Miller shines at home19/10/2014
Red Bull KTM Ajo rider Jack Miller gets the win at Phillip Island and cuts gap to leader in overall standings by 5 points. Karel Hanika, thirteenth, scores points for the second consecutive race.
The Australian fans at Phillip Island were able to celebrate the victory of a fellow countryman, Jack Miller, in today’s Moto3 race. The Red Bull KTM Ajo rider prevailed in a thrilling race that was decided on the very last metres. Miller’s win cuts the gap between him and the Moto3 World Championship leader to 20 points. Karel Hanika scored points on his debut at the circuit, with thirteenth place today.
Starting from the third row did not prevent Miller from going for the win in front of his home fans. The Australian gained two positions on the opening lap, and six laps later was at the head of a large first group of up to 11 riders. Throughout the 23-lap race overtaking was continuous and slipstreaming key on the home straight. It was precisely on the straight that Miller took the lead by the first corner of the final lap. He would not relinquish the spot before the chequered flag and took victory by 0.029s.
Teammate, Karel Hanika also took a good result at Phillip Island, where he made his circuit debut this weekend. The rookie passed 3 riders at the start to move within the first fifteen. Always well placed in the second group battling for twelfth place, Hanika made the most of several crashes for his rivals in the final stages of the race to finish in thirteenth position.
With two Grands Prix remaining and 50 points available, Jack Miller lies second with a total of 231 points –20 behind the leader. Hanika added 3 more points to his total today to reach 31, remaining in eighteenth. The next race comes next weekend at the Malaysian circuit of Sepang.
Results – Race
1. Jack Miller (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 37:25.209
2. Alex Marquez (Honda) +0.029
3. Alex Rins (Honda) +0.032
4. Efren Vazquez (Honda) +0.044
5. John McPhee (Honda) +0.134
13. Karel Hanika (Red Bull KTM Ajo) +18.278
Moto3 World Championship Standing 2014
1. Alex Marquez (Honda) 251 points
2. Jack Miller (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 231 points
3. Alex Rins (Honda) 210 points
4. Efren Vazquez (Honda) 187 points
5. Romano Fenati (KTM) 174 points
18. Karel Hanika (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 31 points
Jack Miller >> Audio (solely for radio use)
“I couldn’t be happier, after a qualifying session as difficult as yesterday’s was. It is the first time we have won –or even got on the podium– after failing to qualify on the front row. I cannot be more grateful to the team because they pushed me to do a great job all weekend and solved our problems. So I thank them, as well as KTM, for the fact that I was provided with a bike with which I could fight for the win. I am very happy and satisfied to have won, after a few races without doing so. Winning here at home, in Australia, is really special.”
Karel Hanika >> Audio (solely for radio use)
“The race did not go badly. We were able to grab some points, which is always important. The day did not start too well, but after the warmup we changed our mentality and in the race it seemed that everything worked properly. I felt pretty confident on the bike and I made a good start. As at Motegi, I did not make any mistake the entire race, and that’s always positive. The downside is that we lost the front group because we were fighting with another rider and it was hard to overtake. In the second group there was also been a great battle.
The race was nice, I was enjoying myself until the last two laps, which I had not prepared quite so well and I could not overtake a couple of riders in my group beforehand. We could have done better, but the important thing was to finish the race, get some points and prepare for the race in Malaysia next weekend.”
Aki Ajo >> Audio (solely for radio use)
“Finally it was a great weekend. Qualifying was not easy yesterday for Jack [Miller], because there was a lot of traffic. He tried to avoid it but got caught in it, so I understand his frustration. I’m very happy today, because he prepared very well. Already this morning he was very calm and we knew it could be a great day.
Karel [Hanika] had another good race, gaining experience in a large group of riders and adding more points to his total for his first year in the World Championship. He must continue in this way, which began in Japan, in the two races remaining this season.
I want to thank Jack, Karel, the whole team and all the partners, because everyone did a great job today.”