Miguel Oliveira shows his cards


Red Bull KTM Ajo rider concludes both Friday practice sessions at MotorLand Aragon with the second fastest time. Karel Hanika places tenth on the combined timesheet and Brad Binder thirteenth.

Oliveira, Aragon Moto3 2015

Oliveira, Aragon Moto3 2015

The new KTM chassis debuted at the last GP also gave the Red Bull KTM Ajo riders a good feeling from day one at MotorLand Aragon. The trio felt comfortable and improved their times throughout Friday as the latest round of the Moto3 series got underway. Miguel Oliveira, second in both practice sessions, showed great pace and is already focusing on the race. Meanwhile, Karel Hanika and Brad Binder completed the day in tenth and thirteenth position, respectively.

Oliveira finished the first 40-minute free practice session with the second fastest time: 1:59.371. The Portuguese was fast with both new tyres and used tyres, and was always in the upper echelons of the table. Binder, ninth with a time of 2:00.414, changed his usual plan and started with a long stint of 12 laps and making only one stop in the pits. The South African was involved in an incident on the last corner of the track that prevented him from finishing the session. Hanika completed the morning in sixteenth place with a 2:01.156 best lap.

In the afternoon session, Oliveira was among the few pilots to ride in the 1:58s. He did so twice on his final stint, running new tyres, and set his fastest lap on his final attempt. His 1:58.893 time put him second once again. Hanika, tenth with a 1:59.503 lap, climbed positions despite not running the soft tyre nor using a slipstream,  while Binder had a front tyre issue that only allowed him to set a 1:59.609 best.

Tomorrow at 12:35pm, qualifying at MotorLand will decide the grid for the Aragon Grand Prix.

Results (Combined practice time FP1-FP2)
1. Enea Bastianini (Honda) 1:58.875
2. Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 1:58.893 +0.018
3. Jorge Navarro (Honda) 1:58.894 +0.019
4. Jorge Martin (Mahindra) 1:59.062 +0.187
5. Philipp Oettl (KTM) 1:59.122 +0.247
10. Karel Hanika (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 1:59.502 +0.627
13. Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 1:59.609 +0.734

Miguel Oliveira,
“I am very pleased by the results from the two sessions. Today we had a fairly consistent pair of sessions and I’m satisfied with my pace. In the last session we had a faulty rear tyre that muddled up our rear shock settings. The last stint was very positive and we were able to do a series of very good laps, with a good pace that we will try to improve on tomorrow.

The strategy for tomorrow is to use the slipstream on the two long straights, but it will not be easy. Let’s see if tomorrow we can find one, even thoug many people are going to be waiting around on track. At this circuit, in Moto3, the pole is defined by finding a perfect slipstream, so we’ll see if we are lucky.”

Brad Binder,
“The first day at Aragon has not gone as well as expected. Early on in the morning session, everything was fine. However, in the final part of FP1 I came up to a rider waiting on the last corner and he tried to cross the circuit. He hadn’t seen me, and we both ended up on the ground.

It was not the best start but in the afternoon I felt more comfortable and much faster. It’s too bad that there was a problem with a tyre that we used that caused me a lot of movement with the front, because I could have gone faster. Let’s see if we are lucky tomorrow and we can get a grid position as good as at Misano.”

Karel Hanika,
“We are very pleased with our work today. We started from where we left off at the test in Misano. I managed to improve my feeling with a different clutch and we tested the setup we used there. It seems to work well, because in the test it was already better than the other one and it was also better here. We applied some changes for several stints, to see if we could take further steps forward, and the feeling was not bad.

In the afternoon the wind changed a lot compared to the morning and it was difficult to find the fastest line at some points of the circuit. In my last run I was more comfortable and was only missing a slipstream, because I rode alone and at this circuit a tow can make a difference of four tenths.”