Top 10 for Binder in Qatar29/03/2015
Red Bull KTM Ajo rider takes tenth place in extremely close season opener. Karel Hanika claims first 3 points of the year and Miguel Oliveira places 16th after a crash.
The Losail International Circuit played host to a thrilling season opener for the Moto3 World Championship on Sunday night. The race victory was decided in the final metres, with as many as 13 riders in the front group during the contest. After fighting for a podium finish, Brad Binder had to settle for tenth place, followed closely by teammate Karel Hanika in thirteenth. Miguel Oliveira did not enjoy good fortune at Losail, receiving a knock from another rider on the opening corner that resulted in a crash. The Portuguese picked himself back up and eventually finished sixteenth.
The race did not start well for the Red Bull KTM Ajo team, as Oliveira was hit by a rival on the first corner and eliminated from the battle for the rostrum. The Portuguese used the remainder of the race to put further kilometres under his belt and was able to take sixteenth, showing the strong pace that he had been running for the entire weekend.
In contrast, Brad Binder made an excellent start. Taking off from the fifth row, the South African completed the opening lap in third place and led the way on the second lap. Throughout the 18-lap race, up to 16 riders fought for a place on the podium. Always amongst the top five, Binder dropped to the back of the group with three laps remaining. That ruled him out of competing for the podium. Rounding off the group was Karel Hanika, who placed thirteenth and picked up his first 3 points of the season.
Next up for the Moto3 World Championship is a trip to the USA, where they will contest the Grand Prix of The Americas from April 10th-12th.
Results – Race
1. Alexis Masbou (Honda) 38:25.424
2. Enea Bastianini (Honda) +0.027
3. Danny Kent (Honda) +0.142
4. Efren Vazquez (Honda) +0.288
5. John McPhee (Honda) +0.693
10. Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Ajo) +1.317
13. Karel Hanika (Red Bull KTM Ajo) +1.869
16. Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM Ajo) +6.814
Moto3 World Championship Standing 2015
1. Alexis Masbou (Honda) 25 points
2. Enea Bastianini (Honda) 20 points
3. Danny Kent (Honda) 16 points
4. Efren Vazquez (Honda) 13 points
5. John McPhee (Honda) 11 points
10. Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 6 points
13. Karel Hanika (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 3 points
#44 Miguel Oliveira
“Today’s race was a bit disappointing, because on the first corner another rider hit me from the inside and I could not avoid the crash. I was able to get up and resume the race, making up a lot of time. I sincerely believe that I could have been fighting for victory today, if everything had gone well, but racing is like this. I’m sad that I was unable to get into the points in the end. We have to learn from today and make back the 25 points Masbou took today. We have to get ready for Austin, forget this result and take only the positives away from this race.”
#41 Brad Binder
“The start of the race went very well. I made a good start, overtaking a few riders and getting up to the front. The first 10 laps went very well and I rode very comfortably, alternating amongst the top three positions. Later I noticed that I was lacking a bit of power and it was very difficult to use the slipstream at the end of the race. Also the rear wheel was shaking the bike a lot in the final part of the race. Unfortunately I only finished in tenth position, but I’m happy with how I rode. I could have fought for the podium, but this is only the beginning and it’s a long season.”
#98 Karel Hanika
“The race was rather difficult. I tried to hold my position for the first few laps, but I lost a bit of time to those ahead of me and later it was tough to overtake them. When I did so, I couldn’t make the passes stick. A few laps from the end I was able to latch back onto the front group. I think I can be happy with my performance because I gave 100%. Maybe the result could have been better, but we have to find out what the problem was, since our potential is higher than we showed and we can be further up in such a big group. If we find out what we can improve, I’m sure we can compete at the front. I want to thank the team for all their hard work; now we will start preparing for the next race in Austin.”