Press releases from the Moto2 and Moto3 teams after Sunday's race at Jerez:
TOUGH DAY AT JEREZ DE LA FRONTERA FOR SPEED MASTER MOTO2 RIDERS
The Moto2 class put in a great show for its spectators, with today’s race at the circuit of Jerez de la Frontera.
For Speed Master team, it was a tough day. Andrea Iannone started from the thirteenth position on the grid because of an anomalous problem during yesterday’s qualifying session. After a good warm up, in the initial phases of the race the Italian struggled to get into a consistent pace. Once the first few laps were completed, Andrea managed to start his comeback, till he reached the fourteenth position. The race was finished by the display of red flags, because of rain, which prevented the rider from trying to achieve a better result.
Mike di Meglio, after a great start from the eighth spot on the grid, took part in the battle for the first positions during the first few laps, putting in a good performance. A crash on the ninth lap was the end of the race for the Frenchman, who was uninjured.
Andrea Iannone #29 - 14th
“Definitely we weren’t planning to have a race like this one, but things don’t always work out as we’d like. I want to thank my crew for their commitment, now we’re going straight to Estoril and we’ll do our best to fight for some worthy result.”
Mike di Meglio #63 - crashed out
“I’m really sorry for how things went today. At the beginning of the race things were looking quite good: I was second and I was fighting in the leading group. I had some problems when braking on full tank and we’ll have to work to improve that, but lap after lap the bike was more and more stable. I chose to wait a little and not to risk too much, staying at the end of the leading group. On the ninth lap, however, I braked before Kallio, who was in front of me, and I got very close to him. So I braked again, I ended up on a wet spot and I crashed out. It’s a shame because we could have done a great race. We’ll wait for Estoril to give it another try.”
Álex Rins takes fourth in difficult Moto3 race
Repsol rider misses out on podium despite leading the race by 3 seconds at one point. Oliveira crashes out of the lead, Viñales fights back for sixth and Álex Márquez places twelfth.
Repsol Media Service Spain, Circuito de Jerez Sunday 29/04/2012
Difficult track conditions made the opening race of the day at Jerez a lottery, in which the Repsol riders had a starring role. Oliveira and Rins both led the Spanish Grand Prix, but a crash for the former and a run-off+crash for the latter ended their chances of victory or a podium. Oliveira had to retire from the race after his fall, whilst Rins was just edged out in the battle for the rostrum and placed fourth.
Winner of the opening Moto3 race of the year, Maverick Viñales had a big scare on the opening laps and ran off track whilst trying to stay upright, but made a great comeback to move up from 28th to 6th in the Spanish GP. Álex Márquez was making his debut in a tough race, but earned a creditable twelfth at his home round. Of the 34 riders who took the start, only 17 finished the contest.
Rins started from pole and took the holeshot, with Oliveira in third, Viñales ninth and Márquez tenth going into the first corner. Oliveira looked to make a break, but a crash on the fourth lap forced him to end his participation early at Jerez. Álex Rins took over the lead and established an advantage of 3.5 seconds, but a run-off allowed rivals Rossi and Fenati to catch him up. Rossi crashed later and the battle looked set to be between Fenati and Rins, but the Spaniard also suffered a fall at the end of the straight -later picking up his bike to place fourth.
Further back, Viñales moved up positions from low down on the grid to place sixth, whilst Álex Márquez ended his debut in twelfth.
After the opening two races, Viñales lies in second in the overall standings, ten points behind leader Fenati. Rins is fifth, Oliveira eighth and Márquez seventeenth.
6th at 55.857 sec.
"That was a difficult race. I was taking things with caution on the opening lap, but I had a scare and went off track. It wasn’t easy, moving up from 28th to 6th in tough weather conditions and with some problems with the rear that hindered acceleration. I tried to push my hardest, but I ran out of time. I am a little disappointed, because we could have been up at the front today. The important thing was taking points, so sixth is decent. We now have to get a good setting for the bike and focus on Estoril."
"That was a short race for me. I rode three laps and then crashed. I was not pushing excessively hard, but on the first corner I hit a puddle by the rumble strip and crashed. I am not sad about everything, because we showed in practice that we can be up there. We have to focus on the next race now, in Estoril, which is my home round. I turned my bike inside in order to avoid causing problems for the other riders, but the marshalls wouldn’t let me continue after I tried to restart. It happens, I’m sad about it, but you just have to move on".
4th at 37.061 sec.
