Red Bull KTM Ajoriders Miguel Oliveira and Brad Binder finished on the podium at the Moto3 GP of Spain at the Jerez circuit on Sunday, a solid and positive result for the team run by Aki Ajo. Oliveira was just 00.097 behind leader Danny Kent and Binder was third. It was the closest finish of the four rounds so far held in the 2015 World Championship.
Oliveira was on the front row of the grid and got away to a near perfect start. As early as the second lap of the 23-lap race, he, Kent, Fabio Quartararo, the young French rookie, and Binder had already set up a four-way scrap that was to last throughout the race.
While Binder tucked in behind them, the front three exchanged the lead back and forth as they jockeyed for position and speculated about the possible vulnerabilities of their opponents throughout the first 10 laps. By then the race was still wide open, but the front group had broken away and was five seconds ahead of the following pack.
Halfway through the race it was already clear that one of the leading four would probably take the victory, but the issue was not settled until the final corner. Binder did lose some ground on the leading three towards the end of the race but then got right back into the action as they came into the final lap.
It was Oliveira who led them going into the last lap, but he was closely shadowed by Kent, Quartararo and Binder. Then the front riders three charged three abreast into the final corner, all looking for enough space to slip through. Quartararo made brief contact with Kent in the skirmish, which was just enough to force him wide. Kent, Oliveira and Binder needed no more invitation and quickly charged through to seal the top three places.
KTM rider Romani Fenati of Italy finished sixth after leading the following group for most of the race.
Miguel Oliveira: “I wanted to close in on the last corner and I knew there was only room for one bike to get through. I was lucky I didn’t crash. But it’s really cool for us to be both on the podium because our goal is to recover as many points as possible.”
Brad Binder: “It was a difficult race. It was good for me in the beginning but when the tires started to drop I was bouncing around a lot. I’m so glad to be on the podium. It was a good clean fight at the front and it was a lot of fun.”
Red Bull KTM Ajo teammate, Czech rider Karel Hanikawas not so lucky, crashing out in lap six. He did rejoin the race and worked his way back almost into the points by lap 20, before finally dropping back in the closing laps to cross the line in twenty second place. Red Bull KTM Ajo riders race on the KTM RC250GP machine.
The next round is the GP of France May 17 at the Le Mans circuit.
KTM Results Service Sunday, May 3, 2015
Moto GP of Spain – Jerez Circuit – Round 4
1, Danny Kent, GBR, Honda, 41:19.552
2, Miquel Oliveira, POR, KTM, 41:19.649
3, Brad Binder, RSA, KTM, 41:19.848
4, Fabio Quartararo, FRA, Honda, 41:20.434
5, Efren Vazquez, ESP, Honda, 41:22.458
6, Romano Fenati, ITA, KTM, 41:30.587
7, Francesco Bagnaia, ITA, Mahindra, 41:30.678
8, Jorge Navarro, ESP, Honda, 41:31.313
9, Enea Bastianini, ITA, Honda, 41:35.413
10, John McPhee, GBR, Honda, 41:35.516
17, Niklas Ajo, FIN, KTM, 41:55.347
21, Andrea Migno ITA, KTM, 41:56.084
22, Karel Hanika, CZE, KTM, 41:56.573
26, Zulfahmi Khairuddin, MAL, KTM, 42:13.144
27, Ana Carrasco, ESP, KTM, 42:29.099
DNF, Philipp Oettl, GER, KTM, 32:32.768
DNF, Jakub Kornfeil, CZE, KTM, 27:05.713
DNF, Gabriel Rodrigo, ARG, KTM, 5:37.684
Moto3 Standings after Round 4
1, Kent, 91
2, Vazquez, 60
3, Quartararo, 52
4, Bastianini, 47
5, Binder, 44
6, Viñales, 38
7, Oliveira, 33
8, McPhee, 28
9, Alexis Masbou, FRA, Honda, 26
10, Fenati, 26
12, Hanika, 18
16, Ajo, 8
17, Kornfeil, 7
19, Oettl, 5
20, Migno, 4
Moto3 Manufacturers Standings after Round 4
1, Honda, 100
2, KTM, 50
3, Husqvarna, 38
Next Round: GP of France at Le Mans May 17
More at www.motogp.com
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