Jack Miller starts Dutch TT with fearsome pace


Red Bull KTM Ajo rider concludes first day of Dutch TT with second fastest time. Karel Hanika takes eighteenth place in combined standings.


Jack Miller set an excellent pace on the first day of action at the historic Assen circuit. The current leader of the Moto3 World Championship was fastest in the first practice session and second in FP2, becoming the only rider to put in times under 1:43 on more than one occasion -4-. Karel Hanika, eighteenth on the combined timesheets, was more than three seconds faster than on his last visit to the track.

It was a super start for Jack Miller in the first free practice session, during which he momentarily set a new Moto3 circuit record of 1:42.865. Three excellent solo laps on his last stint allowed him to head the timesheets with an advantage of 3 tenths. Karel Hanika was fast from the early stages onwards, and ended the session with the twelfth fastest time of 1:44.159.

Both Miller and Hanika of Red Bull KTM Ajo needed only half a session to lower their morning times. Miller’s 1:42.572 time was only bested by a rival in the final minute of FP2, but he still has the best pace so far with three laps in the 1:42s. Hanika, took a further step forward in the afternoon, improving on his previous best lap by almost half a second for seventeenth -1:43.673.

Tomorrow’s qualifying session will decide the grid for Saturday’s race. Jack Miller will look to return to the front row after not doing so for the first time this season in Catalonia. Last year, in the Red Bull Rookies Cup, Karel Hanika won both races after starting from the sixth row.

Results (Combined practice time FP1-FP2)
1. Enea Bastianini (KTM) 1:42.366
2. Jack Miller (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 1:42.572 +0.206
3. Isaac Viñales (KTM) 1:42.836 +0.470
4. Efren Vazquez (Honda) 1:42.908 +0.542
5. Romano Fenati (KTM) 1:43.003 +0.637
18. Karel Hanika (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 1:43.721 +1.355


Jack Miller >> Audio (solely for radio use)

“The bike is working really well, plus I felt very comfortable on it. I am able to ride as I want and we have shown how comfortable I am, setting a good pace by myself. In the second session we only used one new rear tyre to save things for tomorrow, and the time lap was very good. I am very confident about the rest of the weekend and now I’m also very happy. Some of the chattering problems we had at the last race came from my riding, and we have solved this. At Aragon we were able to work on these issues, improve them and implement the improvements here at Assen.”

Karel Hanika >> Audio (solely for radio use)

“I expected a little more from myself on this first day, because it’s my favourite track. In the first session I rode pretty well. In contrast, in the second session I improved only a few tenths because we have used only one new tyre. We wanted to save the rest for tomorrow, so we’ll see then what time we can get. Today on my fast lap I went a little wide on a corner and lost more than half a second, so there is still room for improvement tomorrow. I have to try to improve in the first sector, with both my riding and the feeling with the bike. Nevertheless, I was able to ride about 3 seconds faster than in the Red Bull Rookies Cup, in which I won both races last year on a great weekend.”