2011 Indianapolis Moto2 And 125cc Saturday Post-Qualifying Press Release Round Up

Press releases from the Moto2 and 125cc teams after qualifying on Saturday at Indianapolis:


Smiling faces at RW Racing GP

Brad Binder is finding his way in GP racing fast. The 16 year old from South Africa qualified in 27th for the first GP in his life. In difficult circumstances he managed to be two seconds faster on the newly surfaced Indianapolis track: 1.53.4.

After a volatile first day the team of RW Racing GP and Brad Binder, who replaces the injured Luis Salom in Indianapolis, were much more on the same wave length. Chief engineer Hans Spaan got a better understanding of Binders riding style and was able to change the bike to suit the rider better. That paid off in considerably faster lap times and significantly greater confidence. Binder rode two stints of nine laps each with fairly consistent lap times.

Team manager Marlon Fluit expressed the teams satisfaction: ,,I see smiling faces around me. It is amazing that Brad in his first Grand Prix has four permanent riders behind him. Everything is new for him, but he learns quickly and adapts perfectly. The circumstances in qualifying were different than on the first day: the track has more grip, but the temperature is much higher than on Friday. The rear tire wears quickly, but that's a problem everyone faces.''


Xavier Siméon gains back confidence in Indianapolis qualifying

Xavier Siméon finished today's qualifying session for the Red Bull Indianapolis Grand Prix in 24th position. The young Moto2 rider from Belgium was not happy with his position to start tomorrow's race, but is very happy he found his confidence back with his Mistral 610 bike, which he has lost due to the difficulties he had to complain about in Brno two weeks ago.

Siméon is hoping for a good start into the 12th race of the 2011 Moto2 world championship and is lookin g to extend his points in the championship standings with another Top 15 result tomorrow.

Xavier Siméon, 24th position, 1'45.496, 22 laps:

"The qualifying was not so bad, even though the position could have been a bit better. Yesterday was my first time on this track and it is difficult to learn it with its slippery surface. But lap by lap and session after session I was able to improve my time. The position of the qualifying is far from perfect, but I know we have a good rhythm and I think we can fight for a Top 15 tomorrow. We were trying to safe the tyres a bit as this asphalt does not really help them. I think we found a good set up. At the beginning of the qualifying I was very consistent in my lap times and already one second faster than this morning. I feel so much better than in Brno. I found my confidence back that I lost in Brno and I think we have a very good package for this circuit."


SECOND STRAIGHT POLE AND SIXTH OF THE SEASON FOR NICO TEROL

BANKIA Aspar looks to bury Brno nightmare with return to winning ways at the Brickyard

Nico Terol, Sandro Cortese and Johann Zarco will make up the front row of the 125cc grid for the second race in succession at Indianapolis tomorrow, with the German and the Frenchman joining the pole-setting Spaniard right at the end of the session after some impressive performances from a host of rookies. Maverick Viñales, Danny Kent and Miguel Oliveira all put forward a strong challenge for pole position but in the end it was the BANKIA Aspar rider who ended up on top, just as he did at Brno two weeks ago.

Only a mechanical setback prevented him from setting the pace in this morning's final free practice but there was nothing to stop Nico's domination this afternoon. A run of six fast laps, with his best stopping the clock at 1'48.199, sealed his sixth pole of the season and gave an indication of a potential race-winning pace for tomorrow. Héctor Faubel is happy with the job he did today on set-up and in particular with respect to tyre wear, the Spaniard targeting a podium challenge from the outside of the second row whilst team youngster Adrián Martín lines up fourteenth but feeling confident of a charge into the top ten positions.

1st Nico Terol 1.48.199 (17 laps): "Today was a really good day for us. I had an incredible feeling with the bike this afternoon and felt much better than yesterday under braking and on the gas. You can't afford to get off line here because it is really slippery but I was able to set my pace quite easily and I think it may be possible to escape tomorrow. If the opportunity arises we have to go for it. The tyres go off very quickly and the bike wants to throw you off in certain sections so we have to be wary and make sure we are still there at the end of the race. It is the same for everybody though and right now I feel ready for anything."

