Red Bull KTM Ajo look to start afresh in Japan


Jack Miller and Karel Hanika begin Asian series of rounds wanting to forget the last race in Aragon, going into the final stretch of the season.


Three races in three weeks await the Moto3 World Championship, with consecutive rounds in Japan, Australia and Malaysia coming up. This weekend it is the turn of the Japanese Grand Prix at Motegi, where the Red Bull KTM Ajo riders will try to bounce back from a tough Sunday at MotorLand Aragon last time out. Jack Miller will look to cut the gap to the series leader and possibly regain the top spot, whilst Karel Hanika will have to adapt as quickly as possible to the tricky Japanese track.

The Aragon GP was probably one of the best weekends of the season for the Australian overall, but an accident in the race ended all chance of victory and made him lose the lead in the overall standings for the first time this year. Despite this, Miller arrives in Japan confident and aware that he and his team are working in the best way possible to face a critical stretch of the season. Last year, the Red Bull KTM Ajo rider started from the second row at Motegi and placed sixth.

Three new challenges lie ahead for Karel Hanika, starting this weekend. The rookie will start from scratch at three races completely unknown to him. Only videos of previous years and the computer games will prepare him for Motegi, but he will fight for as many points as possible.

The change of continent does not affect the Grand Prix schedule. Free practice starts at 9am local time on Friday and the race will begin at 11am on Sunday.

Circuit information – Motegi
Length: 4.801 m / 2.983 miles
Width: 15 m
Left corners: 6
Right corners: 8
Longest straight: 762 m / 0.473 miles
Constructed: 1997
Modified: 1997

Jack Miller,
“We’ve moved on and we have already focused on these three consecutive races that are so important. They are also circuits that I like -my favourites. Motegi is probably my least preferred out of them all, but I’m confident. Last year I was fifth in the qualifying session and sixth in the race, so I think we can go well. We will continue with the same strategy as at the last Grand Prix, because at Aragon we had a great weekend and did a great job -probably one of the best of the year. It was just a pity how it ended, but now I am only thinking about this Sunday.”

Karel Hanika,
“It will be the first time I do the Asian tour, so I do not know any of the tracks. I’ve never tested at Motegi so really the only thing I can do is play and analyse it on the videogames and console and watch races from previous years. I’ve tried to see which are the places where we can gain time, but I anticipate that it is a difficult track. There are many hard braking points but also spots where you gain a lot of speed. However, in the end it is the same for everyone. I will have to be patient, try to learn the track on Friday and then try in every session to go faster. It will be a physically demanding race, and I hope to finish it as best I can.”