KTM riders laid down the markers at the opening official tests for the 2014 Moto3 season this week registering seven of the top eight fastest lap times on the Ricardo Tormo circuit in Valencia.
Italian Niccolo Antonelli took the combined time honors with a lap of 1 minute 39.451 on Day Two. Red Bull KTM Ajo’s Jack Miller was solid throughout, setting the fastest lap times on all three sessions on the final day. His best time came in the opening session on Day Two, to finish second fastest overall.
Together with the official factory team, Miller and teammate Karel Hanika of the Czech Republic have been hard at work, also at private tests for a nine day period and resume next week for the second round of official tests at Jerez.
Hanika has moved up to Moto3 as 2013 Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup Champion. His three-day session was marred by a crash on Day Two and a wrist injury that had to be checked by doctors. Hanika was back on the track on Day Three and wound up his tests in twenty-third fastest overall
Team boss Aki Ajo said he was particularly pleased with his charges. “It’s been very hard work and we tried out many things. These have been very good tests here in Valencia and Jack has worked hard and has been constantly getting good results. We had some problems with the wind on the first day, but for February in Valencia, even the weather has been quite good.”
In total it was an impressive performance for a number of teams running KTM-driven machinery. Italian Romano Fenati of Valentino Rossi’s Sky Racing Team by VR46 junior team set the fourth fastest overall lap time and was second fastest on Day Three. Isaac Vinales, cousin of Maverick, the 2013 World Champion on KTM was fifth fastest overall.
Seven of the top eight fastest riders were on KTM-driven machines, split only by Husqvarna rider Danny Kent who set third fastest overall, also on Day Two.
Combined lap times over three days of tests
1, Niccolo Antonelli, ITA, KTM 1:39.451
2, Jack Miller, AUS, KTM 1:39.462
3, Danny Kent, GBR, Husqvarna 1:39.726
4, Romano Fenati, ITA, KTM, 1:39.885
5, Isaac Vinales, ESP, KTM, 1:40.060
More at www.motogp.com.
Image courtesy KTM Racing