6th Héctor Faubel 1.49.324 (17 laps): "I have mixed feelings right now because I am not too happy with the position but pleased with the work we did with the setting on used tyres. We did 21 laps on the same rubber and only fitted fresh tyres at the very end of qualifying so I hope this works in our favour tomorrow. It is tough to escape here and even though Nico was a step ahead today we will have to wait and see what happens. I am going to try my best to make a strong start and get as close to the front as I can as soon as possible to be fighting for the podium all the way. I had a little crash this morning because of the track conditions but everything is okay and the engine is working really well so I am looking forward to the race."

14th Adrián Martín 1.50.600 (16 laps): "I am happy because we have worked very well on the set-up, I just made a small mistake at the end of qualifying. I was waiting to see if I could latch onto another rider and get some good references but I waited too long and by the time I reacted the session was over. Even so I think we have a good pace, I feel comfortable and I think we can improve the bike even further in the morning."


LITTLE TO SHOUT ABOUT FOR TEAM GRESINI MOTO2

Team Gresini Moto2 riders Michele Pirro and Yuki Takahashi were unable to make a strong challenge for optimum grid positions in qualifying at Indianapolis today, the Italian lapping 13th fastest and the Japanese down in 20th. It was another frustrating day for the team as the struggle to regain the pace and performance of the early stages of the season continues. Tomorrow's warm-up will be important as the pair chase a miracle in the race.

Michele Pirro (13th 1'45"047) "The first part of the session today wasn't going too badly and maybe if we had another tyre available I would have been able to make up some more positions. It's a shame but we will try and make up for it tomorrow, although it will be tough from the fifth row."

Yuki Takahashi (20th 1'45"184) "I just couldn't ride like I wanted to today. I don't have any feeling with the bike and I think it is going to be difficult for us to make up positions in the race tomorrow."

Fausto Gresini "There is not much I can say. I am not happy with the current situation – it is like a nightmare we can't seem to wake up from and I can't understand why we are not as competitive as we were at the start of the season. I am disappointed and hope we can turn the situation around as soon as possible."


Márquez, first by one thousandth

The Repsol rider achieved his fifth ‘pole position' of the season, fourth consecutive, in a very close qualifying session

If a fortnight there was a very exciting race at the Czech Republic that showed the intense competitiveness of the intermediate category of the Motorcycling World Championship, the fight for a good position in tomorrow's grid illustrated again how close is the level of Moto2. Nevertheless, a name stood over the rest of the riders again: that of Marc Márquez, who today was the fastest for the fifth time this season.

The Repsol rider was again very consistent all day, placing himself among the top positions at the beginning of the third free session. Márquez kept working on finding the best setup for tomorrow in a track that improved its grip lap after lap thanks to the rubber laid by the bikes of the three classes. In the end, Márquez repeated his second position of yesterday's last free session, improving by more than one second the time he set yesterday.

Faithful to his own style, the Repsol rider took a new step ahead in qualifying, improving by one second his time of the morning. From the first minutes, Márquez was among the fastest and even took the second place behind Simone Corsi. Nevertheless, as minutes went by it was confirmed that this class is very close, with many riders fighting for the first position of the tomorrow's starting grid.

Five minutes from the end there were still several candidates to set the fastest time, but once again, Marc Márquez kept improving his times sector after sector. Despite losing some time due to the traffic, the rider was able to keep the pace and set the pole position in his last lap, one thousandth ahead of the Italian rider Simone Corsi, who will start from the second place.

This will be the fifth time this season the Repsol rider will start from the first position of the grid and the fourth consecutive time.

Marc Márquez

FP3 - 1:45.145, 20 laps, 84 km.

QP - 1:44.038, 21 laps, 89 km.

"It was a very close session and we are happy with the way it went. We did our best in a circuit that has kept changing its conditions during the whole weekend, as having a new tarmac, it improves its grip with every lap.This forces us to change the setup, but we are doing a good job with the team and, despite that I could ride very comfortably.

