Jack is back

18/05/2014

Important victory taken on final lap for Red Bull KTM Ajo rider at Le Mans, extending his World Championship lead to 30 points. Karel Hanika crashes out on lap four when fighting for points.

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Jack Miller sent out a message to his rivals at the French Grand Prix, claiming a third win from five races in the 2014 season and extending his World Championship lead to 30 points. A hard-fought victory for the Australian came only after a frenetic final lap, in which Miller gave his all to take the chequered flag first. Teammate Karel Hanika was unfortunate in the race, crashing on lap 4 having started from his best grid position to date.

Right from the start, Miller made his intentions clear with a magnificent line on the opening chicane to take the lead. He would maintain the top spot until lap 4, when the leading group began to make their moves. Continuous overtakes relegated the Red Bul KTM Ajo rider to fifth, almost two seconds behind escapee Alex Rins, but the Australian was able to fight back and set up a grandstand final lap. He took the last lap perfectly, defending his position and crossing the line 0.095s ahead of his nearest rival.

Karel Hanika did not have luck on his side on Sunday. Starting from row four, the rookie was able to latch onto a large group and maintain a strong pace, until a crash for the Czech rider left him unable to continue. His fall at Turn 8 of the fourth lap ended his participation in what had been a positive French Grand Prix up until then.

After five rounds, the overall standings have Jack Miller on top with 104 points –30 more than second place. Karel Hanika has 8 points to his name, and is currently seventeenth. Next up on the calendar is the Italian Grand Prix at Mugello in two weeks’ time –where Red Bull KTM Ajo were victorious last year.

Results – Race
1. Jack Miller (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 41:30.582
2. Alex Rins (Honda) +0.095
3. Isaac Viñales (KTM) +0.230
4. Francesco Bagnaia (KTM) +0.487
5. Alex Marquez (Honda) +0.931
DNF – Karel Hanika (Red Bull KTM Ajo)

Moto3 World Championship Standing 2014
1. Jack Miller (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 104 points
2. Romano Fenati (KTM) 74 points
3. Efren Vazquez (Honda) 72 points
4. Alex Rins (Honda) 71 points
5. Alex Marquez (Honda) 60 points
17. Karel Hanika (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 8 points

Jack Miller >> Audio (only for radio use)

“It was a great fight and that’s why I’m extremely happy. The bike worked really well. I would say it was as if it was on rails, but actually it was moving about a lot. That was my fault as I was accelerating too early to compensate a little for the power I lacked. It was a fun race and it’s always nice when you win a fight like this, so I’m very happy.”

Karel Hanika >> Audio (only for radio use)

“It’s a shame because I think I did not start badly. I was in a large group up at the front and gradually found a quick pace that I was comfortable riding. However, at Turn 8 of the fourth lap my rear wheel slipped and I went down. I’m disappointed because I expected more from this race. Now it’s time to forget about this and focus on Mugello, where we need to finish the race and get back amongst the points.”

Aki Ajo >> Audio (only for radio use)

“I have to say that today, once again Jack [Miller] was my hero. He did a very good job. If I’m being honest, when there were a few laps to go I was not sure that he could fight for the win. I was even worried about the podium getting away from us, but Jack did an outstanding job on the last two laps; it was incredible. We suffered from a lack of speed compared to the Honda that made Jack’s race more difficult. However, our chassis has worked really well here and he was very happy with that. I know that at the factory they are working hard and that we are working well as a team. Now we need to do so a little more ahead of Mugello.

Regarding Hanika, it was not a good race for him. The position from which started was good and he was fighting to keep it. Unfortunately he crashed and his race was over. We must remember that he is starting his career in the World Championship. He has to be given time –us as well– and now we have to continue working.”

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