The press releases received so far from the Moto2 and 125cc teams:
Second row for Luis Salom (6e) in Jerez
In the qualifying session for the Gran Premio BWIN De España the RW Racing GP rider Luis Salom achieved a respectable sixth place. The Spaniard start Sunday his home Grand Prix from the decond row.
The strong wind of Friday was still present on Saturday morning. At the moment the riders got on track, the wind dropped and the laptimes were faster than the Friday sessions. Luis Salom had troubles to set-up his bike for these weathercircumstances without the strong wind. During this third practice session, the Spaniard came into the box several times to adjust the set-up of his Aprilia. Like the Friday morning session Salom finish the session on a fourteenth position.
How different it was during the qualification session on Saturday afternoon! In the first half of the session the Spaniard remained reasonably in the top 10. But in the last 15 minutes, Salom fell back to a fifteenth place. With less than ten minutes on the clock came in to change his rear tire for a new one and within two laps, The Spaniard was back in the top 10 results. In the last two minutes of the session Salom came up in the slipstream of compatriot Hector Faubel and the RW Racing GP rider rode his Apreillia to an excellent sixth position.
Luis Salom (6TH, 1:48 .791):
"I'm very happy with this sixth place! Within the new RULES, jou have to start with only 3 per starting row.I just picked the last spot on the second row and I'm quite happy with it! With the set-up of the suspension in the morning session, I couldn't ride fast lap times. The wind suddenly fell away when the session began and the setting was just based on the wind. After the morning session, we reversed the set-up to the setting of the test and I needed to ride fast lap times! In qualifying it was really hard to ride lap times in the 48's. I was able to ride 49's lap times on my own but I needed a lap time in the 48 to get a good spot on the startting grid for tomorrow's race. In the final minutes of the session I came into the slipstream of Faubel and I was almost a second faster which gave me the 6th spot on the ! grid. The start tomorrow will be important and although I got a good position on the grid, it will be hard to finish nto the top 6. I will give everything tomorrow for the team and my home crowd and get a good result!"
Front row start for Thomas Lüthi
Thomas Lüthi conquered third place in practice for the Spanish Grand Prix, his second front row starting position in the second race of the year. With a fastest lap of 1.43,288 minutes on the 4.4 kilometre Jerez circuit, the 24-year-old Team Interwetten Paddock Moto2 rider was well ahead of local hero Marc Márquez who crashed in the qualifying practice and had to settle for fourth place. Only German Stefan Bradl, winner of the season-opening race at Qatar, and Japanese ace Yuki Takahashi qualified ahead of Lüthi.
Thomas Lüthi – (3rd in 1.43.288 minutes)
"It was a good qualifying, and I feel relaxed and confident. I found my rhythm and was able to push hard. I was right at the limit and even though I wasn't able to further improve in the end, I am confident for the race because I know I have the pace to fight and stay with the front runners. Apart from one very fast lap, Stefan Bradl was not as far ahead as in Qatar two weeks ago, so I don't think it will be as easy for him to break away and ride his own race. I'll try to have a good start, to fight within the front group and to get another podium!"
Alfred Willeke, crew chief:
"Our aim was to be well prepared for the race with a front row start and I'm happy with that we achieved. Stefan Bradl was able to squeeze out one very fast lap again, but I think that we are competitive as far as race pace goes!"
Terrell Thien, Teammanager
"A front row starting position is what we wanted, and I am confident for the race because we are not far away from the top. I am not as concerned about Stefan Bradl's performance as I was at Qatar. There are three or four riders that have a similar race pace and he will find it difficult to break away. If he beats the odds and does it again, I will take my hat off to him!"
FRONT ROW FOR TAKAHASHI, THIRD ROW FOR PIRRO
It was a positive day for Team Gresini Moto2 at Jerez, Yuki Takahashi setting the second fastest time to qualifying on the front row of the grid for tomorrow's race and Michele Pirro lapping seventh fastest to start just behind his team-mate on row three. After the setback of a crash yesterday morning Takahashi has seen his Moriwaki MD600 restored to its best by his crew and he is confident for the race tomorrow. Michele Pirro improved on his grid position from Qater and is keen to join the battle at the front.
Yuki Takahashi (2nd 1' 42" 988) "After the disaster yesterday with the crash we have worked well and I was able to get a good result this afternoon. I am happy because we were able to confirm our strong race pace and I am sure that we can have a good race tomorrow. Obviously everything will depend on the weather but I usually go well in the wet so either way I should be in good shape to fight for the win."
