Miller unfortunate at Assen but maintains Moto3 lead

28/06/2014

Red Bull KTM Ajo rider crashes on Lap 2 of Dutch TT when trying to break away. Hanika crashes when fighting for fourth.

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Jack Miller left the Dutch TT with the same seven-point lead in the Moto3 World Championship that he took to Assen. A crash at the start of the second lap meant he had a poor return for his excellent weekend. His Red Bull KTM Ajo teammate, ask Karel Hanika, ampoule was also unable to finish the race, crashing 6 laps from the end when fighting for fourth place –a result that would have been his best finish in the World Championship.

Starting from pole position, the championship leader’s strategy was clear: Impose the pace shown in practice to try to escape from the pack. When the lights went out, he took the holeshot and gained tenths of a second over his rivals with Alex Marquez on his tail. At the end of the first lap the duo held more than a second’s advantage over the rider in third place, but when Miller reached the first corner he lost the front end and crashed. With the Australian out, Marquez took victory.

What could have been the best race finish to date for Hanika also eneded prematurely. The Red Bull KTM Ajo rookie gained two positions off the start and was up into the first group, behind Marquez, Rins and Oliveira after they had escaped. Fighting at all times at the head of a group of ten riders on Lap 16, Hanika suffered a highside when braking at Turn 9. Although he tried to remain in the race, two laps later he had to return to the pits.

The Red Bull KTM Ajo riders have their next Moto3 challenge on July 13th, at the German Grand Prix. Jack Miller still leads the overall standings with 117 points, whilst Karel Hanika is nineteenth with 16 points. The German round will be the last race before the summer break.

Results – Race
1. Alex Marquez  (Honda) 38:07.648
2. Alex Rins (Honda) +2.960
3. Miguel Oliveira (Mahindra) +3.644
4. Alexis Masbou (Honda) +16.350
5. Niccolo Antonelli (KTM) +16.466
DNF – Karel Hanika (Red Bull KTM Ajo)
DNF – Jack Miller (Red Bull KTM Ajo)

Moto3 World Championship Standing 2014
1. Jack Miller (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 117 points
2. Romano Fenati (KTM) 110 points
3. Alex Marquez (Honda) 110 points
4. Alex Rins (Honda) 107 points
5. Efren Vazquez (Honda) 102 points
19. Karel Hanika (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 16 points

Jack Miller >> Audio (solely for radio use)

“It’s a shame. From the start I pushed really hard and I was able to open a little gap. On the first corner of the second lap I broke a little earlier than normal and I hit a small bump that made me crash. I went in a little crazier than I thought and the bike slid down. I was unable to save the crash, and it was unfortunate because I was really enjoying the whole weekend at this track. We had worked hard and had a good setup. Now we have to focus on Germany. Fortunately we are still at the top of the standings, but we have to do well at Sachsenring.

My foot is fine; thankfully it was protected because it was struck by the rear tyre. I had to push the bike off me. I was lucky not to have suffered any serious injury.”

Karel Hanika >> Audio (solely for radio use)

“Despite the crash, I am very happy with the feeling I had in the front group. I could fight for the podium for a long time in the race. Some riders were going pretty crazy in the chasing pack, so it was a real battle. On one of the laps I made ??a mistake and that is why I crashed. The rear wheel slipped out a lot and made me jump. If I race like this at the next few rounds, I think we can get onto the podium.

I learned a lot today. The battle was very similar to that of two weeks ago in Barcelona. Now we have to focus on Germany.”

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