Top 10 for Binder in Qatar

Red Bull KTM Ajo rider takes tenth place in extremely close season opener. Karel Hanika claims first 3 points of the year and Miguel Oliveira places 16th after a crash.

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The Losail International Circuit played host to a thrilling season opener for the Moto3 World Championship on Sunday night. The race victory was decided in the final metres, with as many as 13 riders in the front group during the contest. After fighting for a podium finish, Brad Binder had to settle for tenth place, followed closely by teammate Karel Hanika in thirteenth. Miguel Oliveira did not enjoy good fortune at Losail, receiving a knock from another rider on the opening corner that resulted in a crash. The Portuguese picked himself back up and eventually finished sixteenth.

The race did not start well for the Red Bull KTM Ajo team, as Oliveira was hit by a rival on the first corner and eliminated from the battle for the rostrum. The Portuguese used the remainder of the race to put further kilometres under his belt and was able to take sixteenth, showing the strong pace that he had been running for the entire weekend.

In contrast, Brad Binder made an excellent start. Taking off from the fifth row, the South African completed the opening lap in third place and led the way on the second lap. Throughout the 18-lap race, up to 16 riders fought for a place on the podium. Always amongst the top five, Binder dropped to the back of the group with three laps remaining. That ruled him out of competing for the podium. Rounding off the group was Karel Hanika, who placed thirteenth and picked up his first 3 points of the season.

Next up for the Moto3 World Championship is a trip to the USA, where they will contest the Grand Prix of The Americas from April 10th-12th.

Results – Race
1. Alexis Masbou (Honda) 38:25.424
2. Enea Bastianini (Honda) +0.027
3. Danny Kent (Honda) +0.142
4. Efren Vazquez (Honda) +0.288
5. John McPhee (Honda) +0.693
10. Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Ajo) +1.317
13. Karel Hanika (Red Bull KTM Ajo) +1.869
16. Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM Ajo) +6.814

 

Moto3 World Championship Standing 2015
1. Alexis Masbou (Honda) 25 points
2. Enea Bastianini (Honda) 20 points
3. Danny Kent (Honda) 16 points
4. Efren Vazquez (Honda) 13 points
5. John McPhee (Honda) 11 points
10. Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 6 points
13. Karel Hanika (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 3 points

#44 Miguel Oliveira

“Today’s race was a bit disappointing, because on the first corner another rider hit me from the inside and I could not avoid the crash. I was able to get up and resume the race, making up a lot of time. I sincerely believe that I could have been fighting for victory today, if everything had gone well, but racing is like this. I’m sad that I was unable to get into the points in the end. We have to learn from today and make back the 25 points Masbou took today. We have to get ready for Austin, forget this result and take only the positives away from this race.”

#41 Brad Binder

“The start of the race went very well. I made a good start, overtaking a few riders and getting up to the front. The first 10 laps went very well and I rode very comfortably, alternating amongst the top three positions. Later I noticed that I was lacking a bit of power and it was very difficult to use the slipstream at the end of the race. Also the rear wheel was shaking the bike a lot in the final part of the race. Unfortunately I only finished in tenth position, but I’m happy with how I rode. I could have fought for the podium, but this is only the beginning and it’s a long season.”

#98 Karel Hanika

“The race was rather difficult. I tried to hold my position for the first few laps, but I lost a bit of time to those ahead of me and later it was tough to overtake them. When I did so, I couldn’t make the passes stick. A few laps from the end I was able to latch back onto the front group. I think I can be happy with my performance because I gave 100%. Maybe the result could have been better, but we have to find out what the problem was, since our potential is higher than we showed and we can be further up in such a big group. If we find out what we can improve, I’m sure we can compete at the front. I want to thank the team for all their hard work; now we will start preparing for the next race in Austin.”

3rd and 5th row starts for Red Bull KTM Ajo riders

Miguel Oliveira, in eighth, will start from the third row for the first Grand Prix of the year in Qatar. Brad Binder and Karel Hanika will do so from row five.

