Red Bull KTM Ajo rider to start from second on the grid for tomorrow’s grand finale in Valencia. Karel Hanika, sixth, has his second best qualifying session of the year.
Jack Miller will begin his Moto3 title showdown tomorrow from the front row of the grid. The Red Bull KTM Ajo rider took second place in the qualifying session for the Valencian GP, also setting an excellent pace throughout the day. Near the Australian in sixth is Karel Hanika, who for the second time this season will take off from the second row.
A new circuit record was set by Miller in the last free practice session of the season with a spectacular lap of 1:39.068. That put him at the head of the timesheets and featured a positive sign for tomorrow: He set 8 laps in the 1:39 mark. Hanika, eighteenth, lowered his top time for the third consecutive session –1:40.178.
The temperatures and gusts of wind increased in the qualifying session, and these conditions did not allow Miller to lower his morning time. It was not until just 6 minutes remained that the Australian finally took charge of the timesheet. However, it was only on the last corner of the last lap that pole position eluded him, by just 0.068s. His best time was a 1:39.251. His teammate bettered his previous top lap by nearly half a second –1:39.731– thus placing sixth. Hanika escaped uninjured from a crash in the final minute
At 11:00 am tomorrow he will begin the final race of the Moto3 World Championship season with the chance to win the title. To do so, Miller will need to overcome an 11-point advantage held by Alex Marquez.
Results – Qualifying practice
1. Niccolo Antonelli (KTM) 1:39.183
2. Jack Miller (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 1:39.251 +0.068
3. Alex Marquez (Honda) 1:39.556 +0.373
4. Isaac Viñales (KTM) 1:39.637 +0.454
5. Alex Rins (Honda) 1:39.716 +0.533
6. Karel Hanika (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 1:39.731 +0.548
Jack Miller >> Audio (solely for radio use)
“I’m happy with how everything went today. The whole team have done a great job as the bike is working excellently, so we have to be very satisfied. I’m excited to start my last race in Moto3 from the front row. We’ve been working hard all weekend and I think we have a very good pace for the race, especially with worn tires. The times we have set are also really good. We are calm –not overconfident, because in a race you never know what will happen– and we feel ready. Let’s cross our fingers for tomorrow.”
Karel Hanika >> Audio (solely for radio use)
“The qualifying session went very well; I’m really happy. Yesterday and this morning we were outside the Top 15, but I felt good. Our position was not perfect but I felt really comfortable on the bike, as the mechanics and the team have done an excellent job. The important thing is that I rode completely alone during all of practice and when I had a reference in the qualifying session it allowed me to set a good time. Still, I did not take advantage of a slipstream and this is a strength that we have for tomorrow. I think my pace could be high, because I’m being very consistent. I am really happy with this sixth place, but without my team this would not be possible. Hopefully tomorrow we can enjoy the last race of the year.”