Oliveira takes podium in shortened Japanese GP


Red Bull KTM Ajo rider claims second place in a wet race reduced to 13 laps. Hanika fights back for eighth and Binder crashes when in podium position.

Oliveira, Moto3 race, Japanese MotoGp 2015

Oliveira, Moto3 race, Japanese MotoGp 2015

Fog and rain delayed the Moto3 Japanese Grand Prix by more than an hour, but when it finally got underway Miguel Oliveira earned a creditworthy second place on a wet track and in very adverse conditions. The Red Bull KTM Ajo rider, third in the overall standings, took his third consecutive podium and reduced the gap to the top two in the World Championship. Karel Hanika climbed 11 places to cross the finish line in eighth and Brad Binder, seventeenth, suffered a crash while riding in third position.

Due to the delay caused by the weather conditions, the race was reduced to just 13 laps. Oliveira, who started from the second row after yesterday being penalised three grid positions, made an excellent start, and was in second place after the first few corners. Despite dropping a position on the third lap, the Portuguese quickly regained the spot and defended it until the chequered flag.

Hanika’s race consisted of constant overtaking. Nineteenth on the grid, the Czech gained a position on the first lap. From that moment on, he continued climbing up the order, lap after lap, reaching eighth at the end. Seventeenth was Brad Binder, who had moved up from ninth to enter quickly in the fight for the podium before a crash with three laps remaining. After his Turn 5 crash when in third, the South African picked his bike back up to complete the race.

With 3 races to go, Miguel Oliveira is in third position in the overall standings with 179 points -reducing the gap to second place to 9 points. Brad Binder is seventh -110 points- and Karel Hanika seventeenth -41 points.

Race – Results
1. Niccolo Antonelli (Honda) 28:03.391
2. Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM Ajo) +1.053
3. Jorge Navarro (Honda) +8.529
4. Isaac Viñales (KTM) +11.074
5. Zulfahmi Khairuddin (KTM) +13.043
8. Karel Hanika (Red Bull KTM Ajo) +17.563
17. Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Ajo) +30.719

Moto3 World Championship Standing 2015
1. Danny Kent (Honda) 244 points
2. Enea Bastianini (Honda) 188 points
3. Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 179 points
4. Niccolo Antonelli (Honda) 161 points
5. Romano Fenati (KTM) 155 points
7. Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 110 points
17. Karel Hanika (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 41 points

Miguel Oliveira,
“The race went pretty well. From the morning in the warm up, in which we rode for 10 minutes, I had a good feeling with the bike in the wet. It was very stable and I liked how I was riding; I felt very comfortable and that I had the chance to do well in the race. Starting from fifth, I knew that we could be up at the front and I tried to ride a smart race, without mistakes. Finishing a second behind Antonelli was the best we could do. It’s a third consecutive podium and I further points, so I must follow this up in Australia. Thanks to the team.”

Brad Binder,
“When I saw it was raining I was a little nervous, but my feeling was very good from the beginning. I felt strong on the bike throughout the race, but I was too enthusiastic. I was near the limit and, after two scares, when I opened the throttle at Turn 5 I lost the rear and had a highside. On the positive side, I think I was one of the fastest riders on the wet track and next time I will not make the same mistake. I look forward to the race in Australia.”

Karel Hanika,
“In the end, today was not too bad for me and the team. The day started a bit crazy, first having to wait so long for the Warm Up and then having just 10 minutes to test things out in these difficult conditions, in which we were not very fast.

In the race I was more confident, as there was less water on the track and I knew I could be fast. The first objective but was to keep calm and stay upright, which was basically what I did. The problem is that we started from very far back and it was not easy to overtake at the beginning, thus we lost a lot of time. I think afterwards I found a very good pace, reaching eighth. It’s a good position after the last few races, where we have not been lucky. I hope this is a fresh start and that we can continue in this way in the coming races.”

Aki Ajo,
“Once again we encountered difficult circumstances on track. Throughout the weekend the conditions were dry, and then it rained today. It’s the same for everyone but it has been difficult since the schedule was changed and the Warm Up was delayed. I think the whole team were well prepared for rain and our riders were strong in the race.

It’s been amazing to see how Miguel [Oliveira] improved his riding in wet conditions, especially after the difficult race at Silverstone. Today he rode an almost perfect race, taking second and without making mistakes. Brad [Binder] also had a great race, but unfortunately he made a mistake and lost the chance of a podium finish. Personally, I am very happy with Karel [Hanika]. It was not easy for him and today, finally, he felt comfortable on the bike and was able to fight.”