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The first qualifying session of the season took place this evening at the Losail International Circuit. In a closely contested battle for the top spots, slipstreams proved decisive in deciding the grid positions for tomorrow’s race. Miguel Oliveira placed eighth –taking a spot on the third row– and Brad Binder and Karel Hanika were thirteenth and fourteenth, respectively. The latter duo will take off from the fifth row. The top 17 riders were separated by less than a second.

After a first three laps used to test the waters, the trio of Red Bull KTM Ajo riders returned to the pits to change tyres and went back out together. Like last year, the riders worked together to achieve the best grid positions possible. Oliveira led the timesheets after seven minutes and, at the midway point of the session, the three Red Bull KTM Ajo competitors were all running inside the Top 10. With 10 minutes of track time remaining, a final runout enabled Binder to improve his lap time. Oliveira was on pole position pace on his last lap, 0.5s quicker than anyone else at the second sector, but he missed out after slowing at the end.

After almost five months away, racing returns tomorrow at 6pm local time. The Qatar Grand Prix will be the first race of the year for the Moto3 riders, with the Red Bull KTM Ajo team fighting for a place on the podium.

Results – Qualifying practice
1. Alexis Masbou (Honda) 2:06.170
2. Isaac Viñales (Husqvarna) 2:06.237 +0.067
3. Niccolo Antonelli (Honda) 2:06.245 +0.075
4. Francesco Bagnaia (Mahindra) 2:06.253 +0.083
5. John McPhee (Honda) 2:06.254 +0.084
8. Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 2:06.378 +0.208
13. Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 2:06.729 +0.559
14. Karel Hanika (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 2:06.815 +0.645

#44 Miguel Oliveira

“Today’s qualifying session was a bit difficult. It was hard to go faster than the other riders because today it was much windier than yesterday, and the wind blew towards you on the main straight. Today a slipstream would have given us much more advantage, but I think we did a good job. We have been consistent with our times and I felt comfortable on the bike. It is still a little frustrating to know that the lap time could have been better than what we did. Tomorrow we will concentrate on getting a good start and getting to the front at the start of the race. I’ll try to push and see what happens.”

#41 Brad Binder

“Unfortunately the qualifying session did not go too well. We worked hard and we were able to do a fair amount of laps consistently, but I could not manage to set a time 3 or 4 tenths faster than I had done before. I was also unable to take advantage of any slipstream, and this hurt me a bit. The position we have for tomorrow is not very good and I am somewhat disappointed, but I’m a raceday rider and tomorrow is the day that I like most.”

#98 Karel Hanika

“Today we took an important step forward with the team. Yesterday we tried to improve the bike a little and went in the right direction. Today we used a good team strategy and it worked rather well. At the end we all did our job alone. I rode on my own and I tried to catch a slipstream to go quicker. Most importantly, we know we can ride alone tomorrow. Unfortunately we are fourteenth on the grid, but I think we can have a good race tomorrow. I want to thank the team for the great work they have done today.”

Red Bull KTM Ajo ready for first QP of the year

Miguel Oliveira, Brad Binder and Karel Hanika improve their times from the first night in Qatar and end the practice sessions with the third, eighth and eighteenth best laps, respectively.

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This Friday night in Qatar saw the third and final free practice session for the first Grand Prix of the year. The three Red Bull KTM Ajo riders lowered their lap times from yesterday, showing improvement in each of the sessions. For the second straight night, Miguel Oliveira was one of the Top 3 fastest riders, setting the third best lap and just 0.097 off the top spot. Brad Binder climbed to eighth, while Karel Hanika was eighteenth.

Only 40 minutes of work time was available to the lower cylinder class on the second night of the Qatar Grand Prix. Red Bull KTM Ajo’s Portuguese rider, like yesterday, led the timesheets from the start. Always riding alone and finding his pace, Oliveira was able to set his best lap so far -2:06.510- with five minutes remaining. Less than half a second behind -2:06.939- was teammate Binder, who entered the Top10 with eighth place. Hanika dropped below the 2:08 barrier for the first time, with a 2:07.681 for eighteenth.

