Oliveira repeats spot on front row


Red Bull KTM Ajo rider will start Japanese Grand Prix tomorrow from second position on the grid. Binder and Hanika will take off from the fourth and seventh rows, respectively.

Oliveira, Japanese Moto3 2015

Oliveira, Japanese Moto3 2015

Second yesterday in free practice, Miguel Oliveira repeated the position this afternoon in the qualifying session at Twin Ring Motegi, placing second on the starting grid for the second consecutive race. The Red Bull KTM Ajo rider confirmed his good pace from practice with a superb last lap in the qualifying session. Brad Binder, tenth, will start from the fourth row whilst Karel Hanika, twentieth, will do so from row seven.

FP3 allowed Binder and Oliveira to confirm their feelings from yesterday and take a further step forward. A major improvement enabled them to break the 1:57 barrier for the first time this weekend –along with Niccolo Antonelli the only ones to do so. With the second fastest time for Binder —1:56.918— and third for Oliveira —1:56.944—, the Red Bull KTM Ajo riders were amply prepared ahead of qualifying. Hanika had a small crash at Turn 7, 10 minutes into the session, which subsequently hindered him in improving on his best time of 1:58.766.

In the always difficult Moto3 qualifying session, Oliveira claimed the best result of the Red Bull KTM Ajo trio. The Portuguese put in a superb lap of 1:56.657 alone on his final attempt, which allowed him to climb to second position as the chequered flag fell. Binder was tenth with a 1:57.147 lap, after not feeling as comfortable riding with soft tyres. Hanika, twentieth —1:57.715—, improved on his previous best time in a session hit by strong winds that made things difficult for the riders.

Tomorrow, the fifteenth Moto3 race of 2015 will start at 11am local time —4am CET. The Red Bull KTM Ajo riders will be seeking a second consecutive victory and a third race in a row on the podium.

Results (Qualifying practice)
1. Romano Fenati (KTM) 1:56.484
2. Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 1:56.657 +0.173
3. Jorge Navarro (Honda) 1:56.720 +0.236
4. Niccolo Antonelli (Honda) 1:56.887 +0.403
5. Enea Bastianini (Honda) 1:56.927 +0.443
10. Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 1:57.147 +0.663
20. Karel Hanika (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 1:57.715 +1.231

Miguel Oliveira,
“We are pleased that we are having a very complete, consistent weekend with a good pace. We are in second position on the grid again, after a qualifying session that was more difficult than the practices due to gusts of wind -which made it difficult to push alone. Fortunately, thanks to the soft tyre I could ride in the 1:56 mark and get on the front row.

For tomorrow, Niccolo Antonelli has been very strong throughout the weekend, but the forecast is for rain and anything can happen. I hope to enjoy the race and that it goes well for us.”

Brad Binder,
“The day went quite well; I can’t complain. This morning I enjoyed myself on the bike, but this afternoon that was not the case, because with the soft rear tyre the feeling was not the same. With the qualifying tyre compounds we didn’t do great, but I feel good with the race rubber so I think we are prepared. I’m confident for tomorrow, even though the result from qualifying wasn’t better, but I know that in the race I will be fighting for the top positions. Let’s see what happens tomorrow.”

Karel Hanika,
“It was not our best day. I had some good first laps but I crashed at the same corner as yesterday.  With that mistake we lost the opportunity to find a good setup for this afternoon. I think we need more track time, because we have not had the opportunity to put in many laps. If we had that, we could have placed higher up. We still have some issues to work on tomorrow, because the bike is sliding and we need a little more speed on some corners. We must stay focused for tomorrow, as it could rain and that would change the preparation for the race a lot.”