Miller finishes just off podium and extends series lead15/06/2014
Red Bull KTM Ajo rider takes fourth place at Catalan Grand Prix and increases overall standings advantage to 7 points. Hanika fourteenth as he adds two more points to tally.
After overnight rain, the Barcelona-Catalunya Circuit dried out for the Moto3 race this morning. Jack Miller was not feeling as comfortable as at previous rounds, but after an excellent final lap he was able to fight for a place on the podium. The Red Bull KTM Ajo rider eventually crossed the finish line in fourth place. Fourteenth place went to Karel Hanika, taking points for a second consecutive race.
A good start for Miller put him in a position to latch onto the first group of nine riders, just behind breakaway leader Alex Marquez. The Australian remained at the back of the pack until the last lap and, from eighth, staged a great comeback that allowed him to reach the last sector with a chance at the podium. Fourth position increases his advantage over Romano Fenati in the standings, as the Italian placed fifth today.
Teammate Karel Hanika placed in the second large group, consisting of 8 riders fighting for eleventh position. After 22 laps of continuous overtaking, the rookie came home fourteenth and put two more points onto his tally in the overall standings.
After seven rounds, the Moto3 World Championship is led by Jack Miller with 117 points -7 more than Fenati. Hanika lies eighteenth with 16 points. The next event, the Dutch TT, is the only race of the season to take place on a Saturday (June 28th).
Results – Race
1. Alex Marquez (Honda) 41:11.656
2. Enea Bastianini (KTM) +3.236
3. Efren Vazquez (Honda) +3.512
4. Jack Miller (Red Bull KTM Ajo) +3.764
5. Romano Fenati (KTM) +3.862
14. Karel Hanika (Red Bull KTM Ajo) +19.623
Moto3 World Championship Standing 2014
1. Jack Miller (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 117 points
2. Romano Fenati (KTM) 110 points
3. Efren Vazquez (Honda) 92 points
4. Alex Rins (Honda) 87 points
5. Alex Marquez (Honda) 85 points
18. Karel Hanika (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 16 points
Jack Miller – Audio (solely for radio use)
“All weekend, and also a little at Mugello, I noticed that I had some chattering with the bike, especially when changing direction on the two fast corners at the end or at Turn 3. I couldn’t turn the bike in and open the throttle when I wanted to. But I’m happy to come here, finish fourth and concede the least amount of points possible. Until the last lap I was confident that I could pass, but I did not think that I could get up to fourth place, so I’m happy about that. We did a good job today, we continue to lead the World Cup and we have to think about Assen now, where I think we can do a better job.”
Karel Hanika – Audio (solely for radio use)
“It wasn’t a bad race, and I made a very good start once again, but again another rider pushed me off on the first lap and I lost touch with the first group. I had to fight in the second group, where there was a lot of overtaking, and I learned a lot from that. I had to work hard. I think I could have been first in that group, but on the last lap the tyre was completely spent after all the fighting throughout the race. I was unable to overtake and, when I tried, I went wide. Fourteenth is not the result I had been hoping for, but I learned a lot in this race.”
Aki Ajo – Audio (solely for radio use)
“We have to be happy because Jack [Miller] managed to score some very important points that allow him to continue leading the standings –even extending the advantage slightly. However, obviously you always have to consider what the things that did not go so well were, preventing you from fighting for the win which ultimately is our goal. Since yesterday afternoon he has had some chattering problems on some corners and we have to see how far we can go towards solving this with this riding style –which is a little different to Jack’s usual style. Obviously we also have to analyse the setup, but I don’t think it’s something really serious and it is probably just that he didn’t find the best feeling today. Despite this he had a really good final two laps.
It is always a joy to see Karel [Hanika] fighting in a group, because he needs that experience. He was once again riding well, although he’s not very happy and that’s normal. I like that he always wants more. The step that he needs to take in order to reach the lead group is very small at the moment and he will definitely get there during the season. As I always say, you have to give yourself time, because it will come.”