13 February 2015
Moto3: Oliveira leads Ajo, KTM challenge
"We have to go to Jerez and focus on working with the bike and trying to understand it as much as possible"
New Red Bull KTM Ajo signing Miguel Oliveira was the top non-Honda rider during the only day of dry track time at the official Valencia Moto3 test.
The Portuguese was fifth quickest, 0.413s from Honda's star rookie Fabio Quartararo. Bad weather then arrived for the remaining two days of the opening official 2015 test.
"These two tests - Almeria and Valencia - have been very positive,” Oliveira said. “Unfortunately, during the three days in Valencia we have not been able to ride as much as we would have liked, because of the bad weather.
“However, we still take some very positive feelings away from this test from the first day, so we have bear that in mind and not worry too much. We have to go to Jerez and focus on working with the bike and trying to understand it as much as possible."
Team-mate Karel Hanika, the only continuing Ajo rider, was less than two tenths slower in eighth.
"The first day went very well; at least we were able to ride,” Hanika began. “I am very happy because we have improved a lot. We tested different setups, accumulating many miles and trying to familiarise myself with the bike. Lap after lap we've been getting better and I feel more confident. The most important thing is that we set good times with new tyres and were consistent on each runout.
The team have also done a very good job and in the end we found a good setup, on which we have to keep working at Jerez. If we continue in this way, I'm sure we'll be fine. Unfortunately we were only able to ride for one day at Valencia, but we knew that this would happen. I can't wait for Jerez."
South African Brad Binder completed the Ajo trio in eleventh place, 0.829s from Quartararo.
"The first day was really positive. We worked hard on the bike and found a good setup, and I think we are going in the right direction,” declared the former Mahindra rider. “I really wanted to go back out again, but I couldn't ride [on day two] because the weather was very bad. [Day three] I had the hope that we would have a dry track and better weather, but it ended up raining all day.
“I put in a few laps to see how I felt in rainy conditions, and I really enjoyed it. In the afternoon I went back out, but on only the second lap someone spilled oil on the track and I suffered a small crash. It was unlucky, but you cannot do anything about it and sometimes these things happen."
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