Miller enjoys first day at home


Red Bull KTM Ajo rider achieves second fastest time on first day of the Australian Grand Prix. Hanika completes a fruitful first runout at Phillip Island.


Jack Miller was back onboard his KTM machine today to begin his long-awaited home Grand Prix. The Australian made a promising start, setting the fastest time in the afternoon practice session and the second best lap in the combined timesheet for the first day. His Red Bull KTM Ajo teammate Karel Hanika took an important first step in his first contact with Phillip Island, completing the day in seventeenth place.

A sunny morning with 23ºC track temperatures greeted the Moto3 riders at Phillip Island. The first practice session saw Miller and Hanika begin to experiment with setups for a track where it is more important than ever to have the right configuration. The Czech rider quickly took to the fast Australian circuit and ended the first session in thirteenth position. Miller placed sixth as he looked to find his pace on old tyres.

A highside with 3 minutes left in second session prevented Hanika from completing a great first day with an improvement to his morning time. He was one tenth off his best lap of the day, a 1:37.963 that placed him seventeenth. Home rider Miller set his top time of the day on his penultimate lap, with a 1:37.033 that put him best in the session and second overall.

The Australian will look for an eighth pole position of the year –and the first of his career at home– in qualifying from 1:35pm tomorrow.

Results (Combined practice time FP1-FP2)
1. Danny Kent (Red Bull Husqvarna Ajo) 1:36.906
2. Jack Miller (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 1:37.033 +0.127
3. Efren Vazquez (Honda) 1:37.065 +0.159
4. Juanfran Guevara (Kalex KTM) 1:37.077 +0.171
5. Brad Binder (Mahindra) 1:37.086 +0.180
17. Karel Hanika (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 1:37.803 +0.897

Jack Miller >> Audio (solely for radio use)

“We can be really happy with the work done today. It has been a very productive day. We changed different things with our KTM and I think we are going in the right direction. In the afternoon, when it was windier and we were using new tyres, we were able to go faster and set a good time. We are where we should be, but we still have to work hard to be ready for the race. Improvements can still be made with myself and the bike.”

Karel Hanika >> Audio (solely for radio use)

“I think that for the first day at Phillip Island, things went pretty well. It is a very nice track and I like it. Today was basically about learning the track in the first free practice session. We were able to set a good time and find a good pace with the bike. Looking ahead to the second free practice session we changed a few things that made us go better. We rode with used tyres, with which I managed to find a good feeling. Then we put new tyres on and also set good times and a fast pace. If we use a slipstream we can definitely improve our times further, and that’s what we’ll try again tomorrow in the qualifying session.”