Red Bull KTM Ajo start Brno weekend in Top 10


Jack Miller and Karel Hanika take seventh and ninth fastest times, respectively, on opening day of Czech Republic Grand Prix.


After ten Grands Prix waiting, this morning Karel Hanika could finally began his most eagerly awaited round of the year at the Automotodrom Brno. The Red Bull KTM Ajo rider had a good first day at his home Grand Prix, placing inside the Top 10 in both sessions. The Moto3 World Championship leader, Jack Miller, did likewise, taking the seventh fastest time overall -2.08.531. Hanika was ninth quickest -2:08.813.

It was a Top 5 double for the Red Bull KTM Ajo riders in the first practice session of the weekend, with the third fastest time of 2:08.949 for Jack Miller and the fifth best for local rider Karel Hanika -2:09.076. Both worked hard to begin to define the setups for their KTM bikes at a circuit with different characteristics to  Indianapolis. It was on the last run that both the Australian and Czech began to put in laps under the 2:10 mark.

In the afternoon, Miller set the seventh best time with a 2:08.531 and Hanika the ninth quickest with a 2:08.831. The duo had to wait until their last run to beat their morning times. Undertaking constant experiments with the KTM and not enjoying any clear run at a hot lap prevented further improvement. Despite this, the Red Bull KTM Ajo pair ended the day satisfied and optimistic about Saturday.

Tomorrow’s qualifying session starts at 12:35. The current Moto3 World Championship leader has the chance to take his fourth consecutive pole position -a seventh of the year-, whilst Karel Hanika took two poles in the last two years in the Red Bull Rookies Cup at Brno.

Results (Combined practice time FP1-FP2)
1. Alex Marquez (Honda) 2:07.969
2. Alex Rins (Honda) 2:08.303 +0.334
3. Alexis Masbou (Honda) 2:08.412 +0.443
4. Jakub Kornfeil (KTM) 2:08.430 +0.461
5. Enea Bastianini (KTM) 2:08.529 +0.560
7. Jack Miller (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 2:08.531 +0.562
9. Karel Hanika (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 2:08.813 +0.844

Jack Miller >> Audio (solely for radio use)

“We are half a second off the top, so we are not that far away. We didn’t use a new front tyre in the second session, so we have room for improvement. I feel confident and I think we can do a very good job here. Let’s see if we get a clean lap tomorrow. I’ll continue to work with Karel [Hanika], because we are working very well together -today too. I made some mistakes on my best laps, so I could not get the optimal time that we wanted. I know I can improve tomorrow but I also know I have to work a little more.”

Karel Hanika >> Audio (solely for radio use)

“I’m very happy with the work done today. Being fifth and ninth is very good for us and I am very happy about it. All the team did an excellent job, and we tried to find the best setup for the bike; I think we’re close. I think tomorrow we will be able to set good time, because we have the tyres for it. Today I really enjoyed working with Jack, as always, and I hope that tomorrow we can share the first row. That would be nice.”