part in the first session. I only started a couple of laps, because a mechanical issue plagued us throughout the session. Nevertheless, we had more time to prepare for the second session –which we started slowly. In the afternoon I had a problem with the rear tyre, which we changed, and I dedicated the rest of the session putting in as many laps as possible and getting good feedback in these conditions.

We need to work hard, although if we work like we did this afternoon tomorrow, I am sure that we will see some good results. We are lucky that the issues came here, at Jerez, rather than at a different track. This is only the first day, so the important session will be tomorrow afternoon. We hope not to have any more problems and to find a good setup. I am sure that we will be able to ride well after that.”