Oliveira fifth in Catalan GP qualifying


Red Bull KTM Ajo rider will start from second row of Moto3 grid, with Hanika and Binder twelfth and eighteenth, respectively.

Oliveira, Moto3, Catalunya MotoGP 2015

Oliveira, Moto3, Catalunya MotoGP 2015

The second day of the Catalan GP began with good track conditions, and the three Red Bull KTM Ajo riders improved their feeling from Friday to progress further. In the qualifying session, Miguel Oliveira took a spot in the middle of the second row on his last lap, and is one of the riders with the best pace for Sunday’s race. Karel Hanika in twelfth and Brad Binder in eighteenth will start from the middle of the grid, after being hampered by traffic.

Binder said yesterday that he had to change the setup of his bike and, having done that, in the first five minutes of FP3 he led the way on the timesheets. The South African was the first Red Bull KTM Ajo rider to improve his time from Friday, something which Oliveira would replicate shortly afterwards. The Portuguese completed the session in second -1:50 814- whilst Binder was seventh -1:51.451. A small crash with 21 minutes remaining prevented Hanika from making the most of the entire 40 minute session, going 31st with a 1:52.969.

Attempting to fight for pole position, Oliveira shaved tenths off his times in each of his three stints in qualifying, although traffic on track did not allow him to find the pace necessary for the perfect lap that he wanted. A best time of 1:50.857, set on his final lap, gave the Red Bull KTM Ajo rider fifth place on the grid. Meanwhile, Hanika did not feel completely comfortable. He put in a total of 14 laps and will start tomorrow from the fourth row in twelfth position. Binder also got stuck in traffic on the track, and went wide on his flying lap to take eighteenth on the grid -row 6.

The Moto3 Catalan GP will take place on Sunday at 11am local time. Red Bull KTM Ajo are looking to get the team’s second straight win and another victory in Catalonia, after doing so in 2013 with Luis Salom.

Results (Qualifying practice)
1. Enea Bastianini (Honda) 1:50.137
2. Danny Kent (Honda) 1:50.281 +0.144
3. Jorge Navarro (Honda) 1:50.840 +0.703
4. Niccolo Antonelli (Honda) 1:50.848 +0.711
5. Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 1:50.857 +0.720
12. Karel Hanika (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 1:51.528 +1.391
18. Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 1:51.822 +1.685

Miguel Oliveira,
“It was a typical Moto3 qualifying session, with many riders sitting around in the middle of the track, and perhaps today it was the worst it has been this year. It is a problem that maybe should be resolved differently, because everyone thinks they can’t go fast without a slipstream. It is dangerous to encounter so many people almost at a stop. We have solved most of the problems we had yesterday and from the morning I felt pretty good with the bike, so tomorrow we will go out to attack 100%. I think in the end we can consider ourselves fortunate to be on the second row, because it could have been much worse. I see myself having a good pace and we must be calm and have a smart race, but without giving up on attacking.”

Brad Binder,
“The feeling was not bad and we have taken a step forward compared to yesterday, but tomorrow we will try to improve a little more. The biggest problem has been that there was a lot of traffic at the end of the session and it messed up my last three laps, because people decided to stop right in front and there was no way to pass. When you miss out three times for this reason, it is not fun. Also on my last attempt I was all alone and I went wide on the back straight. Looking ahead to the race, I don’t think we will have trouble, but starting from eighteenth will not be easy. I have to give 110% in the race and try to overtake people gradually, without rushing, and progress lap by lap.”

Karel Hanika,
“Yesterday I ended up very satisfied with the job we did, because the bike was very good and responded to perfection. I’m not very clear about what happened today. We have not made big changes to the bike but the track conditions have changed. Putting new tyres on made it hard for me to open the throttle on some corners, and I suffered chatter in some places. That has been our main problem. We have to work at it and fix it for tomorrow, and we will. Fortunately, in this category the position on the grid is not too important and being on row six means we still have a chance.”