Michele Pirro (7th 1' 43" 615) "We have improved our starting position from Qatar from ninth to seventh so that is positive for a start. However, I am a little disappointed to have missed out on the second row but just 0.002 seconds. Hopefully I can get a good start and run with the front group. We have some changes to make with the bike but overall my feeling is good. I have confidence in the team and I am sure that like in Qatar we will have a competitive bike for the race."
Fausto Gresini "Considering that we virtually lost an entire session yesterday morning because of the crash today's result is more than positive for Takahashi. It is not easy to stay at the top in this category because the level is constantly improving so I have to be proud that we are still up there. I think Yuki can do well tomorrow, likewise Pirro, who only missed out on the second row by 0.002 seconds. It has been a positive day for the team and hopes are high for tomorrow."
Marc Márquez will start from fourth the Spanish Grand Prix tomorrow
The Repsol rider will start from the second row of the grid in Jerez, despite crashing few minutes before the end of the qualifying session
Marc Márquez had another intense day in the Andalusian track were the third Free Practice Session and the Qualifying of the Spanish Grand Prix took place. Second in the morning, in the all-important Qualifying session Marc Márquez set the fourth fastest time and will start from the second row of the starting grid.
This morning, after just one lap, the Repsol rider stopped again at the garage when the same problems he had yesterday with the rear brake reproduced. After a rider's crash and the resulting red flag, Emilio Alzamora's pupil was able to go back to the track with more than 30 minutes ahead to test. The rider from Cervera was able to progress to the top ten and, with a soaring last lap, he set the second fastest time.
In the afternoon, Márquez started the Qualifying determined to recover the lost ground. With the set-up clear since the last pre-season tests, the Repsol rider focused on adapting his Moto2 to the current conditions in Jerez: a high wind that conditioned the riding in the fast laps of the Andalusian track.
It did not take him long to be among the fastest of the class, and from mid-session on, it was clear that, together with Bradl, Luthi and Takahashi -who will be in the first row for tomorrow's grid- he is one of the four riders with a better pace. In his tenth lap, Márquez set a time of 1 minute, 43 seconds and 332 thousandths, a register that he was not able to improve due to a crash eight minutes before the end. Just after stopping to take new tyres, the Repsol rider entered too fast in the first corner of the circuit and lost control of his Moto2, putting an end to his session with a crash that had no physical consequences.
1:43.332, 14 laps, 62 km.
"Fourth is a very good result if we take into account how the practice sessions went. Truth is I was not able to do many laps due to the problem with the brake and, although we could not solve it until the Qualifying, the important thing is that it is now solved. With the few laps I did, I was not able to test on new tyres and when I tried to push, I went to the ground. We will try to improve that in the warm up and we will also have to see what the weather brings. Physically, I feel perfect, I did not get hurt. If there is wind during the race, we still need to improve, but if we are lucky enough and there is no wind -and it seems it is going to be so- it will be better for us. Bradl is strong, but that is not my battle. I want to do my own race, try to have a good start and if we are able to keep the pace, fine. If not, it will be ok".
REDDING AND KALLIO SET SIGHTS ON TOP SIX AT JEREZ
Marc VDS Racing Team riders Scott Redding and Mika Kallio are both confident they can fight for a top six finish in tomorrow's Spanish Moto2 race at Jerez, after qualifying next to each other on the fifth row of the grid.
Redding had another eventful session having made a blistering start to immediately slot himself into the top three in the early stages. Confident after an impressive display on worn tyres in this morning's final free practice session, the 18-year-old was unlucky to suffer another front-end crash on only his fifth lap of qualifying.
Redding lost control of his Suter MMXI machine at the slow speed second corner and despite a heroic effort, evident by large scuffmarks on the right arm of his leathers, he was unable to prevent the crash. His crew produced a magnificent job to repair Redding's bike and allow him to complete a further eight laps, but he was unable to improve on his time of 1.43.897 to finish in 13th position.
Kallio continued his impressive form this weekend and he will start the 26-lap race one place behind Redding in 14th after setting a best time of 1.43.935. That put him only 0.5s behind fifth position, highlighting the significant progress the Finnish rider is making in understanding the performance of the Suter MMXI machine.
Kallio experimented with a new rider position today to try and improve his confidence with the front-end of his machine and after finishing just 0.038s behind Redding, he is determined to mount a top six challenge in tomorrow's race, which is the second of 17 on the 2011 Moto2 World Championship calendar.
