Red Bull KTM Ajo’s Jack Miller of Australia finished a hard fought sixth at the Moto3 GP of Great Britain on Sunday on the Silverstone circuit but managed to hold onto his lead in the World Championship standings.
Top KTM rider was 16-year-old Enea Bastianini of Italy who rode a great race to finish third place behind Alex Rins and Alex Marquez, both of Spain.
Jakub Kornfiel of the Czech Republic and Italian Niccolo Antonelli both raced their KTM Moto3 bikes to fifth and eighth positions to give KTM four of the top eight slots in Rd. 12 of the competition.
Miller, a Red Bull athlete started in the middle of row three on the grid, only the third time this season he has been off the front row. He got away well and immediately moved up three places in the opening lap. The Australian then managed to ride with the leading four for most of the race with the riders fighting hard and constantly jockeying for the lead. With 16 riders vying for the win and barely separated on the time sheets, the race quickly developed into a blueprint of the last round on the Brno circuit. The Brno race was the closest ever finish by a large group of riders in the history of the small bike category.
Miller, who started the round with a 23-point lead, began to lose touch with the four front-runners with five laps to go as Rins, Marquez, Bastianini and Oliviera fought it out at the front. Particularly impressive was Bastianini’s ride. The young Italian showed little respect for the two Honda riders at the front of the pack as he fought hard for his podium place.
Miller leaves Silverstone with 10 more points to add to his championship tally but the opposition are closing in on him and the competition is shaping up to be very tight in the remaining rounds.
Miller: “I wanted to stay in the first group throughout the race, but some other riders made mistake which caused us to lose a lot of distance from the front. We had the pace and we were there lap after lap, but in the end we couldn’t manage it. We suffered a bit this weekend, both with my riding as well as with set-up. Now we have to get back on a positive trend and focus and on the next two GPs in Misano and Aragon.”
Miller’s Red Bull KTM Ajo teammate Karel Hanika of the Czech Republic, in his rookie season with the team, finished twelfth, recovered well from a race incident in the opening round then delivered a creditable ride on the British circuit.
Karel Hanika: It wasn’t a bad race. I started very well and I also felt really good. But on the first lap I braked very hard in a corner and lost my rear wheel completely and almost went into another rider. That was where I lost many positions. But still, I had a good pace and I was able to gradually pass rider after rider to move up to ninth place. Then another rider ran into me and I lost five positions. At this point I just tried to stay there. For me, the race was better than Brno, but we still have to find something that allows us to get to the front.”
Both Miller and Hanika are competing on the KTM RC 250GP factory machine.
Rd. 13 of the Moto3 World Championship is at Misano on Sept 14, 2014
More at www.motogp.com
Moto GP of the Great Britain – Silverstone Circuit – Round 12
1, Alex Rins, ESP, Honda, 38:11.330
2, Alex Marquez, ESP, Honda, 38:11.341
3, Enea Bastianini, ITA, KTM, 38:11.402
4, Miguel Oliveira, POR, Mahindra, 38:11.453
5, Jakub Kornfeil, CZE, KTM, 38:15.930
6, Jack Miller, AUS, KTM, 38:16.031
7, Niccolo Antonelli, ITA, KTM,38:16.097
8, Alexis Masbou, FRA, Honda, 38:16,923
9, Danny Kent, GBR, Husqvarna, 38:16.989
10, Niklas Ajo, FIN, Husqvarna, 38:17.001
12, Karel Hanika, CZE, KTM, 38:17.270
13, Isaac Viñales, ESP, KTM, 38:17.352
16, Romano Fenati, ITA, KTM, 38:17.819
20, Hafiq Azmi, MAL, KTM, 38:39.704
21, Francesco Bagnaia, ITA, KTM, 38:40.497
26, Eric Granado, BRA, KTM, 38:51.002
DNF, Joe Irving, GBR, KTM
Standings after Rd. 12
1, Miller, 179 points
2, Marquez 166
3, Rins 150
4, Efren Vazquez, ESP, Honda, 145
5, Fenati, 135
7, Vinales 99
8, Bastianini, 87
12, Kornfiel, 67
15, Bagnaia 42
17, Antonelli 30
18, Hanika, 24
26, Granado 2
Image courtesy KTM Racing