First day for Red Bull KTM Ajo at Le Mans Circuit


Miguel Oliveira and Karel Hanika among the Top 10 fastest riders on the opening day of French Grand Prix. Brad Binder finishes nineteenth.

Oliveira, Moto3, French MotoGP 2015

Oliveira, Moto3, French MotoGP 2015

The fifth round of the Moto3 World Championship started on Friday at the historic Bugatti Circuit in Le Mans, with the first two free practice sessions. The two 40-minute sessions were not easy for the  Red Bull KTM Ajo riders, who ran out of time to finish adjusting the setup of their bikes. Miguel Oliveira was seventh in the combined timesheet for the day, followed by teammate Karel Hanika in eighth. Nineteenth was Brad Binder.

Free Practice 1 was only useful for getting back into the swing of things, as a half wet/half dry surface due to overnight rain meant many riders elected to stay in the garage. Brad Binder was among the few who went out on wet tyres, but completed only two laps. In the end, nine minutes before the session concluded, the Red Bull KTM Ajo riders did 5 laps with slicks.

The second session was used for setup work by the trio, on a completely dry track. Oliveira, Hanika and Binder went out prepared to make up for lost time in the morning. Despite enjoying the entirety of the 40 minutes, they all acknowledged that they still have room to improve tomorrow. Miguel Oliveira was seventh -1:43.613- with Hanika eighth -1:43.630- and Binder nineteenth -1:44.161.

Tomorrow will see the final practice session of the weekend and the Moto3 qualifying session, which will decide the starting grid for Sunday.

Results (Combined practice time FP1-FP2)
1. Danny Kent (Honda) 1:42.731
2. Livio Loi (Honda) 1:42.851 +0.120
3. Fabio Quartararo (Honda) 1:42.940 +0.209
4. Efren Vazquez (Honda) 1:43.329 +0.598
5. Enea Bastianini (Honda) 1:43.367 +0.636
7. Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 1:43.613 +0.882
8. Karel Hanika (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 1:43.630 +0.899
19. Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 1:44.161 +1.430

Miguel Oliveira,
“In the first session we rode very little, because the track conditions were not good and there was no point risking a crash, so in the second session we went out very eager. The times were fast from the first minute and we found it harder to get quick laps. We know we can still improve many aspects of the setup, so this will be the goal for tomorrow. We have room for improvement.”

Brad Binder,
“This morning went well for me. It is true that the track conditions were not at all good, but in the few laps that I did complete I felt pretty good. In the afternoon, the feeling was different. It was harder for me to stop and turn the bike in. On a circuit with many chicanes it has been really difficult to ride fast. As soon as we get a good feeling with the front, everything will change radically. Fortunately we already have a good idea of how to do that, so it’s what we’ll talk about later with the team to plan things out.”

Karel Hanika,
“My wrist is not bothering me much. The doctors in Brno did a great job and the staff at the Clinica Mobile are also helping me a lot. Honestly, I think my shoulder hurts more from the crash in qualifying at Jerez than my wrist from the surgery. But I’m not complaining. The first day here at Le Mans has been quite positive. I tried to ride alone and concentrate on my riding. This is what I need to do to get good results. We have the potential to do better, so we have to keep working to find the best setup to be at the front.”