Scott Redding #45 1.43.897 - 12 laps - 13th position
"Crashing seems to becoming a bit of a regular thing at the moment and I'm getting pretty frustrated about it now because it ruined qualifying for me. This morning I was really happy because I was consistently fast with an old rear tyre and I was confident going into the qualifying session. The front felt a bit soft in the early laps and then without warning I was down at the second corner. Like in Qatar, I tried to hold it on my elbow but it was too late. The crash was identical to the problem I had in Qatar and it happens from mid-corner to the exit. It feels like I've got a bit more feedback here than I had in Qatar but it is still not working how I want and we've got to sit down and come up with a plan to give me some confidence. I got the bike back to the pits after the crash and the team did a great job to repair it and get me back out, but I was struggling with the front feel again. I'm relieved I pushed as hard as I did in the first four laps to get a lap time because missing that much of the session, I could have been way down the grid. We'll make some changes to the bike tonight and I'm sure we'll find something that allows me to show my true potential in the race."
Mika Kallio #36 1.43.935 - 18 laps - 14th position
"As we've seen many times in Moto2, the times are really close and I only needed to be another two or three tenths faster and I would have been fighting for the second row. I feel like we are edging closer to finding the full potential of the Marc VDS Racing package and I was very consistent this afternoon and improved my lap time throughout the session. But I just couldn't make that little extra step forward with the bike that would have put me in a much better position on the grid. I tried a different riding position today and while we found some benefit, I think I will switch back to the same set-up I had yesterday for the race. The grid position is not fantastic when I think about what can happen at a tight first corner like in this track, but my target is to try and fight for a top six and I am confident I can do that."
Michael Bartholemy - Team Manager
"Considering how much time Scott lost following the crash, I don't think we can be too disappointed with his 13th position on the grid. It could have been much worse so it was lucky he was able to push so hard at the beginning and get a fast time in before he crashed. Scott's crew did a great job to fix the bike and get him back on track and it was unfortunate that he couldn't improve his lap time. Another front-end crash is not good but his crew will work hard to a find a solution ahead of the race. I'm happy with Mika today because he was very consistent and always improving his lap time, so I feel confident we are starting to see more of his real potential. I think he's still got plenty more to show and I know both Scott and Mika can fight for the top six tomorrow, which will make up for the frustration we experienced in the opening race at Qatar."
Smith storms to stunning fifth in Jerez qualifying
Bradley Smith's fantastic start to the 2011 World Championship campaign continued at the Jerez circuit in Spain today, the British rider qualifying on the second row of the grid ahead his second race in the ultra-competitive Moto2 series.
The 20-year-old posted a best time of 1.43.500 to finish just over 0.2s away from claiming a stunning maiden front row as he produced another impressive display on the Tech 3 Racing Team's new Mistral 610 machine.
Taking advantage of the improved rear grip offered by a new rear linkage designed and built in the short time since he produced a dazzling Moto2 debut in Qatar last month, Smith was able to leave a host of big name rivals trailing beh ind him to finish less than 0.8s away from pole position. Smith, who won his first Grand Prix in the 125cc class at Jerez in 2009, is confident he can fight for his first top six finish in the Moto2 class.
Today proved a difficult challenge for French team-mate Mike di Meglio, who unfortunately was unable to match Smith's fast and consistent pace. He suffered a heavy crash during this morning's final free practice session and he started the qualifying session thanks to the hard work and effort of his Tech 3 Racing crew to quickly re-build his Mistral 610 machine.
But he was unable to find a comfortable setting and will start the first European race of the 2011 campaign from 29th on the grid, the former 125cc World Champion determined to deliver a positive result in the 26-lap race.
Bradley Smith 5th 1.43.500 – 20 laps
"This was a good day to finish fifth on the grid because Moto2 is very close and today was no exception. The front guys got into the 42s and there is a big group who ran in the 43s, so obviously I am very happy to be on the second row and right in contention. Considering the difficult day I had yesterday, I am really pleased with the way the bike was better today and in the afternoon we improved it again. I think we have a good chance of improving the bike a little bit more tomorrow morning because we have a few ideas to help improve my pace. We have quite a good base and I don't think we have to make any drastic changes for tomorrow, but we need to improve, particularly in the fourth section where I am losing most of my time compared to Stefan Bradl. The last sector is critical for the lap time but I can't complain with fifth. Moto2 is unbelievably competitive, so to be as high as I am so early in my first season is a big bonus." < /em>
Mike di Meglio 29th 1.44.921 – 18 laps
"It was a very difficult day for me because of the crash this morning. My mechanics had to change the whole bike and they did a fantastic job to have it ready again for this afternoon. We made some changes for the qualifying and I did feel better, but we have to continue in this direction for the race."
Difficult learning curve continues for Siméon in Jerez
Xavier Siméon will start tomorrow's race at the Andalusian circuit of Jerez de la Frontera from 11th row on the grid and is obviously not happy with that.
