Positive first impressions in Catalonia for Red Bull KTM Ajo


Miguel Oliveira finishes sixth on first day in Barcelona, whilst Hanika and Binder go just a second slower in twentieth and twenty-third place, respectively.

Oliveira, Moto3, Catalunya MotoGP 2015

Oliveira, Moto3, Catalunya MotoGP 2015

The Red Bull KTM Ajo riders worked on finding the best setup for the Barcelona-Catalunya circuit on Friday, taking into account its mix of corners. Miguel Oliveira was sixth overall and Karel Hanika twentieth, whilst Brad Binder placed twenty-third and still has significant room for improvement. Oliveira and Hanika were both satisfied with their pace.

Despite being amongst the fastest riders throughout the first practice session, Miguel Oliveira completed the morning session in eleventh place with a time of 1:53.055, set on his final lap. His teammate Brad Binder, sixth with a 1:52.651, ascended positions in the final minutes, whilst Karel Hanika finished the first free practice in twentieth place with a best time of 1:53.466. A lack of grip had a big say in Friday’s proceedings.

Under a cloudy sky but with very good track temperatures of around 25ºC, the second free practice session was a chance for the Red Bull KTM Ajo riders to take an important step forward. Improving his times in each of his three stints, Oliveira managed to set 1:51.801 that was the sixth fastest time of the day. In a tight timesheet with as many as 22 riders within the same second, Hanika and Binder were relegated to nineteenth and twenty-third, respectively, for the session.

Qualifying for the Moto3 Catalan GP will be held on Saturday at 12:35pm local time. The most recent pole position for Red Bull KTM Ajo at the track was in 2013, with Luis Salom.

Results (Combined practice time FP1-FP2)
1. Danny Kent (Honda) 1:51.637
2. Niccolo Antonelli (Honda) 1:51.648 +0.011
3. Alesssandro Tonucci (Mahindra) 1:51.702 +0.065
4. Livio Loi (Honda) 1:51.726 +0.089
5. Enea Bastianini (Honda) 1:51.750 +0.113
6. Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 1:51.801 +0.164
20. Karel Hanika (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 1:52.464 +0.827
23. Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 1:52.649 +1.012

Miguel Oliveira,
“For the first day, I am satisfied. In the first session I could not ride as much as I would have liked because here, in Catalonia, we have fewer race tyres than at Mugello and we have to conserve them. The second session went a lot better. I found that I have a good pace, although there are still some things to improve with corner entry and exit -where I notice a lot of movement when there are bumps. Tomorrow morning we will focus on this and then try to have a good qualifying session.”

Brad Binder,
“We had a test in Almeria where we were able to get rid of the chatter problems, and today we really did fix that -but were unable to turn the bike in as I would have liked. I can’t turn into corners like I should, because unless I put a lot of pressure on the front brake I have no feeling with the front. The positive thing is that we know exactly what we have to do tomorrow, because looking at the data we can see in what the problem is. We can only get better. The result is not bad and I’m sure we can improve by 8 tenths with the bike operating normally, so we’ll see how it goes tomorrow.”

Karel Hanika,
“I’m happy, because although we are not at the front, today we did a great job. Honestly, I am equally as satisfied as if I had finished third or fifth, as I am one of the few riders who did not use new tyres in the second practice session. I rode with used tyres and we saved the new ones for tomorrow. Despite this, my pace was good. We still have room for improvement, so I am very optimistic about tomorrow and I think we will be in the fight for the top positions.”