Miguel Oliveira dominates first day at Phillip Island


Red Bull KTM Ajo sets best time of two Friday practices for Australian GP. Binder places fourth and Hanika sixteenth.

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The spectacular Phillip Island circuit welcomed the World Championship for another season on Friday, viagra sale hosting the sixteenth round of 2015. After the first two free practice sessions, Miguel Oliveira is the early pace setter, with the fastest time of the whole day in the morning and third quickest in a second session affected by rain. Brad Binder was fourth on the combined timesheet and Karel Hanika was sixteenth.

Just like at Motegi, the Red Bull KTM Ajo team began the weekend strong; the team’s three riders were up in the Top 10 during FP1, and Oliveira headed the timesheets. The Portuguese put in a 1:37.209 best lap and was out in front right from his first lap. Oliveira set the best time of the session with three minutes remaining, followed closely by Binder in fourth -1:38.091- and Hanika, in eighth -1:38.383.

A wet track with damp areas due to intermittent rain between sessions forced the Red Bull KTM Ajo riders to pit before completing their first lap in the afternoon. It was not until later, with 15 minutes remaining of the session, that Hanika, Oliveira and Binder got back onboard their KTM bikes. Despite the track conditions, Brad Binder took advantage of the four laps he completed to improve on his morning best time and set the second fastest lap in FP2: 1:37.698. Third was Oliveira -1:37.803- and fourteenth Hanika with a 1:38.611.

Tomorrow the trio will look to earn a place on the front row of the starting grid for the Australian Grand Prix. The Moto3 qualifying session will take place an hour later than usual, at 1:35pm local time -4:35am in Europe (CET) .

Results (Combined practice time FP1-FP2)
1. Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 1:37.209
2. Danny Kent (Honda) 1:37.419 +0.210
3. Jorge Navarro (Honda) 1:37.531 +0.322
4. Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 1:37.698 +0.489
5. Efren Vazquez (Honda) 1:37.876 +0.667
16. Karel Hanika (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 1:38.383 +1.174

Miguel Oliveira,
“This first day went pretty well. We were fastest in the first session and in the afternoon the conditions were different. The track conditions were tricky because it rained and we decided to go out in the last 10 minutes. We finished third, without improving our time. In any case, we are happy with how the day went, we are working with the aim of always being high up on the timesheets and fighting for the podium in the race.”

Brad Binder,
“Today was a good first day of practice for me. I felt comfortable from the first stint in FP1, although we could still work on the setup. We were fourth fastest, which is not a bad start. Looking ahead to the second session, we made some changes to the bike, but because of the track conditions it is difficult to verify the results. With 10 minutes left we went out and pushed hard. I am happy because second position in that session is good. We improved our lap times, and I feel that we still have room for improvement.”

Karel Hanika,
“Despite the position on the combined timesheet, we are quite happy with how the day went. Although the track conditions were not the best, we were able to complete many laps and gather valuable data for the setup. In the first session I tried to find a good line and have a good feeling on the very fast corners, which is not easy with the wind. And we succeeded. In the second session we made changes to the front end and, with worn tyres, we were able to ride with a good pace alone. This is precisely what makes me most happy today. Tomorrow I hope that new tyres and a slipstream help us gain some positions. I’m eager for qualifying.”