Tomorrow sees one of the highlights of the weekend: The Moto3 qualifying session. From 6pm local time, the Red Bull KTM Ajo riders will chase the first pole position of the season.

Results (Combined practice time FP1-FP2-FP3)
1. Danny Kent (Honda) 2:06.413
2. Hiroki Ono (Honda) 2:06.499 +0.086
3. Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 2:06.510 +0.097
4. John McPhee (Honda) 2:06.533 +0.120
5. Fabio Quartararo (Honda) 2:06.565 +0.152
8. Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 2:06.939 +0.526
18. Karel Hanika (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 2:07.681 +1.268

#44 Miguel Oliveira

“The day went very well. We finished the session in third place. At the end I could not catch any slipstream, but that’s good because it means we can still gain a few tenths and that is important. We are on the right track, and in the qualifying session we will push strongly to find a good time, because we know that the other riders also will try this. The objective must be to get onto the first or second row, to have a place where there is not too much traffic. I think we are ready to compete.”

#41 Brad Binder

“Today went much better than yesterday. When I started, I already noticed a better feeling with the front. I had a small problem when braking hard with the rear. On the second stint, when we changed an important aspect of the setup we improved a lot, but when I pushed hard, we had the same feeling as before. Anyway, we are calm because we know what we have to change, and it is under control. I hope to have a good qualifying session tomorrow.”

#98 Karel Hanika

“Today was a difficult day, because we made some completely different experiments to yesterday and they have not gone as well as expected. For a few laps I struggled a lot, and unfortunately I had to do them alone. Tomorrow in the qualifying session we have to focus on that in order to improve. We have to sit down and see what we have to adjust with the bike and how I can improve my riding style. I think tomorrow will be a better day.”

Oliveira starts out setting the pace

Red Bull KTM Ajo rider sets the fastest time of the first night of the Qatar Grand Prix. Binder and Hanika conclude with the eleventh and seventeenth best times on the combined timesheet.

Miguel Oliveira

The lights of the Losail International Circuit in Qatar were turned on tonight to start the Moto3 World Championship for 2015. In the first two practice sessions of the weekend, Miguel Oliveira had a starring role, setting a great pace and taking the best time of the night. Red Bull KTM Ajo teammates Brad Binder and Karel Hanika also enjoyed a good start, with the eleventh and seventeenth fastest laps, respectively.

It took less than five minutes for Oliveira to take command of the timesheets in the first practice session of the year. The Portuguese gradually kept improving his lap times, ending with a best of 2:06.699. Only Danny Kent was able to bet him, in the last minute and by 98 thousandths of a second. Binder went from strength to strength in the 40-minute session, finishing with the fifth fastest time -2:07.748- while Hanika dedicated the session to find a positive feeling and placed 23rd with a 2:09.305.

In the second session the dynamics were the same, with the Portuguese rider the fastest from the early going. However, this time, a final lap of 2:06.580 undertaken completely by himself made him the quickest of the night. Meanwhile, Hanika was among the first to improve his time from the first session, taking sixteenth with a 2:08.119. Binder was fifteenth with a 2:07.961 but was unable to up his pace from FP1.

Tomorrow, Oliveira, Binder and Hanika will be back on their KTM bikes to contest a third and final free practice session, from 7:00pm local time.

Results (Combined practice time FP1-FP2)
1. Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 2:06.580
2. Danny Kent (Honda) 2:06.601 +0.021
3. Niccolo Antonelli (Honda) 2:06.759 +0.179
4. Isaac Viñales (Husqvarna) 2:07.200 +0.620
5. Romano Fenati (KTM) 2:07.377 +0.797
11. Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 2:07.748 +1.168
17. Karel Hanika (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 2:08.119 +1.539

#44 Miguel Oliveira

“The first night was very good. It’s always good to finish the first day at the front, but we are keeping our feet on the ground, because we know that times will improve tomorrow. We must keep going and improve further because we have not yet matched the time from last year and we are aiming to improve on it. Today the track was in good conditions right from the first session, as it offered very good grip and there was no wind. We have not adjusted much with the bike, but enough so that tomorrow we can improve even more.”

