Miguel Oliveira takes eighth place at Le Mans


Miguel Oliveira -eighth- and Karel Hanika -twentieth- both have intense French GP. Brad Binder DNF’s early on after incident with another rider.

Oliveira, Moto3 race, French MotoGP 2015

Oliveira, Moto3 race, French MotoGP 2015

Leaving behind the cold and clouds of earlier this weekend in Le Mans, the Moto3 French GP opened Sunday’s racing under clear, sunny skies. The Red Bull KTM Ajo riders had plenty of work ahead of them, but the team were able to take points through Miguel Oliveira, who finished in eighth. Karel Hanika placed twentieth, having started from pit lane, while Brad Binder was hit by another rider on the second corner and taken out of the contest.

Miguel Oliveira started from the third row, whilst Brad Binder did so from twenty-fifth on the grid and Karel Hanika from pit lane. Forced to gain positions, Binder had got off the line strongly but was knocked down just a few metres into the race at the opening chicane. Without losing sight of the front group, at all times Miguel Oliveira was fighting for the top places in the race. The Portuguese was continually exchanging positions with rival riders, moving up as high as fourth place, before crossing the finish line in eighth.

Karel Hanika had to make a comeback through the field of his own, as he was forced to begin the French GP from pit lane due to a penalty from the Jerez round. The Czech gradually closed the gap lap by lap, reaching nineteenth. However, an untimely crash with two laps remaining truncated his progress and eliminated his chance of points. He got back on track to take the chequered flag in twentieth.

After five races, Brad Binder and Miguel Oliveira are seventh and eighth, respectively, in the overall standings, with 44 and 41 points to their names. Karel Hanika lies thirteenth with 18 points. The next race, the Italian Grand Prix, will be held at the Mugello circuit on the weekend of May 29th to 31st.

Race – Results
1. Romano Fenati (KTM) 41:22.829
2. Enea Bastianini (Honda) +0.122
3. Francesco Bagnaia (Mahindra) +0.457
4. Danny Kent (Honda) +0.693
5. Niccolo Antonelli (Honda) +2.244
8. Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM Ajo) +4.065
20. Karel Hanika (Red Bull KTM Ajo) +58.182
DNF – Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Ajo)

Moto3 World Championship Standing 2015
1. Danny Kent (Honda) 104 points
2. Enea Bastianini (Honda) 67 points
3. Efren Vazquez (Honda) 60 points
4. Fabio Quartararo (Honda) 52 points
5. Romano Fenati (KTM) 51 points
7. Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 44 points
8. Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 41 points
13. Karel Hanika (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 18 points

Miguel Oliveira,
“It was a difficult Grand Prix. During the race I did not quite have enough of a good feeling with the rear to open the throttle early. I was fighting at the front, but six or seven laps before the end I ran wide and it was difficult to regain ground. After the practice sessions and the warm-up, the race was a little disappointing. I know we can be higher up. Now we have to look ahead to the next race and continue going forward with our work to fight for the top positions.”

Brad Binder,
“I made a great start; I think we made up ten places, but when I arrived at the first corner and was braking for Turn 2, someone crashed into me and I fell down. It’s been a difficult weekend and it is a shame to have only completed one corner in the race, but that’s racing. I have dropped two positions in the World Championship, but now I am focusing on Mugello and fighting to get onto the podium.”

Karel Hanika,
“I’m a little disappointed with the race today. We started from pit lane and on the opening laps I had a good feeling with the bike. I had a good pace. Afterwards I could not keep this pace up, I know that both our potential and the bike’s was much higher than we showed today and that we can do well, but we have not been able to get the results we wanted. We have to work hard to improve for the coming races to fight for the top positions.”

Aki Ajo,
“Today was definitely not our day in Moto3. Brad [Binder] had some very bad luck on the first corner when another rider took him out, and he could not do anything about it. Karel [Hanika] has also had a difficult race so soon after his surgery, as well as having to start from the pit lane. We could not expect much. As for Miguel [Oliveira], we have to analyse why today we could not be stronger, analyse the setup and see what we can improve for the next race. It’s just one race and we know that are becoming more and more familiar with the bike. I am confident that at the coming races we will be fighting for the win.”