Unfortunate last lap costs Miller at Motegi

12/10/2014

Victory slips away from Red Bull KTM Ajo rider on Turn 11 of final lap. Karel Hanika makes a great comeback, gaining 11 positions to finish twelfth.

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Luck was not on the side of Jack Miller on Sunday at Motegi, in round fifteen of the Moto3 World Championship. The Australian, who led much of the race, made a mistake at Turn 11 of a thrilling last lap to drop down to fifth place. Teammate Karel Hanika took a step forward today, returning to the points with a twelfth place finish after starting from twenty-third on the grid.

A typical Miller start saw him gain a position off the line, completing the first lap in second. The Australian shared the lead of the race with Danny Kent and Alex Marquez in a constant series of overtaking moves. On the final lap, Miller headed the leading group until Turn 11, where he accidentally put his bike in neutral and had to go wide to prevent a crash. He finally concluded the race in fifth place.

The mission for Hanika today was not easy. Starting from the eighth row on the grid and taking part in his first race at Motegi, entering the points was a difficult aim. However, the first breakthrough for the Czech rider was made on the opening lap, where he moved up seven positions. From that moment, the Red Bull KTM Ajo rookie kept up a steady pace and finished a creditable twelfth.

With three races left on the calendar, Jack Miller lies in second position in the overall standings with 206 points. With the 4 points added to his tally this Sunday, Hanika is eighteenth with a total of 28.

Results – Race
1. Alex Marquez (Honda) 39:26.830
2. Efren Vazquez (Honda) +0.357
3. Brad Binder (Mahindra) +0.484
4. John McPhee (Honda) +0.672
5. Jack Miller (Red Bull KTM Ajo) +1.161
12. Karel Hanika (Red Bull KTM Ajo) +18.713

Moto3 World Championship Standing 2014
1. Alex Marquez (Honda) 231 points
2. Jack Miller (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 206 points
3. Alex Rins (Honda) 194 points
4. Romano Fenati (KTM) 174 points
5. Efren Vazquez (Honda) 174 points
18. Karel Hanika (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 28 points

Jack Miller >> Audio (solely for radio use)

“We worked very hard these past two weeks to arrive here strong and we took steps forward in every session this weekend. It was a shame about mistake I made on the last lap, because our pace was still very good and I led for a large part of the race. The KTM worked very well thanks to the excellent work from the whole team. On the final lap, entering the corner, I went in too strong; when I tried shifting down as fast as possible I made a mistake which meant I passed the braking point. Nevertheless, we finished the race and have picked up points. The objective now will be to win the next race.”

Karel Hanika >> Audio (solely for radio use)

“We did a great job today. I was able to finish the race after two unfortunate rounds and I am very happy. We tried not to make mistakes and to be consistent. It is a good result for us and gives us peace of mind and optimism for the future. We must remain strong and steady in races. I made a couple of mistakes, but that did not prevent me from finishing 12th. The weekend was not perfect; qualifying was quite hard, as I had a heavy crash and the mechanics managed to set up the bike to work very well. I am very grateful to the team for the wonderful work they did. I hope that in Australia we can complete the weekend in the same manner.”

Aki Ajo >> Audio (solely for radio use)

“Obviously at the end of the day this was not our best race. Everything seemed right until the last lap. Jack [Miller] was at the front and was doing very well, looking very strong. But in this category a lot can happen. On the back straight you have to brake very late. Jack made a small mistake with the gears and so went a bit long. Then, after the contact with Danny [Kent], many riders passed him. The situation would have been great if we had won, but in the end we let a lot of points slip on the last lap. We are still positive, hungry and confident that we can win the title.

Karel was able to complete a good race after quite a tricky weekend. The positive thing is that he made no mistakes during the race, because the last race was difficult for him. He’s going in the right direction.”

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