20 November 2014
Valencia Moto3 Test: Binder, Oliveira, Hanika try 2015 KTM
"We also rode with the new bike and the feeling is already really good; I'm especially happy with the chassis" - Brad Binder.
Just over a week after narrowly losing out on the Moto3 title for the second season in succession, Red Bull KTM's revised line-up of Miguel Oliveira, Brad Binder and Karel Hanika returned to Valencia to continue preparations for 2015.
Riding for the final time this year (and following a rain-hit test at Jerez last week) the trio each put in over 60 laps a day as they compared this year's bike - taken to within two points of the title by Jack Miller - with next year's machine.
The main change to the Moto3 technical rules for 2015 is a reduction in maximum RPM from 14,000 to 13,500.
With most teams left Valencia after Tuesday's second day - when the Red Bull trio were all listed as three-tenths from Honda pace setter Niccolo Antonelli - KTM continued with a private test on Wednesday.
Oliveira joins the team after spending two years at the factory Mahindra outfit, where he claimed two podiums and one pole.
"This test has been very positive,” said the Portuguese (pictured). “I felt much more comfortable with both the bike and the team - who are helping me a lot. We have set good lap times and a very good pace. [Tuesday] and today we tested the new 2015 KTM; although it was the first time with it, the feeling was very good. This gives me a lot of motivation to keep working hard in the winter and if possible get stronger for next season."
Binder is another former Mahindra rider, with Ambrogio, where he took his first podiums this season.
"It has gone very well in Valencia,” declared the South African. “[Tuesday] was a difficult day, not because of our feeling but because we worked with two different bikes. In the morning we used the bike from this year and in the afternoon we ran the 2015 KTM.
"Today [Wednesday] we also rode with the new bike and the feeling is already really good; I'm especially happy with the chassis. [Tuesday] we had a great pace but also suffered a couple of crashes, although none were serious. All-in-all, we're very pleased with the last test of the year and look forward to continuing to enjoy this new bike that gives me a very good feeling."
Former Red Bull Rookies Cup champion Hanika is continuing with the Ajo run factory KTM team for a second season.
"These three days of testing have helped us a lot - both me and the team,” said the Czech. “We tried a different setup for the bike from this year, always finding improvements in order to move forward. Today I tried the bike that we will use next year and everything surprised me for the good. If we work hard through the winter and improve some aspects we can go very quickly. Hopefully we can make this progress and improve my riding so that next season is very good. I have enjoyed myself during these tests and I have learned many things with the team. I think I feel ready to compete right now."
Team manager Aki Ajo added: “Karel has continued working hard and improving, showing his great potential. Here in Valencia he has been very consistent and fast.
“As for our new riders, Miguel and Brad, I think that they have made a really good start with the team. This has been six days of testing [Jerez and then Valencia] at very interesting circuits and a great first step for the 2015 project."
The KTM trio will not be back on their grand prix machines until next February.
Miller, who won six races this season, lost out on the title by just two points to Honda's Alex Marquez. Miller is moving to MotoGP and Marquez to Moto2.
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