Red Bull KTM Ajo conclude preseason with good feeling


Hanika, Binder and Oliveira take advantage of the last day of testing at Jerez to continue testing wet setups.


The last day of 2015 preseason testing was similar to the two previous days: Rainy and wet at Jerez Circuit. The Red Bull KTM Ajo riders continued to develop the wet setups for their machines, in order to prepare for any wet races they may have this year. Hanika -fourth-, Binder -fifth- and Oliveira -eighth- did not waste the day and improved their feeling from  yesterday; all three were in the Top 10 on the combined timesheet of the day.

In the first session, on a fully wet track surface, Karel Hanika, set the fourth fastest time of 2:00.547. He had gone quickest under identical conditions on Wednesday. Fifth was Brad Binder with a 2:00.754, whilst Miguel Oliveira was eighth with a 2:00.969, both improving their wet track times from the previous day.

In the next hour, under heavy rain, Binder set the second fastest time of 2:02.047. Meanwhile, Hanika and Oliveira completed 8 and 11 laps, respectively, to finish testing some final adjustments.

Binder was one of only two riders to go out to further work on a wet setup.  The South African was joined by only one other rider in the third session, completing 20 laps and putting in a best time of 2:00.963.

With preseason over, the next time the trio will be in action will be on Thursday, March 26th at the Losail circuit in Qatar, where the first practice sessions of the season will take place.

Results – Combined Standings Day 1-2-3
1. Jorge Navarro (Honda) 1:48.189
2. Danny Kent (Honda) 1:48.930 +0.741
3. Fabio Quartararo (Honda) 1:49.033 +0.844
4. Niccolo Antonelli (Honda) 1:49.055 +0.866
5. Jorge Martin (Mahindra) 1:49.265 +1.076
10. Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 1:49.461 +1.272
11. Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 1:49.508 +1.319
16. Karel Hanika (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 1:50.135 +1.946

#44 Miguel Oliveira,
“Today has helped us to find a better feeling in the wet. In the end it has been very positive, because I was fast and consistent. Lap by lap I’ve been riding better and also feeling more at ease on the bike. I don’t think it is too useful to ride in the wet right now, because at the races it is very dependent on how the track is. I still think we’re ready for a race in the rain thanks to the setup that we have found. We only went out in the first and second sessions, so it was a short day for us today.
I am prepared for Qatar, although I think it would have been important to have these three days in dry conditions to get the bike set up a little better and ride more comfortably. We are ready for battle. We have a great team that have done a good job. I have great confidence in them and I know that when a problem occurs, they will be there to help. I have to concentrate on myself, have a good race and try to score points.”

#41 Brad Binder,
“Today has been a rather positive day for me. Unfortunately the weather wasn’t great, but the truth is I’d rather be out there riding than sitting in the garage. I had a small problem with the bike when I opened the throttle fully. We have changed almost everything and we have solved the issue. Now I feel more confident for the first race in Qatar and I’m ready to have a good race. I’m looking forward to returning to ‘normal’ weekends, because I’m a raceday rider.”

#98 Karel Hanika,
“Today we did not have a chance to ride in the dry, because it was raining all day. The first session went well, as the track was wet but it was not raining hard, so we worked on improving the setup we had found yesterday. We changed some aspects of the bike which worked better. We are working in a different direction, which I think is good for when we need to run a wet setting. In the last session I went back out, but it was raining a lot. I focused on practicing my starts, which was quite productive.
Overall I am happy with how these tests have gone. I think both myself and the team are ready for Qatar, because although we have not had too many days to test, we have done enough laps to get used to the new bike and it has been very positive. If we continue to work like this, we will have a good first race.”

Team Manager – Aki Ajo,
“Unfortunately the weather here in Jerez was again not the best. This winter we haven’t been too lucky with conditions in testing, but we have to accept the situation. Luckily we had a test in Almeria and there we did really improve the bike, which is new this year. That means that we need a little time. After the test in Almeria and after what we have learned here in difficult conditions, we face the first race feeling fairly confident. I think we’re ready for Qatar. Sure, it’s only after a few races that we will see how the competition is, but day after day we have felt better.”