#41 Brad Binder

“I am excited to begin the season. The first practice session went quite well; at first it was a little hard but in the end I was able to do a long run and I tried to improve with every lap. It was a very good start, I felt comfortable on the bike and enjoyed riding.

FP2 did not go so well, because basically I kept the same tyres for almost the entire session. When I put on new tyres, five minutes from the end, I started to see raindrops on my visor and the bubble of the bike. I decided not to risk it, because the track was not in conditions for me to go fast.

Although I didn’t end up with a good position, this does not worry me because I know that if I could ride as I know how, I would have been higher up.”

#98 Karel Hanika

“For the first day, it has not gone badly. We dedicated the day to getting back used to riding on a dry track, because it’s been a while. In the first session we spent our time finding a good setup and we tried to improve it ahead of the second session. Currently we are on the right way, because we have improved in each stint, and this is the most important thing. If we continue to work well, then on the big night this weekend we can be up at the front; that’s the goal. Our work so far is good and I want to thank the team, because I am very happy. I just need more laps to get more used to the circuit and go faster.”

Lights, camera, action for Red Bull KTM Ajo’s 2015 season

Miguel Oliveira, Brad Binder and Karel Hanika to participate in Moto3 World Championship’s season-opening Qatar Grand Prix.

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Once again, Sunday night in Qatar will begin the season for the Moto3 World Championship. The three-time World Championship winning team in the lower cylinder category, Red Bull KTM Ajo, start the campaign with a trio of riders who combine experience and youth: Miguel Oliveira, Brad Binder and Karel Hanika. Excited and optimistic, the three hope to fight for podiums and wins from the very first race.

After a final preseason test in Jerez hit by rain and bad weather last week, the Red Bull KTM Ajo riders arrive in Qatar wanting to get the most out of their new KTM bikes. Comfortable with their machinery in all conditions, Oliveira, Binder and Hanika are setting no limits for themselves. Last year at this round the Portuguese finished fourth, whilst the Czech completed his first ever Grand Prix in 14th and collected points. Brad Binder achieved his best result at Losail in 2013, with 12th place.

As is tradition at this first race, the Grand Prix takes place over four days. The action begins on Thursday with the first two practice sessions, with the Moto3 race on Sunday at 6pm local time.

Circuit information – Losail
Length: 5.380 metres / 3.343 miles
Width: 12 metres
Left corners: 6
Right corners: 10
Longest straight: 1.068 metres / 0.664 miles
Constructed: 2004

 

Miguel Oliveira

“Losail is a circuit where nothing stands out too much, as it doesn’t have many slopes and a particularly long straight, where a slipstream can always make a difference. The races there are usually in groups and sometimes a little chaotic, so there is no need to get too stressed as it is the first race. In the opening GP there are always some nerves, which is normal because we have not competed for a few months, but I’m confident. I think we are all fairly ready to start. My goal is to give my best. Finishing in the Top 5 would be considered a good start to the season, but if in the final stage of the race I am in the front group, we will strive to be as high up as possible.”

Brad Binder

“Qatar has always been a difficult track for me, since I’ve never shown what I’m capable of in the first race. Still, I feel much more prepared than at other times. I am already looking forward to riding there. I like the circuit a lot and always enjoy it. We’ll see what we can do. My goal is to try to get on the podium. It is true that in preseason testing we have not been where I would have liked to have been, but I hope that Qatar is different because it is a circuit that suits my riding style quite well; it has more faster corners than slow ones.”

