Productive first day at Le Mans for Red Bull KTM Ajo

16/05/2014

Jack Miller takes third best time of Friday, pharm just 0.48 off the top spot. Karel Hanika debuts at Le Mans with ninth.

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Less than a tenth have of a second separated the three fastest Moto3 riders on the first day of the French Grand Prix. The current leader of the Moto3 World Championship, treatment Jack Miller, took the third quickest lap time of the day, just 0.48s off the top. Red Bull KTM Ajo teammate, Karel Hanika, demonstrated the ability to adapt quickly on his debut at Le Mans, claiming the ninth best time.

A cloudless sky unusual at this particular Grand Prix welcomed the Red Bull KTM Ajo riders at Le Mans. The first session was contrasting for the two riders; whilst Miller tested new KTM parts, including a new fairing, Karel Hanika dedicated the session to learning a completely new track for him. The Czech rookie put in the most laps of the entire Moto3 grid -20- with a best time of 1:45.792 that placed him 21st. Higher up the order, Miller was sixth.

In the afternoon session, the Australian finally found a way to ride by himself and at a strong pace, and he made the most of it. From the midway point on, Miller clocked times in the 1:43s, with one of the best paces of anyone on track. His final lap of 1:43.44 was the third fastest. Ninth -with a time of 1:43.873- was Hanika, who used the help of his teammate to finish off his adaptation to the historic French track.

In the qualifying session tomorrow, Jack Miller will seek a fourth consecutive pole position. It is a feat that no rider has yet achieved in the Moto3 class. Karel Hanika hopes to have an incident-free qualifying after problems at the last two rounds.

Results (Combined practice time FP1-FP2)
1. Alex Marquez (Honda) 1:43.395
2. Alex Rins (Honda) 1:43.436 +0.041
3. Jack Miller (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 1:43.443 +0.048
4. Isaac Viñales (KTM) 1:43.529 +0.134
5. Enea Bastianini (KTM) 1:43.545 +0.150
9. Karel Hanika (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 1:43.873 +0.478

Jack Miller >> Audio (only for radio use)

“We are close to the top, which is great. We worked a lot on the setup of the bike this morning, above all with the chassis, and I felt good. The bike is going better with every lap. We will try to improve further tomorrow, but for today I’m happy. Today we were trying to improve the stability under braking and also the rear grip. I have to be more confident in the first and second sectors, as on the back straight I was losing a lot of grip today.”

Karel Hanika >> Audio (only for radio use)

 “This isn’t a difficult track to learn. The corners aren’t too hard, although there are some where it is harder to find the best line. If we perfect these corners, then we can gain a lot of time.
The first session wasn’t bad. I tried to learn the track and put in as many laps as possible. That is what we did: 20 laps is very good. In the second session we improved a few things with the bike, allowing me to lower my times. In the end we did some good laps. I stuck behind Jack [Miller] and that was when I got my best time. We did a good job together.
Let’s hope that we can get at least the same result tomorrow in qualifying. If I and the bike work well, I think we can take a good grid position.”

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