2011 Misano 125cc and Moto2 Saturday Press Release Round Up

Press releases from the 125cc and Moto2 teams at Misano:

Team satisfied, Salom not

After qualifying for the GP of San Marino Luis Salom found a happy team in the pitbox of RW Racing GP, congratulating him with the eighth starting position. But the rider himself was not happy with it.

,,Until shortly before the end of the qualifying session I was in fifth. And if I would have been able to get a slipstream, I could have been on the front row,'' muttered the Spaniard.

From the point of view of a sportsman Saloms discontent was understandable: an athlete always wants more and better. ,,But putting in such lap times with a broken hand, is just very good,'' chief engineer Hans Spaan commented. ,,If you know that the numbers 5 through 9 are within one tenth, Luis has no need to complain. The differences are minimal. It is questionable whether a slipstream would have helped him that much.''

And then again: nothing is lost.

Given the circumstances – Salom rides with a swollen right hand as a result of the operation to repair the fractures caused by a crash in Brno – a top 10 position is special enough. ,,Before we had the idea we should be happy if Luis would be capable of riding within the top 15. And now his lap time of 1.44.275 is even faster than what he did last year, without injuries. Luis is usually a good starter, so a third row start gives a lot of perspective for the race.''

Xavier Siméon again denied for a Top 15 starting position in Misano

Xavier Siméon, who finished last week's Indianapolis Grand Prix in the points with a 13th place, was looking forward to set a better base for his next Moto2 world championship race, which will take place tomorrow in Misano/Italy, with a Top 15 qualifying result, but a small crash at the end of the session means that once again the youngster from Belgium will have to fight his way through the field tomorrow as he will start the race in 23rd position on the grid.

Nevertheless the 22 year old is confident as he had a good pace and found his rhythm with his Mistral 610 on the Misano World Circuit and he hopes he will continue like he did at the beginning of today's qualifying session when he was in 7th position before he crashed.

Xavier Siméon, 23rd - 1'39.564, 18 laps:

"My pace in this qualifying session was good. I think I was seventh in the middle of the session when I had my best lap time. After that I had a small crash, nothing big but big enough to lose time, as we had to prepare the bike again. When I went back out on the track I had a problem with my front brake a nd I could not improve my lap time anymore. I am sure we could have been in the Top 15 today as the bike was better than yesterday or this morning. Again I will need to fight a whole race to make it into the points and that is disappointing."

Second row for Smith, di Meglio improves in Misano

Tech 3 Racing Team rider Bradley Smith will start tomorrow's Moto2 race at the Misano circuit from the second row of the grid after he produced another impressive qualifying performance in scorching hot conditions.

Temperatures reached an energy-sapping 31 degrees but Smith once again showed the high potential of the Mistral 610 machine with another challenge for the front row of the grid.

The 20-year-old, who scored a fantastic fourth place in searing heat at the legendary Indianapolis Motor Speedway just six days ago, finished with a best time of 1.38.535.

That hot pace was almost a second under the Moto2 lap record on the 2.626 miles circuit with Smith, who is locked in an exciting fight for third place in the World Championship, ending less than 0.2s away from the front row.

Team-mate Mike di Meglio enjoyed a stunning revival in fortunes in qualifying after he'd struggled to find a comfortable set-up with his Mistral 610 machine during the three practice sessions.

The French rider ended practice in a lowly 28th position, but working hard with his Tech 3 Racing crew, he found major steps forward with the handling of his bike to drastically lower his lap times. He was almost a second faster in qualifying and he will start the 26-lap race from 18th position having set a best time of 1.39.239. That secured him his first top 20 grid position since the Assen round in Holland in late June.

Bradley Smith 6th 1.38.535 – 21 laps:

"I am in sixth position and that is a very positive result for the Tech 3 Racing Team. We have worked really hard all weekend and always been around the top 10, so to qualify on the second row is an incredible result for me. The track is very narrow here, so it is important to get a good start and get a couple of good first laps to put myself in contention for the podium right from the beginning. For sure it will be a hard and hot race tomorrow and it will be very important to keep the concentration all of the time. But conditions were very hot in Indianapolis and I finished just off the podium, so I've no worries. We need to find some small improvements in the warm-up but I am confident I can deliver another good result in the race."

Mike di Meglio 18th 1.39.239 – 20 laps:

"I am very happy because we improved a lot from practice this afternoon and the bike was working well today. W e changed the settings for qualifying and I also tried to change my riding style a little bit. Immediately I had a much better feeling and I was able to lap 0.7s faster. I am confident for the race tomorrow and it would be great to finish in the points after a difficult start to the weekend."


