Front row for Oliveira at Indianapolis

08/08/2015

Portuguese will start battle for victory at the Red Bull Indianapolis Grand Prix from second place on the grid. Second row for Binder and fifth row for Hanika.

Oliveira, Moto3, Indianapolis MotoGP 2015

Oliveira, Moto3, Indianapolis MotoGP 2015

Red Bull KTM Ajo rider Miguel Oliveira has returned strong from the summer break, and not even his recently operated-on left hand would prevent him from taking his fourth front row of the season. The Portuguese took second place in the final moments of the qualifying session. There was a positive second row -in sixth- for Brad Binder’s and thirteenth place for Karel Hanika -who will start from row five and suffered a heavy crash today.

The final practice session of the weekend did not allow the Red Bull KTM Ajo riders to lower their times from yesterday. Although Oliveira led the session in the first few laps, the trio riders focused on setting up their KTM bikes with used tyres. Hanika had a scare with 3 minutes left of the session, falling hard at Turn 16. Oliveira was seventh -1:41.681-, Binder twenty-fifth -1:42.370- and Hanika thirtieth -1:42.973.

Given the all-clear to ride in qualifying by the Clinica Mobile after suffering a cervical contracture, Hanika was able to get his back out on track in qualifying -his mechanics having fixed his machine. The Czech was fourth midway through the session, with a time of 1:41.310 that eventually earned him thirteenth position. Teammate Binder -sixth- achieved his best lap time of 1:41.092 in the last 8 minutes, whilst Oliveira -second- waited until the chequered flag had been produced to set his 1:40.791 and go just 0.088s off pole.

The tenth Moto3 race of the year will be held at 11:00am local time. It was at this Grand Prix that Brad Binder debuted four years ago.

Results (Qualifying practice)
1. Danny Kent (Honda) 1:40.703
2. Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 1:40.791 +0.088
3. Zulfahmi Khairuddin (KTM) 1:40.811 +0.108
4. Enea Bastianini (Honda) 1:40.875 +0.172
5. Fabio Quartararo (Honda) 1:41.062 +0.359
6. Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 1:41.092 +0.389
13. Karel Hanika (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 1:41.310 +0.607

Miguel Oliveira,
“It doesn’t seem like it, but I found it hard to get on the pace these past two days after missing a race -Gerrmany-. In qualifying it was important to use the new soft tyres well, as we had to chose the best strategy for when to put them on. With so much traffic, in the end we had to wait until the last minute to allow enough space to set a clean lap.

For tomorrow we will try to fight for the victory, which is always our goal. However, I must be more careful than ever not to crash, because the bone is not completely fused. I will ride a smart race and go for the win when I see fit.”

Brad Binder,
“The end result for the day is very good. Although we started of with a FP which did not go as we had expected, we used the QP to recover lost ground and get a place on the second row -which is not bad. I am happy with this sixth place because I am not usually so high up the order on Saturdays. This will make the race tomorrow a little easier. I am looking forward to the red lights going out, because I feel confident and strong on the bike and I think I can fight to the final laps.”

Karel Hanika,
“Today was a difficult day for us. In the morning we took to the track with some changes to the setup that didn’t give us the results we wanted. We tried solving them, but in the end we had a heavy crash. I have to give thanks to all my team for the work they have done to repair the bike and get us out on track in the afternoon. In qualifying we put fresh tyres on and the feeling wasn’t bad. Taking advantage of a slipstream, we managed to climb many positions, but later on we managed to repeat the same time riding alone, and that is very important. We are ready for the race.”

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