Jack Miller picks up the pace for grand finale


Australian starts out with the second fastest time in practice for Valencian Grand Prix, which will decide the new Moto3 World Champion. Hanika, seventeenth, satisfied at the end of the first day.


Jack Miller took an important and positive first step towards Sunday’s final race of the Moto3 World Championship in Valencia. The Red Bull KTM Ajo rider was the second fastest in both practice sessions on the opening day of the weekend and, most importantly, already has a great pace for the race. Karel Hanika, who contests his first race at the track on Sunday, concluded the day in seventeenth place.

Miller started the first free practice session of the weekend with a good pace. Besides achieving the second fastest lap of the session –1:40.340–, the Australian was by far the rider with the most laps in the 1:40s (8). Hanika, fifteenth –1:41.257– improved throughout the session, going into the 1:41s on his last stint.

In the afternoon, the strategy was the same for Miller. More comfortable and with a better pace on worn tyres than with new ones, he was able to go fast riding alone. He completed his best lap on the penultimate attempt, going second with a 1:39.848. His teammate worked with him and was able to set his top time of 1:40.531 for seventeenth.

Sunday’s race grid will be decided tomorrow with qualifying at 12:35h. Miller is the rider with the most pole positions this season, and will have the chance to take number 9 this Saturday.

Results (Combined practice time FP1-FP2)
1. Niccolo Antonelli (KTM) 1:39.647
2. Jack Miller (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 1:39.848 +0.201
3. Alex Marquez (Honda) 1:39.916 +0.269
4. Enea Bastianini (KTM) 1:39.920 +0.273
5. Andrea Migno (Mahindra) 1:39.955 +0.308
17. Karel Hanika (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 1:40.531 +0.884

Jack Miller >> Audio (solely for radio use)

“The bike worked really well today. From the first stint I felt very comfortable because we have made some big changes. The bike is working well with the two setups we tested. We have not used many new tyres today, so that is good for us. What matters is getting the bike ready for the race and we are not far from achieving that. Our pace is very good, and I could set some very fast laps with used tyres. What worries me most is making a flying lap on soft tyres, because I tried three laps but I preferred to go back to the old ones. Obviously in qualifying session tomorrow we will try them again.”

Karel Hanika >> Audio (solely for radio use)

“I think the two sessions today were not too bad. In both we tried to improve the bike because the conditions were a little harder than in testing. In the first session we set the same time as then and in the afternoon we were able to improve a bit, but there are still places where we can gain some time. The good thing is that we know where. We are very close to other riders and if tomorrow we improve, then we can get a bit further up the order. In the end I’m happy with how the day went and how the whole team worked.”