The first european Grand Prix of the season 2011 was not easy so far for the only Moto2 rider from Belgium and he is looking for improvements after his lap time dropped by one second during qualifying, compared to the morning session of today.
Siméon and the Tech3 B Team will work hard to get the lost second back and to be able to improve further during tomorrow's Warm up. They have to analyse the collected data from the first two days of the Spanish Grand Prix.
As seen on team-mate Brad ley Smith, who will start the race from 5th position, the potential of the Tech3 package is high and Siméon is confident he can improve despite the disappointing qualifying.
Xavier Siméon, 32th - 1'45.158
"It was another difficult day. We would really like to improve a little bit. Unfortunately we were slower in the afternoon than this morning. We changed the bike a lot, but that didn't really work out at the end. The lap time went down by one second and we don't know why we cannot be faster. We need to work and find a solution now, so I can maybe fight for the 21st position if I can make a good start."
BANKIA ASPAR TO LAUNCH TWIN VICTORY CHALLENGE TOMORROW
Nico Terol and Héctor Faubel on the pace and second and third on the grid
The names of Terol and Cortese have rung out constantly over the PA system this weekend at Jerez, the Spaniard and the German dominating proceedings in the 125cc class so far. Despite the best efforts of several other home riders the pair carried their personal duel into qualifying this afternoon, scrapping throughout for pole position, which eventually went to Cortese. Hector Faubel is sure to join the pair when it comes to fighting for the win tomorrow, when he will join them on the front row. The three 'veterans' of the class were the only riders to break the 1'48 mark tomorrow and look to be clear podium favourites, although if the weather forecasts are correct that could all change tomorrow.
BANKIA Aspar team-mates Terol and Faubel have worked hard all weekend to make sure they are ready whatever the weather. The former is the series leader and he set a fast and consistent pace today despite being knocked off pole at the end by Cortese. His weak point appears to be in T4, an area he will look to improve in tomorrow's warm-up. Faubel met his target of qualifying on the front row whilst the third and youngest BANKIA rider Adrián Martín will start fourteenth after suffering a crash this morning.
2nd Nico Terol 1.47.608 (17 laps): "I am extra motivated for tomorrow, I really want to put on a good show for the fans. We have a good base setting that has allowed us to set a consistently fast pace over the weekend so far and I feel ready for the race, hopefully it goes well. I have never won here before so I will be giving everything to do it tomorrow, although we have to keep in mind that it's a long championship. The three guys on the front row set similar times in the 1'47s and we are all experienced so I think the race will be between Héctor, Cortese and myself. We have to stay focused over the opening laps to make sure nobody esle gets involved and try to escape if possible."
3rd Héctor Faubel 1.47.969 (17 laps): "The chassis set-up is almost perfect, we just need to try and squeeze a bit more out of the engine to run with the front two. We have taena big step forward from Qatar and made the most out of the material available to us. I am third on the grid but just a couple of tenths off Nico and Sandro and I feel strong. My objective has to be to fight for the podium and if I can be involved in the battle for the win I'll give it my all. They will push hard from the start so I will try to stay with them and make it a three-way fight for victory."
14th Adrián Martín 1.49.785 (16 laps): "This morning I was really happy because I found my references easily although I had a crash at the end of the session when I tried to push on cold tyres. I didn't feel as comfortable in the afternoon, the bike wasn't responding as I expected and I couldn't set a fast lap. I was maybe trying too hard after that. The chassis set-up is good but we need to try and improve the engine before tomorrow."
SIMÓN TAKES TENTH AFTER SUFFERING ONE-OFF FRONT END ISSUE
MAPRE Aspar rider's progress hindered by uncommon wheelguard problem, but makes best of sesión with ten minutes to go.
The Moto2 category for the Spanish Grand Prix will start in a similar manner to the season opener -something that had seemed unlikely on Friday. If things were even on day one, in qualifying some of the stronger riders came to the fore. Stefan Bradl took pole, but may find it hard to break away from the pack at the twisty Jerez circuit.
MAPFRE Aspar rider Julián Simón showed his tenacity in the face of adversity in qualifying. He had recorded the fifth fastest time in morning practice, and all signs pointed to a front row start for Sunday's race. Unfortunately things didn't turn out that way, and a fault with his front wheelguard occupied half an hour of valuable minutes. By the time the issue had been resolved, there were only ten minutes left on the clock and little chance of a recovery. Simón gritted his teeth and pulled himself up to tenth for Sunday's start at his home round. He has hopes of salvaging a strong result at Jerez.
