Fenati Wins in Jerez; 50th Victory in Road Racing for KTM
Italian KTM rider Romano Fenati fought a hard battle with five other top riders on the Jerez circuit on Sunday to take victory in Round Four of the Moto3 World Championship ahead of Spanish duo Alex Rins and Efren Vazquez. Fenati’s victory was KTM’s fiftieth in road racing, marking another milestone for the Austrian sports motorcycle manufacturer.
Fenati rode a strong race and was up in the top three in the opening laps from a tenth place on the grid. It is his second consecutive Moto3 victory. “It was a difficult start coming from tenth on the grid but I tried to push every lap, “Fenati said. “I thought it was going to be Rins in front going into the last corner. The bike was fantastic today.”
Red Bull KTM Ajo’s Jack Miller of Australia finished fourth and retains the red plate as championship leader.
The race was a battle of attrition from the very early stages with the front group of riders giving no ground and constantly swapping the lead. Miller, on his third consecutive pole position was with the lead group the whole way but tried to conserve tires on a very hot track surface. In the end he was unable to get through the traffic in front to challenge the top three. It was the first time this season that the Australian has been off the podium. KTM riders took four of the top six places.
Jack Miller said he had a good pace on the last lap. “I had saved my tires enough to fight and I felt confident that I could overtake the top three riders. But Viñales got past me, went wide again and pushed me so far off-line that I couldn’t make up the ground. I think I could have finished on the podium, because I had been very good at braking on the last corner and had great agility on the bike. I was also by far the fastest on most corners and was overtaking well, except in the straight and the tricky turn 11.”
Red Bull KTM Ajo’s rookie Karel Hanika had a tough weekend with some technical issues in practice and qualifying. He started on the back of the grid and worked his way up to a creditable nineteenth at the flag.
Karel Hanika: “We did not start well this weekend, but we worked very hard when up against it to find a good setup for the race. The mechanics did a great job, because the bike was perfect for racing today. I made a good start, moving up a few positions, and in the first half of the race I was one of the fastest on track.” Hanika said that pushing hard in the first half of the race wrecked his tires and all he could do was to stay on track and finish the race. “There has been good progress this weekend. We didn’t do badly, but things could have been better, ” the Czech teenager said.
The Red Bull KTM Ajo factory riders and Fenati compete on the 2014 edition of the RC250GP bike.
The next round of the competition is the GP of France at Le Mans on May 18.
Moto GP of Spain – Jerez Circuit – Round 4
1, Romano Fenati, ITA, KTM, 41:28.584
2, Efren Vazquez, ESP, Honda, 41:28.728
3, Alex Rins, ESP, Honda, 41:28.731
4, Jack Miller, AUS, KTM, 41:29.808
5, Isaac Viñales, ESP, KTM, 41:29.828
6, Jakub Kornfeil, CZE, KTM, 41:30.441
7, Alex Marquez, ESP, Honda, 41:32.392
8, Francesco Bagnaia, ITA, KTM, 41:35.215
9, Enea Bastianini, ITA, KTM, 41:40.528
10, Niklas Ajo, FIN, Husqvarna, 41:40.788
19, Karel Hanika, CZE, KTM, 41:52.325
21, Marcos Ramirez, ESP, KTM, 42:00.021
24, Hafiq Azmi, MAL, KTM, 42:16.397
DNF, Niccolo Antonelli, ITA, KTM, 21 Laps
DNF, Gabriel Rodrigo, ARG, KTM, 16 Laps
DNF, Eric Granado, BRA, KTM, 0 Laps.
Moto3 Standings after Round 4
1, Miller, 79
2, Fenati, 74
3, Vazquez, 62
4, Rins, 51
5, Marquez, 49
6, Kornfeil, 31
7, Viñales, 28
8, Masbou, 28
9, Bagnaia, 23
10, Kent, 23
14, Bastianini, 16
17, Hanika, 8
18, Antonelli, 7
Moto3 Manufacturers Standings after Round 4
1, KTM, 100
2, Honda, 76
3, Husqvarna, 25