The good times finally returned for Team Gresini Moto2 today after a torrid run of races, Yuki Takahashi finally providing a welcome boost for Fausto Gresini's outfit as he qualified on the front row for the San Marino Grand Prix. Michele Pirro backed up his team-mate's effort with the eighth fastest time and a third row start, with both Team Gresini Moto2 riders boasting an impressive race pace and good potential for further success tomorrow.

Yuki Takahashi (3th 1'38"340) "The atmosphere here at my second home has given me a real boost today and I am really happy because after some negative races we are back up where the team belongs. It is all because they have not stopped believing and not stopped working, along with Moriwaki. We have the potential to do well in the race tomorrow even though at the moment the front two look untouchable "

Michele Pirro (8th 1'36"600) "We have taken a big step forward and I am happy for myself and the team. Our race pace is good and it will be a long race so I think we can do well. The team has worked well and I think we have put the bad times behind us."

Fausto Gresini "We are on the front row for our home race with Yuki, having won here last year with Elias, and that is nice. It is satisfying because we are coming on the back of two disastrous races and I am sure we are back on the right lines to be competitive. Both Yuki and Michele were strong today and they can both have a great race tomorrow. It is a good result that puts the team back up where it belongs so we'll see. I am confident."


BANKIA Aspar pair continue good form and ready to launch another challenge for victory

There was a highly charged atmosphere at Misno for 125cc qualifying this afternoon and not just because of the intense heat and humidity. Even though BANKIA Aspar rider Nico Terol had dominated free practice the lap times were sufficiently close throughout this afternoon to suggest that the battle for pole position would become a close affair and that proved to be the case. Faubel, Terol, Zarco and Cortese were the pacesetters as the season reached a tense finish, with a number of riders looking for a slipstream. In fact it was Zarco who was the main beneficiary, following Terol to seal top spot on tomorrow's grid.

However, it has been a while since BANKIA Aspar riders Héctor Faubel and Nico Terol have both been such strong candidates for victory. At the end of a combative session they finished second and third respectively, two of just four riders to break the 1'44 barrier today, and with both riders self-professed fans of the Misano circuit they will be targeting a BANKIA Aspar podium double tomorrow. The team's youngster Adrián Martín also has good race pace but a mistake at the end of qualifying denied him the chance to set a fast lap.

2º Héctor Faubel 1.43.440 (19 laps): "I am really happy. We decided to push really hard from the halfway stage and make sure there were no nasty surprises, like being dropped to the second row. I put two fast laps together at the end of the session which were potential pole laps but I actually came up behind Adrián in the final sector and couldn't improve the lap time any more. We have a good pace and there are only four of us in the 43s so that says something. Unless something happens I imagine us four will form a group at the front and maybe one or two others can tag along. It will be tough because nobody will want to give up a single metre but I am sure we can be fighting for victory."

3rd Nico Terol 1.43.604 (17 laps): "It was a really tight session and I set a good rhythm without managing to put a perfect lap together. I did three laps in the 1'43s and quite a few in the low 44s so I'm happy with that and I think we're ready for the race. I was keen to set pole position but Zarco came up behind me and came out with a good time. We'll have to have a look at everybody's lap times tonight to get an idea of how the race could work out. I think there'll be a group of four so we'll have to get ourselves positioned well and see how we all play our cards. It was a strange session, there were a lot of riders hanging around not pushing for a time. All I was focused on was working hard - they managed to get behind me but that's the way this category is. I am happy to be on the front row and ready to race."

18th Adrián Martín 1.45.193 (18 laps): "Everything had been going smoothly this weekend up until qualifying, when I was unable to set a fast lap. I was a bit more nervous than normal and left it all to the end, but I got in Héctor's way and ruined it for both of us. We have to think positive and look to having a fun race with as many overtakes as possible. That is my goal, to finish as high as possible."

First row and a scare for Márquez

The Repsol rider finishes 256 thousandths away from the pole position in a qualifying where he suffered a minor crash when fighting for the first place

After four consecutive pole positions in the last four races, Marc Márquez finished today just behind the pole sitter in the qualifying for the San Marino Grand Prix. The Repsol rider was second both in this morning's free practice session and in the qualifying, always behind the World Championship leader Stefan Bradl. The second place in the afternoon session has an added value, as he achieved it despite a minor crash by midsession in which, fortunately, he was uninjured and his bike suffered no damages.

In the morning, during the third free practice session, Emilio Alzamora's pupil took another step ahead on the Misano track, where it did not take long for him to break the circuit record. In his fifth lap, the Repsol rider stopped the clock in 1 minute, 38 seconds and 365 thousandths, a time nobody was able to beat until the last minute, when Stefan Bradl was only 4 thousandths faster, which illustrates the astonishing equality of the two riders fighting for the Moto2 World Championship.

