Miguel Oliveira and Brad Binder achieve one-two in Malaysia


Portuguese takes second consecutive victory and Brad Binder places second at Sepang International Circuit. Karel Hanika cannot complete the race due to a crash.

Binder, Olivira, NAvarro, Moto3 race, Malaysian MotoGP 2015

Binder, Olivira, NAvarro, Moto3 race, Malaysian MotoGP 2015

A spectacular Sunday for the Red Bull KTM Ajo team saw them take a podium one-two at the Malaysian Grand Prix –the penultimate round of the World Championship. Miguel Oliveira managed a hard-fought win –his second in succession–, joined on the second step of the podium by teammate Brad Binder. With his fifth victory of the year, Oliveira keeps his title chances alive going into the final round of the year at Valencia. Meanwhile, Karel Hanika did not complete the race after crashing out on lap seven.

Oliveira and Binder withstood the heat on raceday in more ways than one, with the Portuguese taking off from third position and assuming the lead coming out of Turn 1. Hanika and Binder, who started from the fifth row, joined the large first group of 13 riders, with whom they both stuck until the seventh lap when the Czech suffered a crash.

Binder continued gaining positions throughout the 18 laps, moving up the field until he stood with Miguel Oliveira at the front of the race. In a heart-stopping series of final laps, seven riders challenged for victory. After the group came onto the back straight with Binder in first place, followed by Oliveira, a last gasp overtake from the Portuguese on the final corner allowed him to take the win and keep his title chances alive.

With this result, the Red Bull KTM Ajo team achieved their first one-two of the season. In the last 5 rounds, the team have scored seven podium finishes.

Pending the final round in Valencia –which takes place from November 6th to 8th–, Miguel Oliveira is assured of at least the runner-up spot in the Moto3 series and will fight for the title at the Spanish track. The gap to the leader is currently 24 points. In the overall standings, Brad Binder is seventh with 146 points, and Karel Hanika is seventeenth with 43 points.

Race – Results
1. Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 40:33.277
2. Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Ajo) +0.089
3. Jorge Navarro (Honda) +0.273
4. Niccolo Antonelli (Honda) +0.305
5. Romano Fenati (KTM) +0.416
DNF – Karel Hanika (Red Bull KTM Ajo)

Moto3 World Championship Standing 2015
1. Danny Kent (Honda) 253 points
2. Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 229 points
3. Enea Bastianini (Honda) 196 points
4. Romano Fenati (KTM) 176 points
5. Niccolo Antonelli (Honda) 174 points
7. Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 146 points
17. Karel Hanika (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 43 points

Miguel Oliveira,
“The truth is that at no time was I aware what position Kent was in; I had no information about him, I completely forgot about him and all I did was go for the win. On the last lap I did not want to be first out of the final corner, and luckily Brad [Binder] was and his slipstream helped me to push on the straight. He has a very fast bike too, like mine. I’m delighted with the win and I know the championship is still alive. Although I have a very slim chance, while there is still hope I will keep fighting.

Before beginning these three rounds I never thought that I could take the championship to Valencia. In the end, I am very happy with the job the team have done. They have given me a great bike to be on the podium consistently, and to have taken a fifth win of the season is very important.”

Brad Binder,
“I’m happy with the podium finish but obviously I had hoped to win. I felt good and I maintained a good pace throughout the race. I’m delighted with my first second place this season and hope that for next year things remain as they have been up to now.

I gave 110% throughout the race, was leading into the last corner and was trying to save myself for the end –not wearing out my tyres and staying out of battles. I did what I could, overtaking when possible and staying in the group when not. I am very happy with my form. I stayed at the front until the end, try to push as much as possible, but Miguel [Oliveira] did an extraordinary job. He kept the championship alive and that’s always good, so I’m happy about that.

I feel very good on the bike and I look forward to going to Valencia to seeing what happens.”

Karel Hanika,
“I’m pretty disappointed with the race today, because we crashed and again failed to score points. It’s sad because I think we could have had a good race, as my start was good and I gained some positions. Then I fought with other riders and lost many positions again, but I recovered and felt comfortable. Later, unfortunately, I was with the front group and I fell a little behind. I was on the limit, because when I opened the gas I had chattering with the rear wheel and it was very hard to keep up the pace. On the seventh lap I suffered a crash; although I’ve hurt my ankle and elbow, it’s nothing serious. We have another race before finishing the season to get a good result.”

Aki Ajo,
“Today was a perfect race for Miguel [Oliveira] and Brad [Binder], I have no words to say how grateful I am to everyone. The two riders did a great job today. Miguel was very strong in recent races and has shown that if we can acheive our dream in the last race, it will be fully deserved. I’m also very happy with, and grateful to, Brad, who has improved hugely throughout the year and had a great performance. He has shown that he is a great person and a great teammate. It is a pity about the crash for Karel [Hanika], because he was in the leading group; I hope that at Valencia he can finish the season with a good result.”