"That was a very eventful race, because at the Nieto and Peluqui corners the track was very wet and provided a scare with every lap. I had a good start, got out in front and pushed, but once I ran off track I was caught by Fenati. After that I made mistake and had an unfortunate crash. I didn’t throw in the towel though, because I knew that I had the pace to get back up there.
Fourth is a great result. I was faster when I was in the lead, but I calmed things down after a few scares and after the crash my bars weren’t in great condition. I think the result would have been even better were it not for the crash".
12th at 1 lap
"That was a very difficult race. I had a crash, but was able to get back on track and gradually move up the order, as I felt comfortable on the bike despite the adverse weather conditions. I eventually placed 12th; I wasn’t expecting to take points from this race, especially after seeing that I was in 22nd after the crash. I have to be happy with finishing the race in this position and will head to Portugal very optimistic about what we can do there".
Brilliant race takes Salom to podium
Staying cool and in control took Luis Salom to second place after a brilliant and exciting Moto3 race in the Spanish Grand Prix. The race on the circuit of Jerez was declared dry but wet spots on the track made the circumstances very tricky.
Only 10 riders finished within the same lap as race winner Romano Fenati. Just 17 competitors finished the race. Unfortunately Brad Binder was among the guys who crashed out, already in the third lap.
Luis Salom had his scary moments as well but managed to keep the Kalex KTM upright. Starting from only 19th on the grid Salom had to fight his way to the front. By the end of the second lap he had moved up to 11th and after the fourth lap he passed the finish line in 4th position. Louis Rossi, Alex Rins and Romano Fenati took nine seconds on the following group with Sandro Cortese, Alexis Masbou and Luis Salom. Shortly after Rossi crashed out also Rins ran off but he got back on his bike and rejoined the race in the group with Cortese and Salom, with nine laps to go. Fenati was able to smash a gap of half a minute but Salom, Rins and Cortese had a fascinating fight for the podium. In the final lap Salom set his fastest lap and aimed for his attack when overtaking a few back markers. With the 20 points Salom deserved by finishing second the Spanish RW Racing GP rider is now third in the Moto3 World Championship.
Luis Salom: "I am over the moon. What a race that was! On the grid we decided to change from wet tires to slicks and soon it proved that was the right thing to do. There were still puddles and wet spots but I could lift the bike a bit on those places. My start was great and I got to the front within a few laps. Trying to stay with the front group was a bit too dangerous, I thought. Sometimes you just have to keep calm and trust on the mistakes made by others out of eagerness. I could keep my head down, keep a constant pace and wait for the right moment to attack. I gave my maximum in the final lap. Overtaking the back markers helped me a bit: they got in the way for Cortese and Rins. It felt really good to be on the podium again. As far as I am concerned: again next week!''
Brad Binder: "Congratulations to Luis! He did very well. I was on his tail when I crashed. I had a great start and was in 13th position in the third lap when I saw Jakub Kornfeil run off. He came back to the track and lost his bike again. I could not avoid him. It's such a shame. I am very disappointed, but also happy I didn't sustain any injury. My back hurts, but that will be over by the time we start all over again in Estoril within a few days.''
Team manager Johan Stigefelt: "After fighting for the podium in Qatar we got ourselves a second place in this race. That is a superb res ult, for Luis and for the team. It proves that you never should give up hope, not even after such a bad qualifying as we had in Jerez. We have worked hard for this. It is well deserved. We'll jus t keep on working to keep this third place i n the c hampionship. It's a pity for Brad, but he realizes that this crash was not his mistake. He just ran into some bad luck. It's part of the game.''
Rain halts Márquez’ victory charge
Second place for Repsol rider at shortened Spanish Grand Prix concluded nine laps ahead of schedule.
Repsol Media Service Spain, Circuito de Jerez Sunday 29/04/2012
Rain at the Circuito de Jerez brought the Moto2 Spanish Grand Prix to a premature end, after 18 laps had been contested. Repsol rider Marc Márquez was leading the race when the red flag was shown, but the win was given to Pol Espargaró as the race results were decided based on the last full lap completed by all riders. Márquez continues to lead the overall standings, with one victory and one second place to his name.
As the race began, conditions appeared to be perfect for 2011 World Championship runner-up, Márc Márquez. He was starting from pole position and the race had been declared dry. Despite his strong start, however, the Spaniard was overtaken by various riders on the opening laps and dropped down to fifth.
Following the seventh lap, the Repsol rider began to climb back up the order. Showing patience, he waited to make his move in what he expected to be a long race. Redding, Luthi and Espargaró exchanged the lead 12 laps from the scheduled conclusión to the race.
