Karel Hanika reveals keys to Brno12/08/2014
Red Bull KTM Ajo rookie analyses every corner of Brno track which hosts his home Grand Prix this weekend.
The winner of the 2013 Red Bull Rookies Cup has shown in recent races that he belongs in the Moto3 Top 10, and that he has the talent to fight in the first group in his maiden year of GP racing. Karel Hanika arrives in Brno in good shape for the Czech Republic Grand Prix, his home round and an event that he hopes will see him at his best in front of his fans. The winner of two races at the track in the last two years in the Red Bull Rookies Cup, the Red Bull KTM Ajo rookie is expected to be fast at the Automotodrom Brno from the off. Here he reveals the keys to the 5.4km circuit that he knows like the back of his hand.
“It’s very important to get the first corner right, because that way you are set up for Turn 2 and can gain tenths on the straight. On this first turn you can go pretty fast, in third or fourth gear, and it’s important to get enough speed in the apex to shoot out as fast as possible.” The first sector of the Czech track is not a favourite of Hanika’s, and he says that “Turn 3 is very good for overtaking, but I have suffered more than one crash there. After this, if you take it well, you have no problems running into Turn 4.”
After this, you reach the most famous area for fans. “You go onto the ‘Stadion’ section, which has some very fast corners. This is my favorite part. On Turns 5 and 6 you increase speed until you get to Turn 7 -where the grandstands are full of fans. It’s very nice to see people cheering you on there. This first left-hander is not very difficult, as you can lean in well and take it at the right speed, but the second one is a bit more difficult since there is a bump on the entry to the corner. At this point it is easy to lose your positioning for Turn 9.”
After the second sector, the next part of the track starts with the right-hander Turn 9, which leads onto a long straight. “Then we go into Turn 10, the Kevin Schwantz corner which is one of the most famous on the track -and also excellent for overtaking. On this corner it is important to be careful with the front end, because there are some bumps on the entry and in the middle of the turn and you can suffer a scare. If you take the good line you can gain a lot of time, because the track is wide here.”
Then it is time to climb the hill and take two linked corners. Turns 11 and 12 take the bike left and then right. “This is the most important and decisive part for your lap time. Turn 11 is not hard to take correctly, but for Turn 12 you have to open the throttle as soon as possible in order to go faster. It’s possibly the most important corner on the track, where you have to get up the maximum speed possible and -if you can- find a slipstream. The top of this hill is also characterised by the large number of fans gathered there. From here, you face the final chicane. Turn 13 -‘Horizont’- is the last place at which you can really overtake comfortably and where a tight race can be decided. At Turn 14 it is more difficult, as if you know the track well you can maintain position without too much trouble. After this, you just have to tuck yourself in on the KTM as best as you can and keep the gas pegged until the chequered flag.”
Knowing all these secrets to the track, Karel Hanika is looking forward to the lights going out at Brno on Sunday, 11:00am, and is aiming for his best performance of the season in a scheduled 19-lap race.
Circuit information – Automotodrom Brno
Length: 5.403 m / 3.357 miles
Left corners: 6
Right corners: 8
Longest straight: 636 m / 0.395 miles