Oliveira finds good pace at Mugello


Red Bull KTM Ajo rider sets fourth fastest time on opening day of Italian Grand Prix. Brad Binder and Karel Hanika place ninth and eleventh, respectively.

Oliveira, Italian Moto3 2015

Oliveira, Italian Moto3 2015

Miguel Oliveira ended the first day of practice at Mugello satisfied, having concluded the opening two sessions with the fourth fastest time and as one of the most consistent Moto3 riders. Brad Binder and Karel Hanika had contrasting sessions, as the South African performed better in the afternoon and the Czech in the morning. They placed ninth and eleventh, respectively.

Mugello experienced pleasant temperatures of around 14°C and radiant sunshine in the morning session. In the first free practice Oliveira set the pace in the first 25 minutes, but ultimately it was Hanika who went fastest of the Red Bull KTM Ajo riders. He used his last run to take an important step forward with the setup of his bike, going fourth with a time of 1:58.829. Oliveira eventually placed thirteenth -1:59.438- and Binder eighteenth -1:59.873-.

In the afternoon, Oliveira was just as strong. Despite varying his tyre choices throughout the session, the Portuguese was very consistent with times of around 1:48.5, setting a best lap of 1:58.236 for fourth. Like Oliveira, Binder also improved his morning time within the first 20 minutes of FP2, putting in his best time on his last attempt -1:58.614-. Karel Hanika was twelfth in the second session of the day -1:58.985.

After the unusual qualifying session at the previous Grand Prix in France, the Red Bull KTM Ajo riders will be chasing a good position on the starting grid from 12:35pm.

Results (Combined practice time FP1-FP2)
1. Niccolo Antonelli (Honda) 1:57.616
2. Efren Vazquez (Honda) 1:58.201 +0.585
3. Isaac Viñales (Husqvarna) 1:58.229 +0.613
4. Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 1:58.236 +0.620
5. Enea Bastianini (Honda) 1:58.247 +0.631
9. Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 1:58.614 +0.998
11. Karel Hanika (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 1:58.829 +1.213

 Miguel Oliveira,
“Honestly, I’m happy with how this day went. In the morning we were pretty fast, apart from at the end because we didn’t use our race tyres -at Mugello you have to conserve them. In the afternoon we used a couple of them and everything went very well and the bike responded positively. We can still improve a little in some areas with our setup and I also have room for improvement. I only caught one slipstream on the straight, in the final part. The rest of the lap I rode alone. Now we have to discuss things with the team, but it seems that we are on the right track. I’m comfortable with the bike and with my pace as well. We will continue to work like this.”

Brad Binder,
“So far it has not been an easy day for us. In the first practice I did not feel completely comfortable and I found it hard to turn the bike in, but after I went back to the pits we knew exactly how to fix it, so it was not a problem. In the second session we changed the setup and it worked very well for turning, but we suffered some chatter. For tomorrow we’ll try some different things, because we know we have to change things up in order for me to feel good. I hope it works.”

Karel Hanika,
“I don’t know exactly why, but in the second practice we did not feel as comfortable as in the morning. That meant I was much slower on every lap I rode. With used tyres things weren’t so bad, but when we put the new tyres on I struggled to turn the bike in when cornering. We need to improve this aspect of the setup. If we do so, I’m sure we will take a big step forward. Conditions were different in both sessions. In the afternoon there were higher temperatures, but we may have to return to the setup we used in the first free practice. Tomorrow we will try out different options.”