Márquez went on the attack and, three laps later, moved into the lead. Pol Espargaró responded and took the position on lap 17, with the rain intensifying. Márquez got back in front, but was just a few corners too late to make the cut when the race was abandonded. The last completed lap by all riders had Espargaró as the winner.
After his win in Qatar, the Repsol rider took a second consecutive podium and now has 45 points to his name, 4 more than rival Espargaró.
2nd at 0.241 sec.
"The race was very difficult, above all at the start and right at the end when the asphalt condition was very delicate. It was hard for me to find my pace at the beginning and it was two thirds in that I finally pushed for the lead, knowing that anything could happen. When the rain began to fall, my experiences in 125cc and from last year came to mind. I knew that it was more important to take 20 points than push and take 0, so second place is a good result. Bearing in mind the track conditions, we have to be very happy and start thinking about Estoril".
Redding fourth and Kallio seventh in Jerez thriller
Jerez, Spain - 29 April 2012: Scott Redding took a fantastic fourth place in today's rain shortened Spanish Moto2 Grand Prix at Jerez, with Marc VDS teammate Mika Kallio finishing just three places further back in seventh.
A big crash in qualifying yesterday meant Redding started today's race from the fourth row of the grid, but the 19-year-old Briton got a flyer from the line and had moved up to seventh at the end of the first lap. He continued to make rapid progress, picking off riders in front of him, before taking the race lead from Tom Lüthi on lap eight.
The battle at the front, which was fought out between Redding, Lüthi, Marc Marquez and Pol Espargaro continued throughout the race until the onset of rain made conditions treacherous. A couple of big slides in the worsening conditions saw Redding slip back to fourth and he was unable to close the gap back to the leaders before more rain caused the race to be red flagged.
Kallio got a good start from the second row of the grid, but dropped back to tenth after being pushed wide at turn two on the opening lap. The Marc VDS rider fought his way back through the field, to eventually join the group of five riders battling for the lead at the front of the race. The 29-year-old Finn looked all set to mount a serious challenge for a podium finish, but got caught out by the worsening conditions and ran off the track after a near highside.
Kallio kept the bike upright and was quick to rejoin the race, but ran out of time to close down the gap to the leading group and was forced to settle for seventh place when the red flag brought a premature end to proceedings.
Livio Loi went into today's 16-lap Rookies race determined to secure a top ten finish. The 15-year-old Belgian rider rode cleverly, in a race that saw many crashes, to eventually finish a creditable ninth.
The Marc VDS Racing Team head from Jerez straight to Estoril, the venue for round three of the 2012 Moto2 World Championship, which takes place next weekend.
Scott Redding #45: 4th
"I knew I had to push from the start if I wanted to make it to the front, so I stuck the elbows out, took a few risks and bumped my way past a few people. It was a good battle at the front, with some pretty hard moves from everyone, but then it started to rain around the back part of the track and I had a couple of big moments as the rear let go. After the second near highside I decided to back off a bit to see if conditions would improve, but then the real rain arrived and the race was stopped. It would have been good to finish on the podium, but having started from so far back on the grid, I'm pretty happy with fourth place today."
Mika Kallio #36: 7th
"I got away from the start in fifth or sixth, but then Mike di Meglio braked late at turn two and pushed us both wide. Fighting back through the field was difficult, because you had to go onto the damp part of the track to overtake, but I eventually managed to latch onto the back of the leading group. My plan was to sit in sixth for a few laps and then make a move for the podium, but then it started raining and I nearly went over the highside on the damp track. I was lucky, but I'm a bit disappointed because I think a podium finish was a possibility for me today. Now we must wait for Estoril next weekend and give it another go."
Michael Bartholemy: Team Principal
"I'm really pleased for both riders today, they did a fantastic job to finish fourth and seventh in difficult conditions. Once Scott got to the front of the race he was pushed hard by Lüthi, Marquez and Espargaro, but gave as good as he got and looked all set to challenge for a podium, or maybe even the win. Then the rain came, he had a couple of slides and sensibly decided to back off. The three riders in front of him were taking a lot of risks, so I think he made the right decision. After a bad start Mika fought his way up to the race leaders, which is no mean feat in Moto2. He looked very capable of finishing on the podium today, but got caught out as the rain started to fall. He rejoined and continued pushing, but the race was red flagged before he could regain the leading group. It was a good result for Mika and Scott and a good result for the team. Now we must look forward to Estoril next weekend."