Márquez took the initiative again at the beginning of the qualifying session and again the Repsol rider and the overall standings leader, Germany's Stefan Bradl, were the two drivers in best form. Márquez launched the first attack and set the fastest time in just his fifth lap, with 1 minute, 38 seconds and 499 thousandths.

20 minutes before the end of the session, Bradl responded with an amazing time —1 minute and 38 seconds— and just a little later Márquez fell in corner 1, as he braked too late and lost grip on his bike's front wheel. Despite the incident, he returned to the track 5 minutes before the end of the session and even improved his time.

In the end Márquez had to settle for the second position, but he was happy with his bike's set-up and the pace he has for tomorrow's race.


Scott Redding is confident he can battle for his first rostrum finish of the 2011 Moto2 World Championship in Misano tomorrow, after he qualified his Marc VDS Suter MMXI machine in a fantastic fourth place on the grid.

The British rider started this afternoon's qualifying session full of confidence after he finished practice less than 0.4s away from the top three. And his fast and consistent practice pace immediately came to prominence in the decisive qualifying session, the 18-year-old muscling his Suter MMXI machine around the 2.626s circuit into the top three until a typically frantic final five minutes.

Demonstrating the aggression that made him one of the star performers in last season's inaugural Moto2 World Championship, Redding produced a thrilling late attack to try and secure his second front row start of the season. He delivered a brilliant lap of 1.38.364, which was 1.1s inside the lap record, but he missed the front row by just 0.024s.

Today's performance was also a reward for Redding's Marc VDS Racing crew, who adopted a new qualifying strategy in Misano. Redding kept one soft tyre back from Friday practice in a bid to improve his qualifying results and the new tactic reaped instant reward this afternoon in baking hot conditions that saw temperatures hit a gruelling 31 degrees.

Mika Kallio experienced another frustrating afternoon and he faces a tough challenge in tomorrow's 26-lap race starting from 26th on the grid.

The Finnish rider was happy with the set-up of his Suter MMXI but upset that he couldn't set a better time of 1.39.701, as each time he pushed to improve his position he came across slower riders blocking his path.

Scott Redding #45 - 1.38.364 - 19 laps - 4th position

"I really enjoyed this afternoon and to be honest I'm loving riding the bike at the moment. I felt really strong this morning and was confident I'd be in the fight for the front row and that's how it turned out. But the pace is incredibly hot and those boys at the front aren't messing around. I was right on the limit to set my time but it was awesome fun. Going round Turn 11 you come from flat-out in sixth gear and downshift to third and I had both wheels sliding with my elbow on the ground! It was a big adrenaline rush and it was a shame that I just missed the front row. I feel really good with the Suter MMXI package and I've got the feeling with the bike now that we missed in the first part of the season. I'm buzzing and sure I can run at the front."

Mika Kallio #36 - 1.39.701 - 19 laps - 26th position

"There's not a lot I can say really other than I am extremely disappointed to be starting so far down the grid. Once again the problem was traffic at the end of the session and I just couldn't get a clear line to try and push for a lap time. Each time I went to push a slower rider would be close to the line or somebody was coming back on the track. It is a pity because the bike machine has worked well in Misano, so I expected to be much further up the grid. All I can do is put this behind me and try and fight as hard as I can in the race to finish inside the points."

Michael Bartholemy - Team Manager

"Scott has been really strong all weekend and today again he made a fantastic job. I'm doubly pleased because the new tactics of the Team worked very well immediately. Qualifying has been a weak point of Scott's that we've been looking to improve and saving one soft tyre from yesterday gave him the best opportunity to get a good grid position. He still had to deliver and he did, and looking at the times there is only Scott, Bradl and Marquez that have the fast and consistent pace for the podium. It is a shame we missed the front row by such a small margin but I'm really looking forward to seeing Scott and the Marc VDS Racing Team challenging at the front tomorrow. Mika had difficulty again when there was a lot of traffic on the circuit but this is the same for everybody. In Moto2 it is always difficult to have a clear line at the end of qualifying but you have to be prepared for this and fight through it. I'm sure he can put today behind him and have a strong race."

Tom Luthi misses out on a second row start - but is happy with his pace for the race

Thomas Luthi didn't manage to put an ultra-fast lap time in that would have rewarded him with a first or second-row start at the San Marino-Grand Prix. But after tenth place in qualifying, the mood in his Team Interwetten Paddock Moto2 was still upbeat and positive: Luthi and his crew chief Alfred Willeke had successfully worked on a near-pefect race set-up, which will allow the 24-year-old Swiss star to ride comfortably and consistently fast. "If we manage to find another one or two tenths of a second with the set-up, we will be competitive in the race", said Luthi.