Karel Hanika

“I can’t wait to start the Qatar Grand Prix, because it is the first race of the season and the first after a long hiatus. I like the track layout very much. Last year it was difficult to get used to the conditions there, but in the end we did pretty well and even managed to score points. I hope to enjoy the race and that the result is the one we want. Riding at night is special and I like the circuit. There are some areas where I have to learn how to take a perfect line, as it is easy to lose time. If we find the way to go fast in these particular areas, we will do well.

The goal is to finish the race and keep the bike upright in every session. We will have to work hard to get into the front group and stay with them.”

Red Bull KTM Ajo conclude second Moto3 Official test at Jerez

Karel Hanika, Brad Binder and Miguel Oliveira continue to improve their times at Andalusian track and finish seventh, eleventh and fifteenth, respectively.

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Red Bull KTM Ajo continue to make progress in the 2015 preseason, concluding the second Official Test today. With favourable weather conditions once again at Jerez, Karel Hanika, Brad Binder and Miguel Oliveira continued to improve their lap times, finishing seventh, eleventh and fifteenth, respectively, on the combined timesheet for the three days of testing.

Low temperatures at the start of the morning –dropping to 9ºC– made it impossible for the Moto3 riders to begin the final day improving their times. However, as the hours passed and the track temperature rose, the Red Bull KTM Ajo riders managed to best their times from yesterday. Binder came out very fast in the second session and, along with his two teammates, smashed his previous best lap times. Binder set his fastest lap of 1:46.607 –seventh– and Oliveira a 1:46.774 –tenth. Hanika lowered his times even further in the final session and closed the three-day test with a time of 1:46.427 –putting him seventh on the combined timesheet.

The next Moto3 Official Test takes place from March 17th to 19th at the same track, in what will be the final days of testing before the first race of the year in Qatar.

Results – Combined Standings Day 1-2-3
1. Fabio Quartararo (Honda) 1:45.580
2. Jorge Martin (Mahindra) 1:45.593 +0.013
3. Danny Kent (Honda) 1:45.964 +0.384
4. Niccolo Antonelli (Honda) 1:46.043 +0.463
5. John McPhee (Honda) 1:46.306 +0.726
7. Karel Hanika (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 1:46.427 +0.847
11. Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 1:46.607 +1.027
15. Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 1:46.774 +1.194

#44 Miguel Oliveira – Audio
“The truth is that this last day of testing at Jerez has not been as positive as we had expected, but we are still progressing. In the end we were unable to find the optimal setup for going fast. Despite this, we are working at 200% to find the best setup for the bike. I trust in the team, in KTM and the possibilities of the bike, and I am sure that at the next test we will have much better performance. This is what preseason is for; to improve. That is what we are doing with each passing day.”

#41 Brad Binder – Audio
“Gradually we have managed to improve various aspects of the bike, but we are still feeling a little chatter on fast corners and that has hindered us a little with our lap times. Besides that, I feel very good on the bike and I think we are slowly reaching the level we need. Obviously we will continue to work hard and see where we are when we return to this track. We will try to improve the handling a little to remove the chatter, but it is something that will take us a while.”

#98 Karel Hanika – Audio
“The three-day test here at Jerez has been quite positive. Today we made big improvements. When the conditions improved these last two days I felt very comfortable on the bike. We have a setup that is well suited to what I need, but we have to find another for when the weather or track conditions are not favourable. For the next test we have to improve the suspension and my riding style a little. If we can do that, then I am sure we will lower our times. I’m still satisfied with the time we set and the consistency that I have shown lap-after-lap.”

Red Bull KTM Ajo continue progress

Binder, Oliveira and Hanika improve their times from yesterday and are happy with the progress and pace found at Jerez on Wednesday.

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The wind and cold temperatures held off today at Jerez Circuit, allowing the Red Bull KTM Ajo riders to set up their new KTM machines for some fast laps in optimal conditions. Binder –sixth today–, Oliveira –tenth–, and Hanika –twelfth– all lowered their times from yesterday. The Portuguese was particularly pleased with his race pace.