MotoGP Moto3: Fenati hits the jackpot in Jerez, Tonucci 11th. Team Italia on top of the world
The Italian rider seizes an incredible win. After Qatar, Jerez crowns a new talent in the Italian motorcycle racing scene
The race was declared "dry", and all riders started on slick tires. Fenny got a good start and started chasing the leaders, immediately erasing the gap despite starting from 10th position.
The slippery track made it an elimination race in the first laps, with many riders crashing out (fortunately, uninjured), and Fenati had to take a few risks to pull away from the pack together with frenchman Rossi and Rins.
While riders kept sliding off in the back, Rins tried to break away but made a mistake, allowing Fenati and Rossi to stay within reach. Eventually, Rins and Rossi both crashed out, presenting the 16-year-old Italian with a great chance to collect his first victory, and Fenati managed to dominate his FTR Honda in tricky conditions.
Despite his relative inexperience on wet conditions, Fenati proved to be focused and mature, collecting a series of fast laps (with a best lap of 1'52"7), crushing the competition. The checkered flag saw him claim a maiden success in front of Salom (+36"1) and Cortese (+36"8).
The last Italian victory in the smaller class of MotoGP was scored by Iannone in 2009 in Catalunya 125 Grand Prix. Last Team Italia's victory in 125 goes back to 1987: it was Gresini who stepped on the highest spot on the podium in Misano.
The other Team Italia rider Alessandro Tonucci, who was not on top form physically after a crash yesterday, closed the race in 11th position, putting up a good fight in the back and performing many passes after starting from the 24th position.
Fenati's victory puts Team Italia on top of the Moto3 standings:
1) Fenati (ITA) 45pt.; 2) Vinales (SPA) 35pt.; 3) Salom (SPA) 33pt.; 4) Cortese (GER) 32pt.; 5) Rins (SPA) 39pt.
Romano Fenati (Team Italia FMI FTR Honda#5) 1° in 43'50"855
"I'm very happy about the victory. I started well, getting into the top positions, then kept my pace until the end. I want to thank the whole team, and of course my family, who supported me throughout the week-end as I was getting to grips with the wet track. It was a great race and we now lead the championship. I go into the Estoril round with great humility and the curiosity to discover a track with such a great tradition."
Alessandro Tonucci (Team Italia FMI FTR Honda#19) 11° a 1 lap
"I didn't have a good start due to a problem with launch control, then I struggled with shoulder pain while on the brakes. I'll work hard to solve all this problems and improve in Estoril. I'm very happy for my teammate's victory, as it's been a while since another Italian won in this category. It's a great reward for the team, who's working really well with both Romano and I.
Paolo Sesti (FMI President)
"Team Italia FMI wins in Spain and is now on top of the world. It's been a long time. This results shows that we have a serious and structured project. I want to thank everyone who worked in the shadows throughout these months and Romano, who made us cry with his performance. We still have a long way to go and we want to stay humble. Team Italia's tradition and pride will be our guidance."
SO CLOSE FOR MAHINDRA RACING AT JEREZ
Jerez de la Frontera - Sunday, April 29, 2012: Mahindra Racing’s Danny Webb lost a possible top-ten finish with a technical issue in a thrilling Moto3 race at today’s Spanish GP, in which the weather played a big hand.
Team-mate Marcel Schrötter also just missed first points on the all-new 250cc four-stroke machine, after hitting a puddle on the first lap and slipping off. He remounted, pitted for repairs and rejoined, but finished 16th, one place out of the points.
After two days of bad weather, the race started in dry conditions but with the track strewn with wet patches from earlier rain. Schrötter (19, from Germany) was one of several to fall victim on a hectic last lap, when he was forced wide onto a wet patch.
Webb survived the carnage to finish lap one 23rd position. But the 21-year-old Briton was soon picking his way forward, using the MGP30’s fine handling and his own wet-weather skills to move up to 11th place, in a pack of seven bikes disputing sixth place.
He was biding his time when a technical issue stopped him in his tracks after 15 of 23 laps.
Mahindra is one of a handful of independently made motorcycles, in pursuit of its own technical advantage. The machine is in its infancy compared with the over-the-counter rivals, but already able to challenge for the points. Further upgrades to the engine are expected in one or two races.
The next round is at Estoril in Portugal next weekend, where both riders are hoping for similar mixed conditions to help them make the most of their skills.
MARCEL SCHRÖTTER - 16th position
My start was okay, and I was picking up positions, especially through the last fast section. I braked late for the last hairpin, in a pack of bikes, and I was forced to go over a wet patch ... and unfortunately I crashed. I pitted and went out again, and the bike went perfectly, but I had lost too much time. It’s disappointing, because I think I could have had a good top-ten finish. Now we will try again at Estoril.