Xavi Flores had similar problems, after having an excellent time of things in the practice sessions. In qualifying he lost confidence with the front end of his machine, and could only manage to place 26th.
10th Julián Simón 1.43.766 (18 laps): "The qualifying session was tough for us. I had an unexpected problem, a silly issue really. The wheel guard had broken and was touching the front wheel whenever I hit the brakes heavily. That didn't allow me to take the corners well. With ten minutes to go, we changed it -although that only allowed me to undertake three laps. The first was a fast lap, but the other two weren't so good. Not knowing what was going on made me lose confidence, and thus I lacked pace in the session. Without this, we could have been amongst the top five with ease. In any case, tenth isn't that bad and the problem today was an isolated incident. I'm not too worried and I think that we can come back through the field. Bradl is looking strong, but these are the opening races and things will even out."
26th Xavi Forés 1.44.692 (19 laps): "It was a pity that the qualifying sesión didn't go as we had intended. The same thing is happening to us that occurred in Qatar; in practice I feel good, but at the key moment things go against us. It was very hard for us to find a good feeling on the front, and I had to take the corners slowly. I am starting from far back, but I will do my own race and try to gain as many places as possible and get as much data as I can. I'm not happy with starting so far back, but I am not going to give up and I will be trying my hardest."
Technical problems for Anthony West
Max Neukirchner crashes again
Difficult weekend for the MZ Moto2 Racing Team: Anthony West ran into technical trouble on the second day of practice for the Spanish Grand Prix, whereas team-mate Max Neukirchner crashed again whilst fighting hard to improve his lap time. After that, the MZ factory riders had to settle for 30th and 36th position on the starting grid. "We are experiencing a weekend of bad luck", said MZ CEO Martin WImmer.
Anthony West had returned to Friday's set-up when he was unable to repeat his promising lap times from the first two free practice sessions, but this was no solution to his problems. "We managed to improve the chassis settings, but then we ran into problems with the braking system", said MZ Racing's head of development Dietmar Franzen, who is also Anthony West's crew chief. "We can't be happy because last year, Anthony was 18th in practice and took points in the race. It doesn't look as if we are in shape to repeat this performance", added Martin Wimmer. Max Neukirchner's bike had been re-built after his crash on Friday, but the former World Superbike star stranded after just a few corners in Saturday morning's free practice session with a technical problem and lost most of the session. "In the afternoon, he was just on a fast flying lap when he lost the front", said Martin Wimmer.
Anthony West – 30th in 1.45,037:
"I am not exactly happy. The weekend started well, but then we ran into trouble with some parts that either broke or didn't work at all. We tried everything to find a good set-up but instead lost lot of time even in qualifying when we got some strange vibrations from the brakes. I hope we can solve our problems for the race!"
Marco Nicotari – Crew Chief of Max Neukirchner:
"The only good news is that Max was on a really fast lap when he crashed – he showed again that he is getting closer to the front runners, but then he simply ran into bad luck again. Luckily he walked away without any injuries so it's just about re-building the bike again. We'll see what tomorrow brings with the forecasted rain. Whatever the weather will be like, we will try our best!"
Kenny Noyes Aiming For The Points At Jerez
The decision to switch to Bitubo suspension is slowly starting to pay dividends for Kenny Noyes and and his Avintia-STX team. After a cautious start to the weekend, as Kenny and his team worked towards finding a strong base setting for the suspension on his FOGI Racing FTR. Noyes picked up the pace on Saturday morning, but a change to the bike to find more grip in the rear did not work out as the team had hoped, leaving the American further down the grid than the team expected.
Despite qualifying on the ninth row of the grid, Kenny enters Sunday's race full of confidence. His Avintia-STX team will be going back to the setting they used on Saturday morning with the Bitubo suspension during the warmup, and Noyes expects this will give him the pace to be competitive during the race. Kenny is confident of his race pace at Jerez, and will be aiming to score valuable points for his team at a track he goes well at, and one of the classic venues of motorcycle racing.
Kenny Noyes, 25th, Fastest Lap: 1'44.648
Kenny said: "Free practice went really well with the new Bitubo suspension, and we had a pretty good race pace. We were running 1'44s pretty consistently, and with a bit of fine-tuning, we should be able to get close to a 1'43."
"I'm real happy with Bitubo, and with the fantastic work that my team has done. I felt pretty good with the bike all weekend, and my shoulder's hardly been an issue here in Jerez. It's pretty close to being 100%, which is a great feeling going into the race."
"We know we're starting further back than we want to, and that we've got some ground to make up. But this is definitely going to be a real fun race, and I'm looking forward to chasing some points here!"