Third row for Miller at Phillip Island

18/10/2014

Red Bull KTM Ajo rider does not find space to complete a clean lap in qualifying session and ends up with the eighth fastest time. Hanika will start from the sixth row.

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The qualifying session for the Australian Grand Prix took place this afternoon, setting a grid on which Jack Miller will start from the third row and Karel Hanika from row six. The duo qualified eighth and eighteenth, respectively in a session that featured heavy traffic and blocks of riders waiting on track for a tow. Nevertheless, both Red Bull KTM Ajo riders are happy with their pace from the practice sessions.

Despite the asphalt temperature being down 15°C compared to yesterday, the Red Bull KTM Ajo riders were able to match or lower their fastest times from yesterday in FP3. Jack Miller dedicated the session to finding pace on worn tyres, equalling his best lap from yesterday, 1:37.050, midway through the 40 minutes. That put him twelfth, with Hanika a little over a tenth down with a 1:37.178 time in fourteenth. The lap was the Czech rider’s best up to that point.

In the qualifying session, the Red Bull KTM Ajo duo managed to lower their earlier times. However, they did not do so as much as they would have liked. Hanika was the first to set his fastest lap, putting in a 1:37.158 on his second attempt, whilst Miller was able to move up the order on his penultimate lap with a 1:36.672. The pair did not find the space to enjoy a free run at the top spots, nor a good slipstream so essential at the track because of the significant gusts of wind.

The sixteenth Moto3 race of the year will be held tomorrow from 1pm local time, two hours later than the regular schedule. Miller will look to cut the points gap in the overall standings, whilst Hanika will take part in his first race at the Australian track.

Results – Qualifying practice
1. Alex Marquez (Honda) 1:36.050
2. Alex Rins (Honda) 1:36.064 +0.014
3. Juanfran Guevara (Kalex KTM) 1:36.389 +0.339
4. Danny Kent (Red Bull Husqvarna Ajo) 1:36.419 +0.369
5. John McPhee (Honda) 1:36.521 +0.471
8. Jack Miller (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 1:36.672 +0.622
18. Karel Hanika (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 1:37.158 +1.108

Jack Miller >> Audio (solely for radio use)

“Today’s qualifying session was quite complicated. We have a good pace but we were not able to set a good single lap. In any case, in the end we can be very happy with the position we got. Eighth is good enough to fight in tomorrow’s race and I think we can do a good job. Tomorrow we will finish fine tuning some aspects of the bike and work on the rear in the warmup, in order to reach the final laps in the best possible condition.”

Karel Hanika >> Audio (solely for radio use)

“Today we started the qualifying session quite well. Our pace is good and I think the setup we have for the KTM is ideal. It was a shame, because when we put new tyres we could not find space to set a good lap and I made some small mistakes. On the last run I did not improve my time due to traffic. The final position is disappointing, as we expected to get a better spot on the grid. However, I am calm because we know that we are faster than other riders who are ahead of us. I think tomorrow’s race will be very tight, with many riders close together. We will try to be up at the top and fight for a good final result.”

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