Hanika equals best QP performance at Mugello


Red Bull KTM Ajo rider will start tomorrow from fourth on the grid for second time in his Grand Prix career. Miguel Oliveira and Brad Binder will take off from 4th row.

Hanika, Moto3, Italian MotoGP 2015

Hanika, Moto3, Italian MotoGP 2015

Karel Hanika converted his good work in free practice into a fourth position on the grid for Sunday’s Italian GP at Mugello. The Czech rider thus equalled his best result in a qualifying session in the World Championship. Less happy with the day were Miguel Oliveira and Brad Binder, who placed eleventh and twelfth, respectively. The duo will start from the fourth row of the grid after missing out on a slipstream.

The three Red Bull KTM Ajo riders took an important step forward in the final practice session of the weekend, the trio improving their times from yesterday. Oliveira, second with a time of 1:57.592, led the way for much of the 40 minutes, setting a great pace with a single-stop strategy. Binder was seventh with a 1:58.010 lap and felt comfortable with his new setup, whilst Hanika -the fastest rider in the early stages- concluded sixteenth with a 1:58.671.

Oliveira continued to occupy the top positions during qualifying, but in the latter part of the session the Portuguese was relegated to eleventh place with a time of 1:57.652. Oliveira set his best lap in the final minutes, but the time was disallowed as he was deemed to have exceeded the limits of the track. Binder was just 0.39s slower than his teammate, whilst Hanika steadily progressed to get into the Top 5 on his last stint. The Czech took fourth with a time of 1:57.329.

With this result, the young Red Bull KTM Ajo rider has equalled his best qualifying result in the World Championship, after doing so for the first time last year in Germany. The sixth Moto3 race of the year begins at 11:00am local time on Sunday.

Results (Qualifying practice)
1. Danny Kent (Honda) 1:56.615
2. Hiroki Ono (Honda) 1:56.904 +0.289
3. Romano Fenati (KTM) 1:57.319 +0.704
4. Karel Hanika (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 1:57.329 +0.714
5. Niccolo Antonelli (Honda) 1:57.333 +0.718
11. Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 1:57.657 +1.042
12. Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 1:57.696 +1.081

Miguel Oliveira,
“Today’s result in the qualifying session was not what we thought we could get. At the beginning of the session we were at the head of the timesheets, but there was a moment in which we had to try to get a slipstream and improve our times and I didn’t manage it. Then I had my best lap cancelled. I’m a little upset by this and tomorrow I will have to make a comeback. I have a good pace, but here this does not count for much in Moto3 because you are easily overtaken if someone gets a slipstream. We will fight hard and hopefully we can achieve the result we deserve.”

Brad Binder,
“Today was a day of ups and downs. Twelfth is not a great result, but we can have a good race tomorrow starting from the fourth row. We have to keep working hard with the team and I have to change my riding style a little, because with new tyres it is still hard for me to get comfortable. For tomorrow’s race we have to try to keep up with the leading group in the 6 or 7 first laps, with new tyres. It will not be difficult, but I have to be careful. Past these early stages, we will be stronger. In practice we have achieved a good pace.”

Karel Hanika,
“I am very happy because we deserved a good result like this. We have worked very hard all weekend with the team and we have a good pace, but at this circuit a qualifying session is a bit of a lottery with traffic and you never know. For example, Miguel [Oliveira] has been very fast in every session, but tomorrow he will start from the fourth row. The race will be totally different from today’s qualifying session. I hope that starting up at the front will help us to be in the leading group, although we have very fast riders behind us and we cannot forget about them.”