Anyway, as I always say, the race is tomorrow and it is when it is important to do a good performance. It will be difficult, because Corsi and Iannone are very combative riders and will not make things easy for us tomorrow".


Smith targets rostrum return in Indianapolis

Bradley Smith is optimistic he can fight for a fourth Moto2 podium finish of this year's World Championship campaign after he came tantalisingly close to claiming a place on the front row of the grid for tomorrow's 26-lap race at the iconic Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

The Tech 3 Racing Team rider was full of confidence going into this afternoon's hot and humid qualifying session after he'd finished sixth quickest in Free Practice.

The British rider has worked hard throughout the weekend to gain maximum grip, with the new surface on the infield section of the 2.62 miles circuit slippery and lacking in traction in the first two prac tice sessions.

Smith's efforts paid off as he delivered another excellent performance on the Mistral 610 machine and he clocked a best time of 1.44.344 to finish fourth fastest. Smith's best pace was only 0.186s away from recording only his second front row start in the ultra-competitive Moto2 class as he looks to add to the top three finishes he secured at Silverstone, Assen and Mugello earlier in the season.

Mike di Meglio will start from 25th position on the grid, even though he was less than half-a-second away from the top 12. The French rider suffered a crash during the session as he struggled with front-end grip on the new tarmac.

Bradley Smith: 4th 1.44.344 – 19 laps:

"The target was to be on the second row at least and we've achieved that, so I'm really happy. With the new surface not offering a great deal of grip, there is only a narrow racing line and if you stray off that it can get very slippery. So it was important to be at the front and not too far down the grid where you'll need to make a few overtakes. Overtaking won't be easy at all if you have to go off line and I think everyone is going to struggle with the tyre life because with the new surface everything seems to be ripping up. The Tech 3 Racing Team has been working perfectly again and in every session we have been competitive. Now the objective is to focus on a good start tomorrow and fight for the podium. The last two races haven't turned out how we expected, so I am extra motivated and determined to get a good result tomorrow."

Mike di Meglio: 25th 1.45.534 – 17 laps:

"The weekend started quite good, but after we changed some settings for the qu alifying it did not work out and that is very strange and I am disappointed, so we have to look into the problem again tomorrow morning. It has been a very difficult weekend and even though I managed to improve my time a lot, we had a lot of trouble with the front tyre. I crashed because we needed to change the tyre already after 10 laps. I hope we can find a solution for the wear problem otherwise it is going to be a very difficult race. I cannot push at the limit, as it is quite dangerous and very difficult. I am tired of being around 24th position all of the time, so hopefully I can battle hard and get into the points."


HEAVY TRAFFIC FRUSTRATES MARC VDS RACING TEAM

Heavy traffic in the decisive final stages of today's Moto2 qualifying session at the legendary Indianapolis Motor Speedway prevented Scott Redding and Mika Kallio from capitalising on their fantastic practice performances.

British rider Redding was confident of challenging for pole position after he dominated practice in hot and humid conditions at the iconic American motorsport venue.

Redding was the one and only rider to break into the 1.44 bracket in free practice and after the third and final session this morning, the 18-year-old was an impressive 0.340s faster than his closest rival.

But he was unable to continue that sparkling form in qualifying as each time he tried to push for a fast lap time, he encountered slower riders cruising close to the racing line. Redding had to settle for a frustrating 11th position on the grid with a best time of 1.44.865 leaving him less than 0.2s away from the second row.

Redding's confidence with his Suter MMXI machine though has soared this weekend, with major improvements made to the front-end performance allowing him to show more of his usual aggression in the corners.

Unfortunately for the Marc VDS Racing Team, Kallio experienced similar problems to his teammate. The Finnish rider had finished practice in a promising ninth position and he looked certain to be able to compete for at least a place on the third row.

But the 28-year-old also came across heavy traffic when he sought to improve his lap time of 1.45.160. And pushing hard on his final lap to climb up the order, a small mistake at Turn 15 saw Kallio suffer a slow speed crash that left him 18th on the grid.