Thomas Lüthi – 10th in 1.38,657 min.:

"It's a pity that I dropped back a few positions at the end of the session. We managed to go faster, but so did the others. Nevertheless, we worked successfully over the two days of practice and in qualifying. I found a good race pace and I can repeat my lap times consistently which is very important. Of course I would have been happier with a faster qualifying lap, but I was right at the limit with the bike. We will now try to find another one or two tenths of a second with further set-up modifications, then I should be able to battle within the front group of riders. Márquez and Bradl are very fast and it's possible that the two of them have an even higher race pace and break away tomorrow. But I was less than two tenths of a second away from fifth place today, so the other top riders are very close together!"

Terell Thien – team manager:

"This tenth place looks worse than it really is. Our performance is good for consistent lap times in the mid 1.38's and we just didn't manage to speed up by another one or two tenths of a second, which would have rewarded us with row two or three on the grid. But we have a really good set-up. A little more fine-tuning and we will be competitive in the race!"

Alfred Willecke – crew chief:

"I'm not unhappy with the average pace of Tom. On his last run, he did lap times of 1.38,6 and 1.38,7 very consistently, which isn't bad at all. Unfortunately, he missed out on a second row start by just a bit more than a tenth of a second. We will now try to improve the set-up a bit further tomorrow in order to find these one or two tenths of a second!"


Today the Moto2 class faced the second day of the "Gran Premio Aperol di San Marino e della Riviera di Rimini", the twelfth event of the World Championship for the middle class.

Since the third free practice, Iannone managed to be faster than in the sessions of Friday. The data that was previously gathered yesterday was very useful when it was time to prepare and modify the set-up of the Suter machine, which helped the rider in improving in a few parts of the track.

In the qualifying session, Andrea fought to grab a good position within the first few rows of the starting grid, setting good lap times and confirming to be up to the challenge with a consistent rhythm. His best lap of the session was 1'38.544, 0.716 off the final pole position. Iannone will start from the third row, ready to entertain the audience at the second home Grand Prix of 2011 season.

Andrea Iannone, #29 — qualifying practice: 7th with 1'38.544

"This was a very challenging day, but we lived through it and ended up with some clear indications for the race. At this moment I can just wish to improve a little more for tomorrow and to be racing within the positions that count. I'd like to congratulate the team on their work, they deserve it, I thank them for their help and I hope to be able to repay the guys with a good result tomorrow. I also hope we can put together an entertaining race, so that all the supporters that are here in Misano can have fun. This is the second home race of the year and every time it is a great feeling to race in front of so many fans."


Julián targets repeat of Indy fightback as Jordi waits on finger injury

It is normal practice for Moto2 riders to demolish lap records this year but the situation was even more extreme than usual at Misano today, with the riders lapping some two seconds quicker than last year. Part of the reason is no doubt the fact that it is still early days for the fledgling series but Stefan Bradl and Marc Márquez are also to blame, the pair embroiled in an intense battle for the championship and setting a red hot pace today. The German took pole position in the end but the Spaniard is close behind, with the likes of Takahasi, Redding, De Angelis and Iannone also in with a chance.

Julián Simón, normally a victory contender himself, is particularly struggling here with his injured leg because of the frequent direction changes but he has made progress in every session and set three fast laps at the end of qualifying today - the best a 1'38.887 - to seal fourteenth on the grid. His team-mate Jordi Torres saw his excellent progress here halted by a crash on the third lap of qualifying, having lapped fourteenth fastest in free practice this morning. He has damaged the small finger on his right hand and will undergo a late fitness test tomorrow morning.

14th Julián Simón 1.38.887 (20 laps): "In the end my physical condition would not allow for more than fourteenth on the grid but I am sure we can tae a step forward in the race. Physically I am not at 100% and with back-to-back races that makes it even harder but we will give our best. Márquez and Bradl are on another planet at the moment but as far as we are concerned we are targeting the top ten. We need to get a good start and be careful over the opening laps because there'll be a lot of contact at such a tight circuit. The team have done a good job with the bike so that I don't have to move around as much but the leg is still a problem. The finger injury was a shame for Jordi because he has had a great weekend otherwise."

36th Jordi Torres 1.40.821 (3 laps): "I am upset about the crash because we have not been able to confirm the improving form we have shown here. We are doing a good job and the lap times are coming so I feel sorry for the team because they are doing a perfect job. It was a fast crash and it was a bit of a fright. It looks like the finger is pretty bad but I would still like to race tomorrow. Unfortunately it looks like the doctors might say no because the tendon is in a bad way."


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