DANNY WEBB - Did Not Finish
I got in the wrong group after the start, but once I could get away I started chipping away at the six-second gap to the next group. I knew I could catch them, but it was hard to pass once I got there - so I was biding my time and waiting for the last laps. I was confident of getting some more places, and I was expecting eighth or ninth. Then on lap 15 with the gas wide open the engine suddenly stopped. I’m disappointed, but it’s shown what we’re capable of doing. We’ll take up where we left off at Estoril.
Smith and Simeon collect points in rain-affected Jerez race
Tech 3 Racing Team riders Bradley Smith and Xavier Simeon collected valuable World Championship points in a Spanish Moto2 Grand Prix cut short by rain showers this afternoon.
Smith and Simeon were both in contention for top 10 positions when rain began falling shortly after the halfway stage of another absorbing Moto2 encounter.
The race started under heavy cloud cover with damp patches still scattered around the Circuito de Jerez from earlier cloudbursts, but both Smith and Simeon quickly adapted to the tricky conditions to battle their way int o contention for a double top 10 finish.
Smith was producing another trademark display of aggressive riding to close down Johann Zarco and former Moto2 World Champion Toni Elias battling for ninth when rain spots started to fall on lap 15 of 26.
As conditions worsened, race officials were left with no option but to red flag the race seconds after leader Marc Marquez had started the 19th lap.
The result was declared from the standings at the end of lap 17, which left British rider Smith in 11th and just 0.7s away from the top 10.
Starting from 17th position on the grid, Simeon lost out in the frantic jostle for positions on the first lap and dropped back to 21st before he embarked on a thrilling surge through the field.
The Belgian pulled off a series of brilliant overtakes to move into the top 10 after only nine laps. And when the red flags were shown he was in hot pursuit of team-mate Smith and experienced Italian Alex de Angelis trying to move up from 13th place.
Bradley Smith 11th - 12 points:
“I'm reasonably happy to have scored some points because I knew that starting from 19th on the grid it was going to a tricky race. We made some big changes to the bike compared to yesterday and the modifications seemed to work and that should help me be closer to the front in the next few races. It has not been an easy weekend with the weather playing a major part, so to come away with 11th place is still a really good result and a decent reward for my Tech 3 crew, who have worked tirelessly all weeken d to give me a competitive bike. I think we have definitely found a direction with the set-up of the Mistral 610 and now I am heading to Estoril later this week much more confident and expecting to be back competing for the top six, which is where we need to be.”
Xavier Simeon 13th - 3 points:
“The start of the race was good for me but very tricky because the racing line was dry but really slippery and that made it difficult. I had to be very careful while coming through the pack but I managed to make a lot of overtakes and I was in a really fast and comfortable rhythm. I caught the group with Corti and Elias but then de Angelis arrived and started to make block passes, so we lost contact with the group in front. While we were battling we lost some time and that allowed Bradley and Zarco to pass us. Unfortunately th e conditions changed and the race was red flagged. It was the right decision but I am disappointed because we did a good weekend and I could have finished close to the top six without the battle with de Angelis. My Tech 3 Racing crew did a fantastic job as usual and we can go to Estoril confident we can enjoy a positive weekend.”
Herve Poncharal - Team Manager:
“That was a very difficult race for everybody because the conditions were so unpredictable. Xavier and Bradley both got a good start and they recovered a few places in the early part of the race to make it an interesting battle for the top 10. There was a lot of overtaking but it was inevitable the rain would play some part in proceedings. Bradley actually looked like one of the most confident when some rain drops started to fall but the race was red-flagged when he was looking really strong. He was in the top 10 when the red flags came out but as the result was declared from the end of lap 17, it means he dropped back to 11th. We can't be too excited to finish 11th and 13th but it is a good result considering the starting positions. Bradley was less than 10 seconds behind the winner so that gives us reason to be very optimistic and confident for the forthcoming races. We believe we have a good bike, so hopefully we can show it in Estoril later this week.”
POSITIVE FINISH FOR BANKIA ASPAR TEAM AT JEREZ
BANKIA ASPAR riders Alberto Moncayo and Héctor Faubel conclude Spanish GP in 7th and 9th place, respectively, despite suffering discomfort along the way.