Scott Redding #45 - 1.44.865- 15 laps - 11th position

"To say 11th on the grid is below what I was expecting would be an understatement when you consider how brilliantly practice was. We've continually improved the bike and I've felt as confident as I have for a long time, yet we're not even starting inside the top 10. Finishing more than 0.3s ahead of everybody else in practice showed how competitive we are but the end of the session was crazy again. There are so many guys just riding around slowly and waiting for a tow that I just couldn't get in one clear lap. It is really frustrating because we've done all that hard work to get in a position to be challenging for the front row and it is all for nothing. The good thing is that I've shown in practice that I've got the speed to fight for the podium here again. The Suter MMXI has been working awesome all weekend, so I'll just push as hard as I can from the start and try and get to the front as soon as possible."

Mika Kallio #36 - 1.45.160 - 17 laps - 18th position

"Qualifying was very frustrating because for the whole session I was confident of being in the top 10. But it all went wrong right at the end. I am really angry because there was so much traffic it was impossible to find clear track. Each time I tried to push there was somebody in the way blocking me. On the last lap I found some space and in the first three splits my time was going to be good enough to put me on the third row. But I made small mistake at Turn 15. I ran off line by about a foot, but that put me on the dirty part of the track where there is no grip at all and I crashed, so I missed that lap too. It is disappointing to know we should be much higher but looking back to Brno when I got points after starting 30th, I am optimistic with a good start that I can still get a positive result."

Pete Benson - Scott Redding Crew Chief

"Considering Scott was so fast in practice and looking really confident on the bike, we have to be disappointed to be starting 11th on the grid. Without doubt that is a bit of a false position because he just couldn't get the lap in at the end that he was hoping for and that's a pity. For some reason Scott loves this track and it was obvious yesterday when he clicked with it immediately again. We've made some changes to the bike that hopefully will set us up for a strong finish to the year. We've changed the bike balance a little bit and it is unfortunate it has taken us this long into the season to figure it out, but Scott feels much more confident with the front-end and that's what he's been missing. The new surface was really slippery yesterday but immediately he was fast, so that was a good sign that he was a lot happier with the bike. I think if he can get a decent start then he's still in with a great chance of running at the front, which is where we deserve to be based on our speed in practice."


MAPFRE ASPAR DUO PUT SAFETY FIRST AT SLIPPERY INDIANAPOLIS

Simón 15th and Torres 21st but with similar objectives of a solid race finish tomorrow

The slippery new asphalt claimed more high profile victims today, with the series leader suffering a crash after his closest rival had also hit the deck yesterday. Marc Márquez recovered his composure today to take pole position by the slightest margin, edging out Simone Corsi by a single tenth on his very last lap. The Italian had dominated the latter stages of the session until the timely intervention of the Spanish rookie, who once again has the honour of starting from the front of the grid in what promises to be another close and unpredictable battle.

After lapping eighth fastest in this morning's final free practice MAPFRE Aspar rider Julián Simón was looking forward to making a strong challenge this afternoon, when his principal focus was on establishing a rhythm on race tyres. He produced his best lap of the weekend so far - a 1'45.062 representing an improvement of some five seconds in just four sessions. Julián qualified fifteenth overall, meaning he will launch his quest for a strong race finish from the outside of the fifth row. Jordi Torres also made gradual progress today, taking advantage of a tow from his team-mate in the final laps to make up positions on the starting grid as he targets his first points in Moto2.

biography

15th Julián Simón 1.45.062 (17 laps): "I am happy with the way the day has gone despite our position, which is further back than we are used to. Even though the lap time is not particularly quick our general pace is good and if we can keep this up tomorrow we can get a good result. Maybe I could have been more decisive on my fast lap and qualified on the front three rows but if I get a good start from row five, consolidate my position over the opening laps and remain patient, I will be able to make up positions. Anyway, the objective here is to finish the race because it is important for me and the team to see that chequered flag this week. We have to be strong because it is going to be a hot and hard race but we are ready."

