Interview with Karel Hanika: “I enjoyed my rookie year, but now I have to get results

13/11/2014

Red Bull KTM Ajo rider discusses his first year in the World Championship in the week that the 2015 preseason begins.

interviewkarel

The Red Bull KTM Ajo team are in Jerez for the first days of testing for 2015. In this test, Karel Hanika begins his second season in Moto3 –a year in which he wants to take top results and battle with the best. His rookie year ended in great fashion, with two Top 10 finishes and his best race position of ninth at Sepang.

The Czech rider also comments on his departing teammate, Jack Miller, who moves up to MotoGP.

Define your first season in the World Championship in a word.
“Learning.”

What mark would you give yourself, from 1 to 10?
“5.”

Which was your best race?
“I’d say the penultimate race of the year at Sepang, as I was able to stick with the lead group for much of the race and got my best result of the season. Also, it was a very difficult race because it was really hot and at a track where I had never ridden before.”

And the worst?
“Argentina. Unfortunately I had a crash on the first lap that destroyed any chance of getting a good result.”

Are you happy with your first season in the World Championship?
“Yes, I am very happy because I have learned so much, especially from my technicians but also from all the other members of our team. Obviously I had a great teammate in Jack [Miller], from whom I have learned many things. I really enjoyed the season. I learned many tracks, learned things about riding and tried out different setups. It’s always so nice to work with a great team like this.”

You achieved your best results in the final stretch of the season, at tracks where you had never ridden before. Why do you think this situation occurred?
“I don’t know. The truth is that it is a bit strange. After a few races in which things didn’t go too well for me, I changed my mentality a little and tried to focus more on the races and finishing them. The results arrived by themselves, even when I wasn’t pushing too much in the races. This change helped a lot and the last four races went very well. My team and my mechanics are very happy that the results finally arrived.”

This Wednesday the 2015 season got underway. What is the aim for your second year?
“It’s hard to say any final position that we are aiming for. Now I’m officially not a rookie anymore. I’ve learned a lot and next year will be the time to start achieving good results. I think we are well prepared. We have to train and work well all winter in order to be fast. If we do this, and the team work as they did this year, the results will come.”

Will you miss Jack?
“Yes, of course, but with Miguel [Oliveira] and Brad [Binder] we will be fine. Jack is a great teammate. I really enjoyed this season with him. He is a very funny person and we really enjoyed ourselves. He has taught me many things that I’m sure will prove useful in the future. I wish him all the best for his first year in MotoGP.”

What do you think of this big jump up that he has made? Do you think he can be competitive next year?
“Yes, he’s an excellent rider. He almost won the Moto3 World Championship this year and was the rider with the most wins. Sometimes he loses his head a little, which sometimes is what you need in order to be fast. He’s the kind of rider who can make this move up two classes. Of course, it takes time to adapt and he’ll have to put in many laps on the new bike to learn it all, but I think he can do very well.”

What will you do this winter to be ready in preseason?
“We will have some tests, which will be used for trying out the new bike. This week we are in Jerez and then it’s Valencia again next week, so I have to work. Also I have to go to school to finish my final year, and I need to train. That is the important thing when it comes to being competitive. I’ll stay in Spain to train as much as possible, so that I am physically and mentally prepared. If we are effective with that, the results will come.”

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