Victory for Oliveira and podium for Binder in Australia18/10/2015
Portuguese takes fourth win of the season and teammate accompanies him on podium in third. Hanika earns two points after great comeback.
Red Bull KTM Ajo earned their best result of the season this Sunday at the Australian circuit of Phillip Island, thanks to a victory for Miguel Oliveira and third place for Brad Binder. Both riders came up trumps in an intense race, in which there were many crashes and plenty of overtaking. Karel Hanika finished fourteenth, after crash when in second position. With this result, Oliveira moves up to second in the overall standings and remains in contention for the title.
Early on, the three Red Bull KTM Ajo formed part of a packed first group of 15 riders, which gradually reduced in number due to multiple crashes. With 17 laps remaining the trio occupied the top three positions, until five laps later, at Turn 4, Hanika went down.
Oliveira and Binder remained at the front in a group of six riders, defending their positions. The Portuguese clinched the win, with Binder only missing out on second place due to a slipstream. Meanwhile, Hanika picked his bike back up after his crash, did not give up and soared up through the field, taking fourteenth and adding two more points to his tally.
After this great result and with two races of the season remaining, Oliveira rises to second place in the classification and lies 40 points off the lead, still in with a chance at the Moto3 World Championship. Binder is seventh with 126 points and Hanika seventeen with 43. Next week the trio continue the action at the Malaysian Grand Prix.
Race – Results
1. Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 37:34.742
2. Efren Vazquez (Honda) +0.132
3. Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Ajo) +0.161
4. Jorge Navarro (Honda) +0.170
5. Jakub Kornfeil (KTM) +0.288
14. Karel Hanika (Red Bull KTM Ajo) +17.792
Moto3 World Championship Standing 2015
1. Danny Kent (Honda) 244 points
2. Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 204 points
3. Enea Bastianini (Honda) 188 points
4. Romano Fenati (KTM) 165 points
5. Niccolo Antonelli (Honda) 161 points
7. Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 126 points
17. Karel Hanika (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 43 points
“The truth is it was a crazy race. On the final laps I saw that the group was not very big and I could relax a little, but I was clear that I wanted to finish first or second. Before the race I wasn’t too sure about my strategy, but I knew I wanted to go into the last lap in second and that is which I opened up at Lukey Heights to let Kornfeil pass me, looking to slipstream him on the straight.
That enabled me to start the last lap with a little gap and I was able to defend very well for the entire lap. I’m happy for my team, as this was a very important victory and we all worked hard for it.
Obviously with fifty points still up for grabs and us being forty off the top, anything is possible, although my focus is to continue as we have been doing at the two remaining races. As we saw in this race, anything can happen, and in the end you also have to have some luck. Moto3 is a class in which everyone is fighting up to the final moment, and every metre of the track counts.”
“It was not an easy race. I was riding in the leading group when, with 9 laps remaining, someone touched my front brake going into the first corner and I had to run wide. Luckily I was able to continue riding and push hard to latch back onto the front group. Other than that, the race went well overall, but I’m a little disappointed because I thought I could definitely finish first or second. I pushed very hard on every lap, even after going off-track, but eventually I was slipstreamed almost at the finish line for second. I have to thank the team because the bike was fantastic, with amazing handling. I’m sure I could have done better and I’m a little sour about the result, but that’s racing. I’m glad to be back on the podium and eager for more at Sepang.”
“I’m a little disappointed at the end of this weekend, because in the race we were in a position to fight in the leading group. It was not easy to get to the front of the race, because my start was not very good and I had several touches from other riders on the first three laps, which caused me to lose positions. Finally I found my pace and made up positions to put myself into the leading group.
I was into the Top 3 and, although I tried not to make mistakes, I made one at Turn 4 and lost any chance I had of a podium. I was able to pick the bike back up and score two points, but it’s a shame because I think if I had not suffered the crash I would have been a clear candidate for the podium. I want to thank the team because the bike worked very well, so we’ll try again in Malaysia.”
“It’s been a great day for us, because it is not easy to get two riders on the podium and we have to be very happy about this. I am particularly pleased with our improvement over recent races, in the second half of the season. KTM have made updates that have been very good and our team have worked very hard on setups that allow us to feel strong. Thanks to all of them and especially the riders. We hope to continue in the same way at the two remaining races and fight for victories in them.
After this race, we need to focus on the World Championship, because thanks to Miguel [Oliveira] we are in the fight for the title. With the results from today, our only goal should be to win the two remaining races.”