21st Jordi Torres 1.45.369 (20 laps): "This morning I was still struggling to get used to the track and I didn't have confidence in the front end, so we worked on that for the afternoon. We went for a more conservative set-up designed to give me more confidence and it did the trick. Little by little I felt more comfortable and safe on the bike and then Julián threw me a line, which was the key moment of the session for me. I was able to stick on his wheel and that alone gained me a second. I am really thankful to him for doing me that favour. When I was following him Indianapolis felt like a completely different circuit."


Neukirchner just one second behind pole position - West runs out of time

In a dramatic battle in qualifying for the Indianapolis Grand Prix, MZ factory rider Max Neukirchner managed to cut the gap to Marc Márquez on pole position to a mere second and to secure 16th place on the starting grid for the Moto2 race on Sunday. With only a few minutes to go, the German even held fifth position, but dropped back again in the hectic final of the session. "We are only one second behind the leader, but one second can be quite a lot in this hard-fought category", said his crew chief Marco Nicotari. "Luckily, we have a good pace for the race. We also found good resistance for the tyre and Max is highly motivated. Every other time that Max went on a new track this year, he improved his lap time further in the race. That makes me confident."

Team-mate Anthony West was also happy with the set-up of his bike but wasn't able to further improve his lap time in the last minutes of the session and dropped back to 30th place. "I am happy with our general progress, but qualifying was a bit disappointing for us. We seemed to hit a wall and we couldn't brake in to the 1.45's. As the track was improving, we fell behind with the balance of the bike and it wasn't turning in the slow corners the way it needed to", said his new crew chief Warren Willing.

Max Neukirchner – 16th in 1:45,094 min.:

"These two days of practice were really tough for us, but we kept our heads down and were rewarded for our efforts in the end. When I put in my best lap in 1.45.09 and held fifth place, I would never have thought that the others would get back at me the way they did and that I would drop back to 16th on the grid. Of course I would have been happier with a top ten starting position. But considering that it is my first time on this track, things went well and the team did a great job in making the tyres work better and better. The race will be a tough battle because of the heat. Whoever has the best physical condition and concentration together with the best chassis balance will be in front!"

Anthony West – 14th in 1:46,9160 min.:

"We found a lot of points that were wrong with the bike and we fixed them, so the bike feels much better than in the past. The first part of qualifying was quite okay and everything was running well. But when I went out with new tyres towards the end, I first got hold up by other guys for the first two laps, then I waited to follow other riders and I didn't realise that time was running out. I only had one lap in the end and missed the chance to push properly. I am disappointed about that. At least, my lap times are consistent. I hope I can be more consistent in the race than some of my rivals who are struggling with their tyres shredding after only a few laps!"


IANNONE, WITH THE THIRD BEST LAP TIME, GRABS A SPOT ON THE FIRST ROW FOR THE INDIANAPOLIS GP

The starting grid for the eleventh round of the Moto2 World Championship was defined today, after the qualifying session of this afternoon at the circuit of Indianapolis.

This was a good day for Speed Master team. In the free practice session of the morning, Iannone and his crew managed to try out some modifications, which eventually helped the rider to improve his performance on the historical North American track. In the qualifying session, after some last minor changes in the first part of the time at disposal, Andrea took part in a thrilling battle for the first row, as he set his best personal lap time of 1'44.158, 0.120 seconds off today's pole position. The rider from Vasto consequently achieves his best result in qualifying for 2011 season, a result that will be essential for tomorrow's race.

Andrea Iannone, #29 — qualifying practice: 3rd with 1'44.158

"This was a tough day, but I'm happy to be finally starting from the first row. This is the best qualifying result of this year and it's really important to be starting from a good spot tomorrow. For sure this is going to be a complicated race, we will need to work hard to keep up with Marquez and Corsi. The heat for sure won't make things any better and we'll absolutely need to keep our eyes on the front tyre, to check its durability. We still have some work to finish off, we want to improve in some parts of the track, but I'm confident. I hope this will be an entertaining race in which we can have fun. Suter and the team have been working hard and I really want to thank them, as they're always doing their best."