At 11:20am Oliveira, Binder and Hanika got back onboard their KTM bikes. The Portuguese took only three laps to improve upon his time from yesterday –something that would also be done by his two teammates later on. In the second session both Oliveira and Hanika went round for the first time in the 1:46’s. Binder had a tougher time due to physical problems, and was forced to get off his bike and go to the Clinica Mobile. Fortunately, in the last session the South African was able to get back on track and set his best lap of 1:46.716 for fifth place, whilst Oliveira and Hanika worked on their race pace on used tyres.

The second Moto3 Official Test concludes tomorrow with a third day of action. The Red Bull KTM Ajo riders will try to take a step forward in order to have the best possible base for the final test, which takes place within the month at the same track.

Results – Combined Standings Day 2
1. Fabio Quartararo (Honda) 1:45.918
2. Niccolo Antonelli (Honda) 1:46.203 +0.285
3. Danny Kent (Honda) 1:46.491 +0.573
4. Juanfran Guevara (Mahindra) 1:46.501 +0.583
5. Jorge Martin (Mahindra) 1:46.536 +0.618
6. Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 1:46.716 +0.798
10. Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 1:46.953 +1.035
12. Karel Hanika (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 1:46. 965 +1.047

#44 Miguel Oliveira – Audio
“Today’s work has been focused on improving at the points of the track where we have felt slower, especially on the fast corners, and we have reduced this quite a lot. In the end we did not focus on setting a fast lap because we used only race tyres, on the front and rear. I am very happy with the pace and consistency I’ve had all day, right from the first session. The fast lap needs to improve by about a second, and we will focus on that tomorrow.”

#41 Brad Binder – Audio
“Today was a somewhat difficult day because in the second session I started to feel bad, with no energy and a lot of pain in my stomach. I don’t know what it was due to, but after going to the Clinica Mobile I got some painkillers and that solved the problem. I felt much better and when I got on the bike I was immediately able to ride like normal. I was able to go fast, so I’m happy about that. It was a bit of a confusing day because I felt bad, but then I improved a lot –which you can see from the times. With the bike, the biggest difference was the setup. We used one today that is much closer to what we needed. Every day we learn more about the bike and adapt it to my riding style.”

#98 Karel Hanika – Audio
“Today we improved a lot compared to yesterday, because the track conditions were much better –especially in the first two sessions. We are still working on the setup of the bike. We are working hard to find the right one, but still we have not managed to because we have some things to try to get the bike perfect. I believe that tomorrow we can do it, but if not then we still have another official test that is sure to help us to improve. Today we focused on the rear, because with the front I’m comfortable already. Despite this, I feel more confident with the bike and my riding style all the time; that’s always positive.”

Red Bull KTM Ajo’s preseason continues at Jerez

Strong winds and cold affect first of three days of Moto3 Official Test this week at Spanish track.

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Gusts of wind reaching up to 40 km/h greeted the Red Bull KTM Ajo riders on the opening day of the second Moto3 Official test of 2015, which takes place this week at Jerez Circuit. Rain held off for the entirety of the day, and thus Oliveira, Binder and Hanika were able to ride in dry conditions during the three hours allotted to the lower cylinder category. In the final standings for the day, the Portuguese was seventh fastest, whilst Hanika and Binder were eleventh and seventeenth, respectively.

The strong winds early in the morning and track temperatures of 11°C were no impediment to Czech rider Karel Hanika being the first rider out of the garage at Jerez. The conditions hindered the lap times, as shown by the timesheets, but as the wind died down all three Red Bull KTM Ajo riders were able to up their pace and they improved in each of the three sessions. Oliveira, Hanika and Binder made significant changes to the setups of their KTM bikes compared to last week in Valencia, in order to test new configurations on an entirely different track.

The second test of the year will continue tomorrow at Jerez Circuit. The weather forecasts –unlike last week in Valencia– are for a calm week free from rain.