The Moto3 Spanish GP took place in extremely tricky conditions at the Circuito de Jerez on Sunday, turning into a battle of attrition for the lower cylinder class riders. The day began with some threatening-looking clouds in the sky after some heavy overnight rain, although the sun broke through in the warmup to cast doubt into the riders' minds yet further. The 11am race was declared dry by Race Control and the Moto3 bikes were shod with slicks for the task at hand. Early frontrunners found out to their cost that crashes were a constant danger, and a string of leaders found their challenge for victory affected by trips into the gravel or onto the damp asphalt. The race was won by Italian rider Romano Fenati in only his second Grand Prix appearance, denying the Spaniards a home win at the Circuito de Jerez.
BANKIA Aspar riders Alberto Moncayo and Héctor Faubel were out in search of positive results, despite having experienced difficulties in the previous practice sessions. Faubel was suffering from an injury to his right leg from a crash, whilst Moncayo's right shoulder was causing him problems of his own. It would not be an easy race for the duo, but provided reward for their efforts.
Faubel and his team had made a series of changes after studying the data from the morning warmup. The rider adjusted his braking technique as a result and his adaptability paid off: He placed ninth in the race, with a pace similar to that of the podium finishers. A gear change issue slowed him down slightly, but the Spanish GP was an important step forward for the home rider.
Moncayo started far back on the grid, but perhaps a better placing in qualifying would have seen him challenging for an even better finish than the ninth place that eventually went his way. In front of 103,728 fans, he put in a great performance to claim seventh place at Jerez. He is now on eleven points overall, level with teammate Faubel in the Moto3 standings in ninth and tenth place, respectively.
7º Alberto Moncayo: "I woke up this morning feeling ok, despite being sore from the heavy knock on my shoulder yesterday. I was very tense in the warmup and was not riding well because I was so stiff. However, I loosened up in the race on the opening laps, which was coincidentally about the same gap that the frontrunners had over me at the end of the race. I saw that we had podium pace later on. This result is like a win for me, after the weekend that we have had. I overtook some less experienced riders. It was a tough weekend but we took away some points. This race is like an injection of energy for us; we will continue working hard because we should be up at the front."
9th Héctor Faubel: "My leg hurts a little, but I started well and kept up with Salom and Cortese, who later got onto the podium. That counts for something, as if they could do it, then I could have as well. It was a crazy race. I had a problem with my gearbox when I had a 'tankslapper', as the impact broke it. Finishing in the top ten is decent enough, but far off our aims for the weekend."
POSITIVE PERFORMANCE FROM ANTONELLI AT JEREZ
Niccolņ Antonelli recovered from a poor start to fight for sixth place at the Spanish Grand Prix today, eventually taking eighth in the second round of the Moto3 World Championship. After a disappointing debut in Qatar a healthy points haul was just what the youngster needed and now he heads for the next round in Portugal with form and confidence.
Niccolo’ Antonelli (8th) “Things went pretty well today and I've picked up my first points of the season. I'm happy with the result but still not completely happy with my feeling for the bike. We have a lot of work to do to find a set-up that gives me more confidence but now we go to Estoril and hopefully with some better weather we will get the opportunity to do that.”
Fausto Gresini “Niccolo had a good first race with this new bike even though the track conditions were not perfect. It hasn't been an easy weekend with the lack of dry track time for us to set the bike up but he rode intelligently to make the most of the situation. It was important to finish the race and he's picked up some important points that will give him confidence now. He's not happy but that's normal because he always wants to do better.”
Double podium and great team result for Suter in Spanish Moto2 Grand Prix
Marc Márquez and Tom Luthi conquered second and third place in the Spanish Moto2 Grand Prix and presented Suter Racing Technology with a fantastic double podium finish. Young Swiss rider Dominique Aegerter and former Moto2 world champion Toni Elias completed the success with eighth and nineth place.
After two mostly wet practice days, it started to dry up for the Moto2 race on Sunday, but the Jerez circuit was still damp and slick in some patches besides the fastest riding line, which made overtaking and position fights riskier as usual. Luthi was leading for the first seven laps of the race and then got caught in a battle with the following group of riders. But Luthi never dropped further back than third and crossed the finish line only half a second behind the race winner.
Márquez was fourth after the start of the race, but took the lead three laps from the end and lost against his Spanish rival Pol Espargaro only because it started to rain and the race was stopped after 17 laps. When the red flags came out, Márquez had already re-passed Espargaro.
I“Congratulations to Marc and Tom. It was a bit unlucky that the race was stopped at that stage, because with another lap, we could have celebrated a victory”, said Reto Karrer, Moto2 project leader at Suter Racing Technology. “But even though, it was a great day for us. Marc finished on the podium for the second time in two races, and Tom showed again that he is fully competitive. Dominique Aegerter went from zero to 100 in the race, even though his clutch lever broke off in the first corner when he banged into another rider. Toni Elias also showed his true potential again!”
