Miller quickly on the pace at Sepang


Red Bull KTM Ajo rider sets fourth fastest time on Friday, whilst Karel Hanika finishes 20th in the combined session.


The Sepang International Circuit hosts the penultimate round of the Moto3 World Championship this weekend, and the first day of the Grand Prix concluded in a very positive way for both Jack Miller and Karel Hanika. The Australian set a good pace in the first two practice sessions, placing 4th on the combined timesheet with a time of 2:13.610 –just 0.027s off the quickest lap. Hanika, who debuts at the Malaysian circuit, was 20th at the end of the day thanks to a 2:15.579 lap.

The Malaysian circuit provided sweltering conditions for the Red Bull KTM Ajo duo in the first free practice session. Jack Miller was the fastest man, setting a 2:13.773 lap and being one of only two riders capable of going under the 2:14 mark. Karel Hanika, with a 2:16.148, was 19th after his first 16 laps of the Sepang International Circuit.

In the second practice session both Red Bull KTM Ajo riders improved their times from the morning. Miller, who at the end of the session tried out the softer tyre compound, clocked a 2:13.610 to go fourth. The Australian was able to complete three laps in the 2:13s. Hanika set the 17th fastest time of the session with a 2:15.579.

Tomorrow is the second day of the Malaysian Grand Prix, with the qualifying session at 12:35pm. Ajo Motorsport have achieved pole position in Moto3 in both previous years.

Results (Combined practice time FP1-FP2)
1. Niccolo Antonelli (KTM) 2:13.583
2. Jakub Kornfeil (KTM) 2:13.599 +0.016
3. Alex Marquez (Honda) 2:13.604 +0.021
4. Jack Miller (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 2:13.610 +0.027
5. Efren Vazquez (Honda) 2:13.746 +0.163
20. Karel Hanika (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 2:15.579 +1.996


Jack Miller >> Audio (solely for radio use)

“I am very happy with the pace we have shown today on track. Our way of working has been very good and we have to continue like this for tomorrow. I put the soft tyres on at the end of the session and I liked how they worked, but you don’t get maximum performance from them when they are brand new, so that was a shame. Tomorrow we have to work on the stability of the bike. The truth is that we are not far from having the perfect setup.”

Karel Hanika >> Audio (solely for radio use)

“This is one of the toughest tracks I have ridden at, because each corner is totally different. Today we focused on learning the layout and I think in the end we did a good job. We didn’t push much, really, but we rode as many laps as possible. There are points on the circuit where we can still improve a lot, but slowly I am getting closer to the others and that’s very important. Tomorrow we will have to take a little step up, improve our lap times from today and hope that the qualifying session goes well. The track is challenging but in the end it is down to the rider, not the track. I have to work by myself to be fast and I think that with the team’s help we can do that.”