Red Bull KTM Ajo looking to get back on the podium in Italy27/05/2015
Miguel Oliveira, Brad Binder and Karel Hanika arrive in Mugello keen to move on and return to top positions. Continued progress allows them to face event with confidence.
The French GP was not an easy weekend for the trio of Red Bull KTM Ajo riders –reason for Miguel Oliveira, Brad Binder and Karel Hanika to reach the sixth round of the year highly motivated. The Mugello Circuit will test the riders and their KTM bike, after they have made significant progress in recent weeks. One of the main goals of the Red Bull KTM Ajo team will be to climb up the overall standings in Moto3: Binder lies seventh, Oliveira eighth and Hanika thirteenth.
For the South African and Portuguese Red Bull KTM Ajo riders, the French Grand Prix was something of a downer after achieving their first podium of the season at Jerez. Oliveira just missed out on the podium on his last two visits to Mugello, placing fourth each time. Ninth at the Tuscan circuit last year was Binder, who this season has made his best start to a World Championship campaign –despite a first DNF at Le Mans.
Karel Hanika was forced to use the most recent Grand Prix as a transitional appointment to work for the future, due to a penalty that forced him to start from pitlane. The Czech achieved his aim in France and was satisfied with his pace. This weekend he hopes for a good race, at a track where he placed in the Top 10 last season as a rookie.
The Italian Grand Prix will follow the standard timetable for European rounds, from Friday to Sunday with the race at 11am local time. Slipstreaming is likely to play a major role in the final stretch of the race, due to the 1.1km main straight. The last victory for Red Bull KTM Ajo at the circuit was in 2013 with Luis Salom.
Circuit information – Mugello
Length: 5.245 m / 3.259 miles
Width: 14 metres
Left corners: 6
Right corners: 9
Longest straight: 1.141 m / 0.709 miles
“I head to Mugello really motivated, because after Le Mans we have been able to improve the setup of the bike. Mugello is a track that has very fast corners and where stability will be very important, which is what we have improved most over the last few weeks. As always, I go to Italy excited and with the aim of winning. I trust my team and KTM, as well as my ability to get the result that we’re hoping to achieve.”
“I ended the race at Le Mans very disappointed, because obviously being unable to complete a single lap was not what I had planned. That gives me an extra motivation going into this round at Mugello, to try to return to the top positions. We have to try to get back on the podium. Right now we are in seventh place overall and it is not where we should be –we need to score points. I enjoy riding at this track; it’s fast and flowing. Also, if we look at the top speed of my KTM at the last few races, it has been very good, so this will be very important on the long straight. We have a bike with a lot of power, so we should use this.”
“The Mugello circuit is very nice, probably one of my favourites on the calendar. Last year we set good times, had a good qualifying session and finished the race satisfied, entering the Top 10 and riding with the leading group for the first time. I am eager to have a regular GP weekend, where I can fight for the top places. I have fully recovered from the operation on my right hand and my shoulder only hurts at times. I honestly think we can do very well, because in every race we have made progress and it shows. We’ll push as hard as possible to be at the front in every session.”