IIn the Moto3 category, Suter riders Alex Rins and Miguel Oliveira seemed set for a great success. Portuguese rider Oliveira was leading in lap two and three, but then slid off the track in damp and treacherous conditions, which eventually were to claim half the field of this class. His 16-year-old team-mate Rins, who had conquered the first pole position for Suter Racing Technology in the Moto3 class the day before, then took the lead, but also crashed by mid-race. Rins managed to continue and to come home in a strong fourth position.
The only Suter rider in the MotoGP class, Colin Edwards, had to line up on the last row of the grid after a crash in qualifying, but still was awarded with 16th place after a lonely race, due to the incidents of five other riders. “Because of our starting position, we took this race just as a test, which was very successful. We learned a lot”, said Alessandro Guissani, project leader MotoGP at Suter Racing Technology. “We were not far away from the lap times of the best CRT bikes. Our main problem currently is that we can’t control the engine power as well as other teams with years of experience in electronic engine management!”
NO RESPITE IN THE RACE FOR WILAIROT
Ratthapark Wilairot has had little to smile about this weekend in Jerez and unfortunately his luck didn't change for the race today, the Thai rider struggling to strike up a working relationship with his new Moriwaki and unable to challenge for points today.
Ratthapark Wilairot (26th) “We need to have a long look at the data because clearly this situation is not normal and this position does not reflect my potential. At the moment I can't do much more than this unfortunately so we need to work hard to find a solution as soon as possible.”
Fausto Gresini “I am disappointed with the situation that Ratthapark finds himself in and determined to put a smile back on his face. The next race is in a week's time and ity will be difficult to fix things before then but soon we will put him in a position to demonstrate his true potential.”
ELÍAS TAKES TOP TEN FINISH IN GUTSY MOTO2 RACEDAY PERFORMANCE
Toni Elías takes 9th at Jerez after starting from 16th on the grid, whilst teammate Nico Terol continues Moto2 learning process.
The Moto2 Spanish Grand Prix did not reach its intended 26 lap duration, stopped 9 laps from the end due to rainfall. Just as Spanish rider Márc Márquez crossed the line in first place, Race Direction called a stop to proceedings due to the dangerous nature of the conditions. Pol Espargaró was declared the winner at Jerez, thanks to his having been the last leader of a lap completed by the entire intermediate class field. Márquez placed second for a home one-two.
The MAPFRE ASPAR TEAM's two former World Champions were eager for some home success at Jerez, but leave Southern Spain slightly disappointed with not giving the 184,160 fans present reasons to be cheerful. Toni Elías, a former Moto2 title holder, continued to have problems with his front end in the Spanish GP, although he was able to improve his pace to match those at the head of the field. He had started the race from 16th on the grid, but had moved up to 9th by the end of lap one. His highest position was 6th on lap 10, before he dropped back slightly. His positives from race day were the improvements made in comparison with the Qatar season opener, but he is still looking to cut the gap of 8 seconds that separates him from victory.
Nico Terol continued to struggle on Sunday, but will be working hard to find solutions to problems experienced in his adaptation to Moto2. He and the team will have another opportunity to put things right next weekend, when the World Championship heads to Estoril for the Portuguese GP.
9th Toni Elias: "I see this race as a positive one, because we started from far back on the grid and we managed acomeback. However, we lacked pace. The track and the weather were really tricky for us and it would have been easy to crash out. We made progress, because we picked up points, but it isn't enough. If the bike was as I would have liked, then we would have been fighting for the win; we have to work more on the front end. We didn't run in fully dry conditions at any time this weekend, but we still managed to do better than in Qatar. I still have no front end feel. I am one of the best on the slow corners according to the telemetry, but on the fast parts of the track it is impossible to ride smoothly."
27th Nico Terol: "I couldn't wait to ride at Jerez, where we made good progress in preseason and had a good pacegoing,. This was the first weekend at which I rode with the Suter and in the wet I rode fairly well. I wanted to push harder later on and I got stuck -for example when I wanted to pass riders who I was always ahead of in 125cc. I have taken a step backwards and I don't want to be in this position. Qatar and Jerez have served as a learning experience, despite the results. I have to take some pressure off myself and just work on my own riding. I am going to recharge my batteries and enjoy riding this Suter and working with this great team, who I want to thank for their efforts. We have had some great times together, so to go from one extreme to another is difficult. The quality is there, so if wekeep calm we will get through this."
