Miguel Oliveira takes fifth and Brad Binder ninth at Catalan GP


Portuguese rider misses out on podium after last lap misfortune. Brad Binder enters the Top 10 and Karel Hanika DNFs.

Oliveira, Moto3 race, Catalunya MotoGP 2015

Oliveira, Moto3 race, Catalunya MotoGP 2015

The Moto3 Catalan GP was an intense race, in which Miguel Oliveira fought for the win until the end. Only bad luck on the final lap prevented Red Bull KTM Ajo rider from taking a second consecutive podium finish, as he placed fifth. Brad Binder moved up 11 places from his starting position to finish ninth, whilst Karel Hanika was eliminated from the race by another rider when in the points.Starting from the middle of the second row, Oliveira led the way after

Lap 1 as part of a nine-strong group. With continuous overtaking on every corner, the Portuguese was swapping positions throughout the 22-lap Catalan GP. Halfway through the race the lead group was reduced to six riders, including Oliveira. Another thrilling last lap battle decided the top positions, with the Red Bull KTM Ajo crossing the finish line in fifth.

Binder and Hanika pushed their hardest in the chasing pack. The South African, who started from eighteenth on the grid, reached sixth after the opening lap, but was unable to stay with the front group. Dicing with rivals in the second group, Binder completed the race in ninth position. Worse luck befell Hanika, who started from twelfth and was in fourteenth when he crashed with three laps to go -another rider colliding with him at Turn 10.

In the overall standings, Miguel Oliveira lies third with 77 points, Brad Binder seventh with 57 points and Karel Hanika fifteenth with 18 points. The next round of the Moto3 World Championship will be held the weekend of Saturday, June 27th, in the Netherlands.

Race – Results
1. Danny Kent (Honda) 40:59.419
2. Enea Bastianini (Honda) +0.035
3. Efren Vazquez (Honda) +0.600
4. Niccolo Antonelli (Honda) +0.687
5. Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM Ajo) +0.827
9. Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Ajo) +11.068
DNF – Karel Hanika (Red Bull KTM Ajo)

Moto3 World Championship Standing 2015
1. Danny Kent (Honda) 149 points
2. Enea Bastianini (Honda) 98 points
3. Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 77 points
4. Efren Vazquez (Honda) 76 points
5. Romano Fenati (KTM) 75 points
7. Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 57 points
15. Karel Hanika (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 18 points

Miguel Oliveira,
“It was a very difficult race. We started well and we carried out our initial strategy, which was to be up at the front on the opening laps and try to form a group of four or five riders. We achieved that, but from there it was a very hard fought Grand Prix and I had to really ride at the limit to keep up with those at the front. I wasn’t very happy with the last lap. Nobody wanted to start it in the lead, and I had to brake hard on the last corner in order to avoid another rider. That was where the race was decided and I was not able to do anything more.

I’m very confident heading to Assen, because it is a circuit which -unlike this one- is perfectly suited to the KTM. I want to thank the whole team for the great work they are doing, KTM, Red Bull and our other partners. Also I want to thank my family members who came out to see me today.”

Brad Binder,
“I made an incredible start -I think the best of my life- and I’m very happy about that. But on the fast corners I could not keep up the same speed as my rivals and open the throttle, because I had to lean over more and it was very difficult. The positive is that on a weekend in which things have not gone too well, we have taken a step forward. Unfortunately we couldn’t ride in the leading group, but the reason for this was the three fast right handers. We have to fix this and then we can take another step forward.”

Karel Hanika,
“My start was not very good. The first few metres were not bad, but when I got to the first corner I was overtaken by several rivals and lost a lot of positions. The opening laps cost me a lot and I suffered a bit with the new tyres. From the third lap I was able to lead my group. I had a good pace, the tyres began to respond well and we were able to catch the riders ahead of us. During these laps, the bike was performing well and I was able to catch and overtake several rivals, but towards the end of the race the tyres went off again. On the fast corners I went wide and I also did so on the straights. Later, with 3 laps to go, another rider clipped me at Turn 10 and knocked me down.

The positives are the good laps from the first half of the Grand Prix, and now we have to think about Holland and Germany -two of my favorite tracks on the calendar. I hope to achieve good results there.”

Aki Ajo,
“Miguel [Oliveira] once again had a very good race, although he lacked a little luck at the end. On the last corner of the penultimate lap, the front guys slowed down and he had to cut the throttle, which lost him the slipstream on the straight. That was the main thing that prevented him from fighting for the victory on the final lap. We are confident, because we knew this circuit would be difficult for us and the next few tracks are well suited to him, so we hope to win again.

Brad [Binder] was in the leading group at the start of the race, but couldn’t keep the pace up because he did not feel the same confidence on the fast corners, and lost some positions as a result. He finished the race and scored points, and that’s a positive.

As for Karel [Hanika], unfortunately he crashed again, like he did at Mugello. I hope he does not give up, because his speed and pace are very good at the moment.”