Hanika sixth and Oliveira injured on opening day of German GP


First day of German GP sees Miguel Oliveira suffer hand injury that ends his weekend. Hanika and Binder complete the day with the sixth and thirteenth fastest times, respectively.


The German Grand Prix at Sachsenring began on a downbeat note for Red Bull KTM Ajo, with Miguel Oliveira forced to head back to Portugal after the first practice session due to a heavy crash. He suffered a fracture to the fourth metacarpal of his left hand and will need to undergo surgery tomorrow. Karel Hanika and Brad Binder put in solid performances in the combined standings, ending the day sixth and thirteenth fastest, respectively.

Bad luck struck Oliveira right at the start of the first session. A cold track -19ºC- and a tricky Turn 1 combined to send the Portuguese to the ground, five laps in. He suffered a break with displacement to the fourth metacarpal of his left hand, an injury which meant that he has headed back home to Portugal immediately for surgery tomorrow. The incident overshadowed within the Red Bull KTM Ajo team’s good showings through Binder and Hanika, who were sixth -1:28.335- and twelfth -1:28.503- in the first 40-minute free practice.

The pair continued their work in the afternoon. Binder had a small crash at Turn 3 of his second lap, meaning he returned prematurely to the pits. He went back out shortly afterwards. Hanika continued with a good feeling, riding inside the Top 5 and setting the second fastest time with 7 minutes remaining. In the end, both lowered their times from FP1, placing fifth -1:27.805- and eleventh -1:28.138-, respectively.

With Miguel Oliveira in Portugal, Karel Hanika and Brad Binder will be the only two Red Bull KTM Ajo riders participating in qualifying tomorrow at 12:35pm.

Results (Combined practice time FP1-FP2)
1. Danny Kent (Honda) 1:26.937
2. Niccolo Antonelli (Honda) 1:27.615 +0.678
3. Alexis Masbou (Honda) 1:27.658 +0.721
4. Fabio Quartararo (Honda) 1:27.666 +0.729
5. Philipp Oettl (KTM) 1:27.790 +0.853
6. Karel Hanika (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 1:27.805 +0.868
13. Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 1:28.138 +1.201
23. Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 1:28.597 +1.660

Miguel Oliveira,
“I sincerely hope I have already used up all my bad luck for this season. It’s a shame because we were in very good form. I had not crashed since the race in Austin. I immediately noticed that something was wrong with my left hand, and the Clinica Mobile confirmed it. Today I will travel to Portugal for surgery as soon as possible. I wanted to try to ride this afternoon, but the medical team told me that it was not feasible. I want to thank the Clinica Mobile the Clinica Mobile and the team for their support and help. I hope to come back stronger than ever at Indianapolis.”

Brad Binder,
“The first free practice session went very well. In fact, we reached a point where I think I could not go any faster with the setup we had. In the afternoon we completely changed the bike to try new things and, frankly, it didn’t go as we wanted. I had no rear grip and the bike stepped out when I got on the throttle when cornering. I had some problems and suffered a crash, but fortunately I was unhurt. I returned to the pits, we fixed the bike and we went out again, but still I did not feel comfortable.

In the end, on the last stint of the day, we worked in the opposite way to what we had done before –and things went much better. I only managed to complete two fast laps without traffic, but it was when I had my best feeling. Finally, I wish Miguel Oliveira a speedy recovery. He’s had a lot of bad luck. I hope to see him at 100% in Indianapolis.”

Karel Hanika,
“It was a good day for us. In the morning the track was quite dirty and we had little grip, so it was difficult to find pace and a good feeling with the bike. Gradually the conditions improved and in the afternoon we could do long runs on used tyres. Some things went well and others we still have to work harder on, but in the end we were able to complete several good laps and I think we’re headed in the right direction. I’ve had fun and I am looking forward to tomorrow.

It’s a shame about what happened to Miguel [Oliveira], a rider who is going very fast and is fighting for the World Championship. I wish him a speedy recovery and hope he is back at Indianapolis, stronger than ever. We will be waiting for you, mate.”