Happy-end for Tom Lüthi: First a crash – and then fifth place in qualifying

Team Interwetten Paddock Moto2-Pilot Thomas Lüthi lost the front end in the early stages of final qualifying for the Indianapolis Grand Prix, but managed to get back to his garage and to continue his hunt for a quick lap time. His efforts were rewarded with a fantastic fifth place in a dramatic final of the session. This means a second row starting position for the 24-year-old rider from Switzerland – and a good chance to fight for a podium finish.

Thomas Lüthi – 5th in 1.44,623 min.:

"That was a wild session! We battled all weekend long with the new tarmac and a lack of grip, and it was not easy to find the right set-up. But the track conditions have improved. I started the qualifying session with a front tyre compound that we knew wouldn't work very well, but that we had to use in order to save our amount of the other compound. I pushed too hard with this tyre and lost the front on a bump. I tried to hold on to the bike as long as possible, hoping it wouldn't flip over. Luckily there was no big damage and I was okay as well, so I was able to continue and to speed up. It was a relief to be able to fight and put in a good lap time in the end. Because of the tyre wear it's going to be a very special race. If we're able to conserve our tyres we will have a good chance to do well!"

Terell Thien – team manager:

"We were all shocked when Tom crashed, but luckily, qualifying ended on a high note. Tom was able to ride the bike back to the pits, and the mechanics did a fantastic job with the repairs. We found an improvement with the set-up that helps the front tyre, and Tom's crash also confirmed which tyre not to use in the race. We are ready to go!"

Alfred Willecke – crew chief:

"We managed to adapt the bike bit by bit to the track conditions here and made another step in the right direction this afternoon. But more than anything I want to thank and congratulate the mechanics who repaired the bike after Tom's crash in no time at all and enabled him to continue!"


Márquez storms to fourth pole position in a row

Seven Suter MMXI in top 15 at Indianapolis

Suter MMXI rider Marc Márquez stormed to his fourth pole position in a row at the Indianapolis Grand Prix, beating his next rival by just a thousandth of a second and taking advantage of the precise adjustments of his Team CatalunyaCaixa Repsol that managed to adapt the chassis perfectly to the ever-changing grip conditions of the legendary and recently re-surfaced "brickyard". German Stefan Bradl, world championship leader and toughest rival of Márquez in the title campaign, dropped back to 22nd on the grid after a heavy fall in the morning and is now in the line of fire despite his 43-point lead in the point rankings.

But not only Márquez, the other top riders of Suter Racing Technology marvelled as well. Italian Andrea Iannone, who had been down in 18th position on Friday, moved up to a stunning third place. Swiss hero Tom Luthi, 20th on day one, recovered from an early crash in qualifying and managed to secure fifth place and a second row starting position with an strong run at the end. No less impressive the performance of his fellow Swiss countryman Dominique Aegerter, who battled his way to eighth in the hard-fought category. With Scott Redding in eleventh, Jules Cluzel in twelfth and Julian Simón in 15th position, there were seven Suter MMXI riders in the top rankings.

"Márquez is simply unbelievable. He is also the favourite for the race win", said Eskil Suter, CEO of Suter Racing Technology. "It seems that our bike works very well on this track. Iannone is very strong once again, and we managed to get many of our bikes onto the first few rows of the starting grid. I think we will confirm our good results at the last race in Brno here again."

"Practice wasn't easy for the teams. A re-surfaced track always lacks grip whilst shredding the tyres. But the situation has improved and with more and more rubber on the tarmac things will be better again in the race. The team of Márquez has the ever-changing conditions perfectly under control, but we still have some work to do on Iannone`s bike."

"Tom Luthi was a bit cautious on the slippery track at the beginning of practice, but pulled all stops in the end and did a great job saving it all until it counted. He will be one of the top contenders in the race for sure."

"There are a lot of our riders within the top group and we can expect a thrilling race. Tyre wear will be a crucial factor for the end result!"


2011

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