Top 10 for Karel Hanika as Jack Miller crashes out

01/06/2014

Red Bull KTM Ajo’s World Championship leader crashes on final lap of Italian Grand Prix. Karel Hanika equals his best result of the year with tenth.

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Red Bull KTM Ajo’s two riders had contrasting races at round six of the Moto3 World Championship, held at Mugello on Sunday morning. Jack Miller failed to finish the race, after leading for several laps. The Australian crashed out on the final lap, DNFing for the first time in 2014. Teammate, Karel Hanika again scored points in the series, taking tenth and equalling the best result of his rookie season so far.

A hard Moto3 race delighted the fans at the beautiful Tuscan circuit. Miller started strong, pushing from the opening lap as part of a group which included up to 16 riders. Hanika had early problems, dropping eight places on the first lap. As the race progressed, the leading pack reduced in numbers and there were some spectacular passes every time they reached Turn 1.

Thirteen riders kept up the pace to the final stages of the race, including Hanika. He would only lose touch on the last three laps, but would cross the line in tenth place –just 5 seconds behind race winner Romano Fenati. On the very last lap, Miller was unfortunate and suffered a crash at Turn 12, leaving him unable to complete the Italian Grand Prix.

With the first six Grands Prix of the year finished, Jack Miller still leads the overall standings with 104 points. He is 5 clear of second-placed Romano Fenati. Red Bull KTM Ajo rookie Hanika added 6 points to his tally today, putting him seventeenth with a total of 14.

Results – Race
1. Romano Fenati (KTM) 39:46.256
2. Isaac Viñales (KTM) +0.010
3. Alex Rins (Honda) +0.011
4. Miguel Oliveira (Mahindra) +0.121
5. Niklas Ajo (Husqvarna) +0.260
10. Karel Hanika (Red Bull KTM Ajo) +5.395
DNF –  Jack Miller (Red Bull KTM Ajo)

Moto3 World Championship Standing 2014
1. Jack Miller (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 104 points
2. Romano Fenati (KTM) 99 points
3. Alex Rins (Honda) 87 points
4. Efren Vazquez (Honda) 76 points
5. Isaac Viñales (KTM) 64 points
17. Karel Hanika (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 14 points

Jack Miller >> Audio (solely for radio use)

“There was a moment in which I was in third and fighting for second on the last lap. Masbou overtook me on the corner and I had to pass him on the straight. It was hard to close off the line on the first corner, because there were so many people behind me. I went in eighth, I think. It was a great battle. I tried to regain some places on the final lap, but when I went into Turn 12, Oliveira blocked me off. Unfortunately I touched his rear wheel and I had to pick the bike up. Then Marquez clipped me from behind. It was completely my mistake -a rookie mistake. I was unlucky with the overtaking, because I thought I had room and that it was the right move to make.

Now we have to accept it, learn from this and improve in Catalonia. I’m disappointed, but we still have a 5-point lead in the overall standings. We have to work and work to come back stronger in Catalonia.”

Karel Hanika >> Audio (solely for radio use)

“The truth is that I made a pretty good start, but on the first corner someone touched me and I lost six or seven positions. At the exit of Turn 3, I received another knock, so I wanted to be careful -bearing in mind what happened in Argentina. From that moment on, the race pace was very good, and I stuck with the first group. On the final laps I made ​​a mistake on a corner and lost the pack completely, which was a shame. We have to improve and learn how to take these kinds of corners, and at the next race we’ll see what happens.”

Aki Ajo >> Audio (solely for radio use)

“It was once again a very good race for Jack [Miller] and I think that at all times he had the race under control and was prepared to fight for victory. But you also need a little luck and everything has to be perfect at a circuit like this, when there is a group as large as there was and such a big fight. Maybe it was not the best choice to lead the race on the penultimate lap, but is easy to say this with the benefit of hindsight. When so many riders pass you at the start of the last lap at the end of straight, obviously you worry and you have to push hard. It is clear that this time Jack perhaps went beyond the limit, although it is sometimes necessary if you want to fight for the championship in a class like this. You cannot be conservative, because that way you can find yourself tenth when you are aiming for the podium. It was a mistake, but everyone makes them and he will learn -so we have to be positive.

Karel [Hanika] had a perfect race and I’m very happy to have seen him in the lead group for so long. Only on the last two laps was he missing a little, but he was very close to the winner. It was the best race of his life so far, so I just hope it helps him to calm down and give himself time. I’m sure in the future he will be up there to fight for victory. We’re looking forward to Barcelona.”

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