Results – Combined Standings Day 1
1. Isaac Viñales (Husqvarna) 1:46.817
2. Niccolo Antonelli (Honda) 1:46.868 +0.051
3. Romano Fenati (KTM) 1:47.082 +0.265
4. Jorge Martin (Mahindra) 1:47.123 +0.306
5. Fabio Quartararo (Honda) 1:47.195 +0.378
7. Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 1:47.666 +0.849
11. Karel Hanika (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 1:48.285 +1.468
17. Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 1:48.605 +1.788

#44 Miguel Oliveira – Audio
“The first day was quite difficult due to the strong wind, especially in the morning. We made many changes to the bike to adapt it to track, but I have not got fully comfortable with the front setting today. We also had time to test a rear shock. These changes can make a difference, so it is important to test all the resources we have. Ov

#41 Brad Binder
“This morning I had a small technical glitch in the first session which we managed to solve. In the second session I was able to push a little more and we started having a good feeling with the bike. However, in the last session we again had some difficulties and could not get comfortable; the bike was pushing me out in the middle of the corners and I was unable to hit the apex. We know what we have to change, so hopefully we will have it fixed by tomorrow. We still have two very interesting days of work remaining, which is the most important thing.”

#98 Karel Hanika – Audio
“This first day has not been easy because it was very windy in all sessions. That’s why the lap times are a little far from the best times set here. At least we were able to go out on track, start adapting the bike to this circuit and try to work, despite the wind. Sometimes it’s difficult, but we still have plenty of work to do here in Jerez, so we’ll see what the weather is like tomorrow. We will have to continue to improve the setup and my riding style, but I think that if we continue like this, on the third day we could set some good times.”er the next two days we will try to improve, especially under braking, to try to be faster. We still have much room for improvement.”

Rain disrupts Red Bull KTM Ajo plans in Valencia

First Moto3 Official Test of the year concludes ahead of schedule for Red Bull KTM Ajo, due to rain and adverse track conditions.

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The first three days of official testing in the 2015 preseason was adversely affected by the weather in Valencia. After a positive opening day, the Red Bull KTM Ajo riders were faced with rain on Wednesday and showers and oil on track on Thursday.  That led to Miguel Oliveira, Brad Binder and Karel Hanika being unable to complete their planned testing workload.

The trio of Red Bull KTM Ajo riders leave Valencia with the satisfaction of having had a positive first day, in which their feeling and times with the new KTM were very promising. This was the only day of the three that they were able to make full use of, as on Wednesday mixed track conditions and intermittent rain forced them to stay in the garage. Today an oil spill from another rider meant that Olveira, Binder and Hanika were only able to put in two laps in the wet.

Happy with their work so far with the KTM, both in Almería last week and Valencia on Tuesday, the Red Bull KTM Ajo team now head to Jerez -where next week they will undertake three days of Official Test action.

Results – Combined Sessions Day 1-2-3
1. Fabio Quartararo (Honda) 1:39.392
2. Danny Kent (Honda) 1:39.415 +0.023
3. Enea Bastianini (Honda) 1:39.669 +0.277
4. Niccolo Antonelli (Honda) 1:39.784 +0.392
5. Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 1:39.805 +0.413
7. Karel Hanika (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 1:39.982 +0.590
11. Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 1:40.221 +0.829

#44 Miguel Oliveira – Audio
“These two tests have been very positive. Unfortunately, during the three days in Valencia we have not been able to ride as much as we would have liked, because of the bad weather. However, we still take some very positive feelings away from this test from the first day, so we have bear that in mind and not worry too much. We have to go to Jerez and focus on working with the bike and trying to understand it as much as possible.”

#41 Brad Binder – Audio
“The first day was really positive. We worked hard on the bike and found a good setup, and I think we are going in the right direction. I really wanted to go back out again, but I couldn’t ride yesterday because the weather was very bad. Today I had the hope that we would have a dry track and better weather, but it ended up raining all day. This morning I put in a few laps to see how I felt in rainy conditions, and I really enjoyed it. In the afternoon I went back out, but on only the second lap someone spilled oil on the track and I suffered a small crash. It was unlucky, but you cannot do anything about it and sometimes these things happen.

