MILLER HANGS ON TO MOTO3 POINTS LEAD IN SILVERSTONE GRAND PRIX
Red Bull KTM Ajo’s Jack Miller of Australia finished a hard fought sixth at the Moto3 Grand Prix 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 Kornfeil of the Czech Republic and Italian Niccolo Antonelli both raced their KTM 250 RC GP Moto3 bikes to fifth and eighth positions to give KTM four of the top eight slots in Round 12 of the competition.
Jack Miller, a Red Bull 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 ten 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.
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.”
Next Round: September 14, 2014 – Misano, Italy
Results Moto3 Silverstone
1. Alex Rins (ESP), Honda, 38:11:330 min (17 laps)
2. Alex Marquez (ESP), Honda, +0.011 sec
3. Enea Bastianini (ITA), KTM, +0.072
4. Miguel Oliveira (POR), Mahindra, +0.123
5. Jakub Kornfeil (CZE), KTM, +4.600
6. Jack Miller (AUS), KTM, +4.701
7. Niccolo Antonelli (ITA), KTM, +4.767
8. Alexis Masbou (FRA), Honda, +5.593
9. Danny Kent (GBR), Husqvarna, +5.659
10. Niklas Ajo (FIN), Husqvarna, 5.671
12. Karel Hanika (CZE), KTM, +5.940
13. Isaac Viñales (ESP), KTM, +6.022
16. Romano Fenati (ITA), KTM, +6.489
20. Hafiq Azmi (MAL), KTM, +28.347
21. Francesco Bagnaia (ITA), KTM, +29.167
26. Eric Granado (BRA), KTM, +39.672
DNF, Joe Irving (GBR), KTM
Standings Moto3 after 12 of 18 rounds
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