With less than a fortnight to the opening Moto3 GP in Qatar, it was a good week of tests for the Red Bull KTM Ajo Factory Team with newcomer Jack Miller of Australia topping the combined time sheets after nine sessions on the Jerez circuit in Spain.
Riding the KTM RC250GP bike, Miller clocked 1:46.259 in the third session on Wednesday, Day Two of the three-day tests.
Rookie teammate Karel Hanika was also in good form, finishing third overall in a highly competitive field with the fastest 18 riders were all within a second of the winning time, an indication that the 2014 season will be highly contested and very close. Hanika of the Czech Republic won his place in the team after winning the 2013 Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup, the competition that grooms young riders for a potential career in MotoGP.
Other fast KTM riders in the Spanish circuit this week were Czech Jakub Kornfeil at fourth fastest, Isaac Vinales of Spain at eighth and Italy’s Romano Fenati at ninth.
Red Bull KTM team boss Aki Ajo said it had been a very busy but good test period and while there were some problems with the wind on Day One, the weather had also generally cooperated. “What is most important is that we feel we have made a big step with the development of the bike,” he said. “We are very thankful for the work that KTM did during the winter and together with us on the track. We feel we have improved a lot.”
The factory team now gets to translate what has been a busy period of testing into race action on March 23 in the night race in Qatar when their riders will open their account in the 2014 Moto3 World Championship.
Moto3 Official Pre-Season Tests (Final Round) at Jerez, Spain
Combined times after three days (9 sessions)
1, Jack Miller, AUS, KTM 1:46.259
2, Alex Marquez, ESP, Honda 1:46.359
3, Karel Hanika, CZE, KTM 1:46. 381
4, Jakub Kornfeil, CZE, KTM 1:46.388
5, Efren Vazquez, ESP, Honda, 1:46.392
8, Isaac Vinales, ESP, KTM, 1:46.551
9, Romano Fenati, ITA, KTM 1:46.592
13, JuanFranco Guevara, ESP, Kalex-KTM 1:46.982
14, Niccolo Antonelli, ITA, KTM 1:46.840
15, Philipp Oettl, GER, Kalex-KTM 1:46.967
Image courtesy KTM Racing