We want analyse some things, like the geometry of the bike and my riding position, to see how can I adapt better, although we are not very far off getting it right because I feel great. The team have been doing an outstanding job, so I can only thank them. Now I am looking forward to Jerez, where hopefully we will have better weather and work in good conditions.”

#98 Karel Hanika – Audio
“The first day went very well; at least we were able to ride. I am very happy because we have improved a lot. We tested different setups, accumulating many miles and trying to familiarise myself with the bike. Lap after lap we’ve been getting better and I feel more confident. The most important thing is that we set good times with new tyres and were consistent on each runout.

The team have also done a very good job and in the end we found a good setup, on which we have to keep working at Jerez. If we continue in this way, I’m sure we’ll be fine. Unfortunately we were only able to ride for one day at Valencia, but we knew that this would happen. I can’t wait for Jerez.”

Team Manager – Aki Ajo – Audio
“The conditions were not very favourable, but you have to be positive. We were able to ride on Tuesday, put in a lot of laps, keep learning and continue setting up the new bike. We have also been able to keep the entire team working with the new riders, which is always important. Tuesday was a very positive day and the riders were very consistent, although we did not put on a soft tyre to try to set any spectacular laps. They are very happy with the new bike and the feeling is very positive.”

Red Bull KTM Ajo put to the test in Valencia

Miguel Oliveira, Brad Binder and Karel Hanika conclude first day of first Moto3 Official Test with positive feelings.

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The 2015 preseason for the Moto3 riders officially started this morning at 10am, with the first of three days testing at the Circuit de Valencia -the same venue where the 2014 season concluded last November. Although lap times are not the primary focus at this early stage, the Red Bull KTM Ajo riders were satisfied with their first day on track; Miguel Oliveira was fifth fastest (1:39.805), Hanika was seventh (1:39.982) and Brad Binder eleventh (1:40.221)

The trio of KTM rider concurred in their opinions on the excellent feel with the new bike, which they had already ridden in a private test in Almeria last week. Concentrating on testing different setups for the KTM, Oliveira and Hanika improved in each of the three one-hour sessions on Tuesday. Only South African Binder was unable to make constant improvement, due to a small crash that ruled him out of the final 20 minutes of the day.

The first IRTA test for the lower cylinder category of the World Championship continues tomorrow and Thursday. On the second day the Moto3 riders will start one hour later, which could enable them to enjoy higher track temperatures.

44# Miguel Oliveira – Audio (solely for radio use)

“I am very happy with how we have started the test here in Valencia. We have been amongst the most consistent riders on track, as we set very similar lap times, with little difference between them. Today we did a great job with the bike. We have not changed much, but what little we modified I noticed had a big effect. We have to analyze the data with the team, but what I like is that the bike brakes very well. We must take advantage of that. I hope the weather stays good tomorrow and that we can continue moving forward.”

41# Brad Binder – Audio (solely for radio use)

“Today went very well. When I went out this morning, I immediately felt very confident with the bike. In the second session we made a big change to the front end, which went even better and gave us a good feeling. Overall I feel better about everything with the bike. When we went back out, we tested different tyres for both the front and rear, but when I went to push harder we lost traction on the rear.  When the grip kicked back in, I crashed. It is the first crash of the year and you can’t do anything about it, but overall I’m happy with the bike and the step forward we took today. If tomorrow the weather stays the same, I’m sure we can do better still.”

98# Karel Hanika – Audio (solely for radio use)

“I am very happy because I did not expect us to have such good weather. This morning on the opening run it was quite cold and we rode carefully, trying to get used to the track and the bike again. Step-by-step the feeling improved and we tried completely different settings than we ran in Almería last week. At some points it was not so good for me and we continued working, making small changes, but overall the feeling was much better. I am very happy and I think our base setup is pretty good, so I have to thank my mechanics and my team. We can be very fast with this setup, I just need to stay focused on every lap in order to do a good job. I hope the weather stays good tomorrow and that we can continue in this way.”

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