Hanika takes second in British GP qualifying session


Red Bull KTM Ajo rider takes best result to date in a World Championship qualifying session. Oliveira places ninth, just ahead of teammate Binder.

Hanika, British Moto3 2015

Hanika, British Moto3 2015

For the first time in his Grand Prix career, Karel Hanika took second place in qualifying today at Silverstone. The Red Bull KTM Ajo rider took advantage of his last chance on track to claim a front row spot -his third of the season. Miguel Oliveira will take off from the third row, as he -like teammate Brad Binder in tenth- completed his best lap in the first half of the session.

He was the Red Bull KTM Ajo rider that struggled most to lower his time from yesterday, but Karel Hanika had an excellent final lap in FP3 to go second fastest in the session with a 2:13.807. He was just 0.022s off the combined timesheet top spot. Brad Binder and Miguel Oliveira also improved on their fastest laps from yesterday to end the run eighth -2:14.565- and seventeenth -2:14.945-, respectively.

On such a long and wind circuit, slipstreaming is very important in the Moto3 class. This fact led to the Red Bull KTM Ajo riders going out together on their three stints in qualifying. The strategy kept them in the Top 10 throughout the session. Oliveira and Binder, ninth -2:13.591- and tenth -2:13.593-, respectively, set their best laps in the first half of the afternoon session, whilst Hanika -2:12.979- waited until the last second to finish the job and take second. The Czech was one of only two riders to lap under the 2:13 mark.

The Moto3 race will be the last to be held tomorrow, taking place at 2:30pm local time. Red Bull KTM Ajo will be aiming for a second consecutive podium after Binder’s rostrum at Brno. The team last won at Silverstone in 2013, courtesy of Luis Salom.

Results (Qualifying practice)
1. Jorge Navarro (Honda) 2:12.440
2. Karel Hanika (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 2:12.979 +0.539
3. Danny Kent (Honda) 2:13.044 +0.604
4. Efren Vazquez (Honda) 2:13.124 +0.684
5. Isaac Viñales (KTM) 2:13.144 +0.704
9. Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 2:13.591 +1.151
10. Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 2:13.593 +1.153

Miguel Oliveira,
“It is not the position we had to be in, but the truth is I felt much better on the bike and I rode a second and a half faster than this morning. I feel good and happy about that, because the result also depends a lot on luck in getting a good slipstream.

For tomorrow, I do not believe that pace matters so much at such a long circuit, as it will be difficult for anyone to escape. If we can make the group a little smaller, then I will try to be among the frontrunners and fight as hard as possible on the last lap.

In this type of race you can’t use much strategy, other than to push hard on the final laps and give everything. I will try to control my closest pursuers in the championship -Efren [Vazquez] and Fenati- and finish ahead of them.”

Brad Binder,
“It is not the final position we had hoped for, but overall we are positive and our pace is very good. Today I was able to complete many laps close to my best time, which will certainly be important in the race tomorrow and will allow me to be strong from start to finish. I think that there will be a big fight at the front, considering that Silverstone is a track with long straights where it will be difficult to escape. But it could be that three, four or five riders break away. Whatever happens, we will have to be prepared for it and get into the leading group.”

Karel Hanika,
“It was a good qualifying session for us. Tomorrow we will be on the front row, and that is always positive. We have been strong in every practice, riding in the Top 8 at all times, so I am optimistic for the race. At the beginning of the session I rode with my teammates and we worked well, taking advantage of the slipstream and putting ourselves in the top positions. In the end, catching a slipstream was a lottery, but on my last lap I slotted in behind Jorge [Navarro] and I could complete my best lap. Tomorrow it will not be easy to keep up with him and Danny [Kent], but I hope to fight with them in the lead group.”