Double podium for Red Bull KTM Ajo at Jerez

03/05/2015

Miguel Oliveira and Brad Binder place on Jerez podium in second and third, respectively. Karel Hanika finishes 22nd after a crash.

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The first European event of the Moto3 season came with a first podium for the Red Bull KTM Ajo team, an honour doubly celebrated by rostrum finishers Miguel Oliveira -second- and Brad Binder -third. The young riders managed to play their cards right in a rousing finale to the Spanish Grand Prix. Karel Hanika crossed the finish line in twenty-second place, after suffering a crash on lap five.

Oliveira, who started from third on the grid, made his way up to the lead positions by the first corner and took over at the head of the group. It was a pack rounded off by Binder, who managed to latch on to those contesting the rostrum spots. Oliveira, Kent, Quartararo and Binder all took turns to lead the race, battling for the podium right up to the final corner of the 23-lap race. Oliveira and Binder emerged from the fight with their first podium finishes of the season.

Unfortunately, Karel Hanika could not cap off a great weekend in similar fashion. The Czech rider suffered a highside on the fifth lap when up in fifth position, pulling away from the second group. Despite being able to get back on track, Hanika completed the race in twenty-second position.

In the overall standings, Binder lies fifth with 44 points, Oliveira seventh with 33 and Hanika twelfth with 18. The next round is the French Grand Prix, held on May 15th-17th at the legendary Le Mans circuit.

Race – Results
1. Danny Kent (Honda) 41:19.552
2. Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM Ajo) +0.097
3. Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Ajo) +0.296
4. Fabio Quartararo (Honda) +0.882
5. Efren Vazquez (Honda) +2.906
22. Karel Hanika (Red Bull KTM Ajo) +37.021

Moto3 World Championship Standing 2015
1. Danny Kent (Honda) 91 points
2. Efren Vazquez (Honda) 60 points
3. Fabio Quartararo (Honda) 52 points
4. Enea Bastianini (Honda) 47 points
5. Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 44 points
7. Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 33 points
12. Karel Hanika (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 18 points

 Miguel Oliveira,
“I am very happy with this podium, for both the team and for myself, because we did a great job. From the opening laps I felt pretty good about my pace and thought that I could lead, although when the grip began to drop it was a bit difficult in the two fast righthand corners. At the end I tried to protect my position on the last lap, which I was able to do but it was not enough to win. I was confident that the podium would come, because we have been doing a great job. It gives me confidence and peace of mind to face the coming races. I am pleased. On Tuesday we have a test, in which we will try to further improve the bike, and then we will try to cut the points gap in the championship.”

Brad Binder,
“It was a good race. Early on it went very well, and on the first three laps I had to fight but felt strong. Throughout the entire race I tried to stay with the group. When there were five or six laps remaining, I saw that the front end was totally spent, and also that the tyre was stepping out at full lean. That meant that on the last few laps I had to fight hard. I gave everything, right to the end, and am very happy to get on the podium.”

Karel Hanika,
“I am a little disappointed because I could have had a good race. I got a good start and was in eighth or ninth place, but I was comfortable with the bike, so I pushed hard to reach the front group. I tried to close in on the group ahead of me, but I made a mistake and suffered a highside. It’s disappointing, because after the crash I was able to get back on track and had the same pace as the riders at the front. We will take away the good points about this race, and focus on the next round.”

Aki Ajo,
“We have to be very happy this weekend, because we seem to have taken a step forward. The preseason was difficult for us, as the bike was completely new. Now, race by race, I feel we understand the bike much better. KTM are giving us their support the whole time and I’m grateful for their backing. There is still a lot of work to do and we are not quite completely ready, but this weekend has been a boost with all our riders in the Top 6 in the qualifying. Karel [Hanika] unfortunately crashed in the race, but demonstrated his potential. We have three very strong riders and I am very happy with them. Miguel [Oliveira] and Brad [Binder] have done a great job in the race; in Moto3 a lot can happen -right up until the last corner as we saw today- so we should be happy. I also want to mention how grateful we are to Red Bull for running the Red Bull Rookies Cup Program, because people should remember that these three riders [Oliveira, Binder and Hanika] up at the sharp end at races were Red Bull Rookies Cup riders -and our Moto2 rider Johann Zarco was the first winner of the Red Bull Rookies Cup.”

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