Miguel Oliveira takes historic victory at Mugello


Red Bull KTM Ajo rider becomes first Portuguese in history to win a Grand Prix race. Binder places tenth, whilst Hanika crashes on the final lap after receiving a knock from a rival.

Oliviera, Italian Moto3 Race 2015

Oliviera, Italian Moto3 Race 2015

Today will be a day to remember forever for Miguel Oliveira. Starting from eleventh on the grid, the Portuguese rider moved up the order to take victory at the Moto3 Italian GP. It was both his first win in the World Championship and the first ever win for a Portuguese rider in Grand Prix racing. All three of the Red Bull KTM Ajo riders were fighting in the leading group until end; Brad Binder crossed the line in tenth position whilst Karel Hanika crashed out on the final lap when battling for a podium spot.

Starting from fourth, eleventh and twelfth on the grid at Mugello, Hanika, Oliveira and Binder made good starts to move up to the front. Hanika was third after Lap 1, whilst in eighth place Binder rounded off the lead group that tried to pull away from the rest. On Lap 3,  Binder set a new fastest lap record with a time of 1:57.318.

Closing the gap, Oliveira joined the leading group and took the lead of the Italian GP, at the head of a battle between 16 riders for the podium. He went into the last corner at Mugello in the lead, holding the advantage to the chequered flag for his first victory in a World Championship race. Binder placed tenth and Hanika crashed at Turn 4 of the final lap after receiving a knock from a rival.

Miguel Oliveira is now fourth in the overall standings with 66 points. Brad Binder is ninth with 50 points and Karel Hanika fourteenth with 18 points. The next round will be the Catalan Grand Prix from June 12th to 14th.

Race – Results
1. Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 39:39.510
2. Danny Kent (Honda) +0.071
3. Romano Fenati (KTM) +0.127
4. Francesco Bagnaia (Mahindra) +0.130
5. Enea Bastianini (Honda) +0.200
10. Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Ajo) +2.139
28. Karel Hanika (Red Bull KTM Ajo) +34.625

Moto3 World Championship Standing 2015
1. Danny Kent (Honda) 124 points
2. Enea Bastianini (Honda) 78 points
3. Romano Fenati (KTM) 67 points
4. Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 66 points
5. Efren Vazquez (Honda) 60 points
9. Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 50 points
14. Karel Hanika (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 18 points

Miguel Oliveira,
“I am very happy with this first victory in the World Championship. I cannot believe it –I had tears in my eyes after crossing the finish line. It was a very difficult race because at first the front group broke away. I was able to catch them and then I decided to escape. I was not sure that they would, but in the end the tyres held up well and in the final sector I regained the lead and kept on the throttle to the finish line –which was very far!

I want to thank the whole team because it’s been amazing. We worked hard for this and we deserve it. Also thank you to my father, because it was he who instilled a passion for motorcycles in me and I would not be here without him.

Becoming the first Portuguese to win a Grand Prix is an honour and a privilege. I hope that the fans enjoyed it and that I can give them many more. Thank you to everyone.”

Brad Binder,
“In the warmup this morning we completely changed the setup of the bike. We went very well with new tyres but, as they degraded, it was very difficult to ride. The more the tyres went off, the more chatter there was. I’m a little disappointed, because I had a good pace and I knew I could do well. But with all these problems I cannot work as well as I am capable. Finishing tenth is not where I would like to be, because if we can adapt the bike to my style we can consistently be on the podium and fighting for races.”

Karel Hanika,
“I’m happy with what we showed this weekend, because throughout we have been up at the front and our speed was very good. In the race we also showed that we could easily ride in the front group and overtake our rivals. Unfortunately another rider hit me on the last lap at Turn 4 and I could not finish in the front group. I think at that point we lost the opportunity to be on the podium, but we should be satisfied with what we have done during the Grand Prix, moving forward from the last four races. If we keep this up, our turn will surely arrive. I want to thank my team for all the work they have done and we will come back stronger next time.”

Aki Ajo,
“It’s amazing how I feel right now. The start of the season was difficult for the team and I’m very happy for everyone who has believed in us all this time. We always do things as a team: Our riders, our crew, KTM, Red Bull and our sponsors all played a part –no one can do it alone. Today Miguel [Oliveira] was incredible. From the middle of the race it was very clear he was going for the win. I want to thank him and the entire team.

Karel [Hanika] was also doing a great job. The crash on the last lap was a shame, but these things can happen in racing. You must be confident. I am very happy with his work and he will fight for the podium this year.

Brad [Binder] also had some big battles at the start of the race. We will have to study what happened at the end of the race. He is a fighter and will soon be back with the frontrunners.”