Miller takes to new Indianapolis layout


Red Bull KTM Ajo rider gets on the pace on first day of Indianapolis GP, taking the third fastest time. Karel Hanika debuts at the American track in sixteenth place.


Moto3 World Championship leader Jack Miller resumed his season as one of the fastest riders at Indianapolis on day one of the latest Grand Prix. The track has been shortened by 48 metres and changes have been made to 5 of the 16 corners, but Miller adapted well to the new layout and set the third best time of Friday: 1:42.717. Meanwhile, rookie Karel Hanika debuted at the American track and improved session-after-session, to take a time of 1:43.898 and place sixteenth.

The Red Bull KTM Ajo riders and the rest of the Moto3 grid undertook their first laps at the modified Indianapolis circuit with wet tyres. Jack Miller took the early initiative and led the timesheets from the early stages. Once a dry line was established, the riders switched to slicks and proceeded to considerably lower their times. Miller was again the quickest in the dry, with a 1:45.824 lap. Karel Hanika, a debutant at the American track, was twenty-second with a 1:49.609 time.

Although they only needed two laps in the afternoon to improve their times from the first session, Miller and Hanika were forced to stay in the garage for 10 minutes when a light shower fell on the track. With 15 minutes remaining before the end of the session, the Red Bull KTM Ajo riders were able to get back out on track -although only the Moto3 series leader was able to lower his best time. The Australian finally set the third fastest lap -1:42.717-, two tenths off first, and Hanika was sixteenth -1:43.898.

Tomorrow will see qualifying for the Red Bull Indianapolis Grand Prix at 12:35pm local time. The Australian Red Bull KTM Ajo is gunning for his third consecutive pole position, whilst Hanika wants to repeat or approve upon his best grid position of fourth from the German GP.

Results (Combined practice time FP1-FP2)
1. Isaac Viñales (KTM) 1:42.507
2. Alex Marquez (Honda) 1:42.604 +0.097
3. Jack Miller (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 1:42.717 +0.210
4. Efren Vazquez (Honda) 1:42.962 +0.455
5. John McPhee (Honda) 1:43.102 +0.595
16. Karel Hanika (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 1:43.898 +1.391


Jack Miller >> Audio (solely for radio use)

“Despite the weather, in the end it was a good day. I’m happy with how the KTM is going at this track, which has undergone many modifications. We did not do as many laps as we wanted, but we are satisfied with the conclusions we could draw. Tomorrow is another day and I hope the weather improves, so that we can have a free practice session and qualifying session with stable conditions and without intermittent rain.”

Karel Hanika >> Audio (solely for radio use)

“The day did not go badly. We had difficult conditions under which to learn the track, but in the end we could put in many laps. Now I know how to go into many of the corners. In the second practice we improved our times. It is important to be able to put in many laps, although in both sessions it rained. It was a day for learning the track and getting a good feeling. I am very happy with the circuit, I really like it. The grip on the track is quite good and we are not so far from the front. If we continue like this tomorrow I think we can set a good lap, and I hope that on Sunday we could also have a good race.”