GINO REA PICKS UP FIRST GRAND PRIX POINT
Gino Rea picked up his first Grand Prix point today after finishing fifteenth in a Moto2 race of attrition at Jerez. It was an important confidence boost to the British rider following a difficult start to the season and he will get an opportunity to build on it in just seven days time when the Portuguese Grand Prix takes place at Estoril.
Gino Rea (15th) “The race has been the highlight of a tough weekend. I got a good start, I was up to thirteenth and I tried to hang in there as long as I could. Once the fuel load went down I struggled to keep my pace up and had a couple of moments where I almost crashed, like a lot of riders out there. It was a shame they stopped the race when they did actually because I'd just passed Iannone when they showed the red flag so that dropped me back a position. This race was a test for us to try some settings with the new bike and the good thing is that despite limited track time over the course of the weekend we can look back on it now and see that we have made progress. We only have a couple of days until the next round and I am glad because I can't wait to get back out on track.”
Fausto Gresini “It isn't a brilliant result for us but it was important to get points on the board and we have taken a step forward from Qatar. It is pretty obvious that all the Moriwaki riders are having problems. This kind of result is not what we are aiming for but we have a week until the next race and a lot of hard work ahead to improve our situation.”
Finsterbusch falls victim to treacherous conditions
Improvements for Lundh in Moto2 race
Bad luck for Toni Finsterbusch: The 17-year-old MZ factory rider was one of the 17 starters in the Spanish Moto3-Grand Prix who missed out on a race finish. After heavy rain during the night and more rain showers in the morning, the track had finally started to dry for the first race of the day and the Moto3 riders went out on slick tyres. However, there were still many damp and slippery spots around the Jerez circuit that caused half the field to crash. One of the victims was Finsterbusch. In the Moto2 race, Alexander Lundh had a poor start, but then rode on steadily to score 24th place.
Choosing the right tyres was not an easy task for the Moto3 riders who had had only a few minutes of dry track time towards the end of qualifying on Saturday. It had been wet in the warm-up practice once again on Sunday morning. When the race was declared “dry”, the riders had to more or less guess which combination of the two available rear and front tyre compounds would suit the conditions.
Clearer was the situation before the start of the Moto2 race: The track had dried up further and since qualifying practice had been dry as well, the choice of the right slick tyres was no problem. But towards the end of the race, it started to rain again and the race was red-flagged on the 18th of 26 laps.
Toni Finsterbusch (Moto3) - did not finish (crash):
“After the start I was able to catch up from 30th to 22nd place, but then I got pushed off line and lost six positions again. I caught up once again, but on lap three, I hit the damp spot on which Miguel Oliveira had crashed. I had a highsider and was thrown off. Luckily, only a few minor parts broke off and the bike didn’t get damaged too much.”
Alexander Lundh (Moto2) - 24th position:
“I had a really bad start and lost the race in the first corner. >From that point on, things were okay. After a few laps, I had a good feeling for the bike and found my rhythm. Later on, Randy Krummenacher passed me after his crash and I managed to hang on to him and match his pace. Together we caught up with Julian Simon. With a better start I could have finished within the top 20 for sure. Altogether, we make good progress. We are stronger than we were at Qatar and in the next races, we will be stronger again. I hope my leg injury will improve for the next race in Estoril, then we can make the next step.”
De Angelis within the points, Takahashi´s comeback
The Spanish grand Prix of Spain comes to a close for the NGM Mobile Forward Racing riders Alex De Angelis and Yuki Takahashi in 12th and 21st place. The rider from San Marino started off on the eleventh position on the starting grid and has performed a good start and has proven to be constant and this could have lead hem to be within the top 10 if the rain and the red flag had not shortened the race. In any case, it has been a step forward for the duo Suter - De Agnelis that will continue its course at Estoril in less than a week.
Yuki Takahashi continues his progression in a complicated weekend in which the Japanese rider has had to deal with hurting his hand during a crash. The 22nd position during today’s´ race does not represent his real potential that he will have the chance to show next weekend at the in Portugal.
Alex de Angelis - 12º
“Even if the conditions were very different to the ones encountered in Qatar, but the race for me has been very similar. It has been hard today, I was close to the first group and I followed them for a few laps but I lost a lot of time with Simeon when we did a series of overtakes. Surely I could have done better with the bike, at every lap that I made a mistake Simeon was able to overtake me. We can conclude this weekend with a positive Keeling because the leading group, as I said earlier, was within reach.”
Yuki Takahashi - 21º
“We have finished in 21st position and it has been a hard race, as it was the case in Qatar but we have tested many things for the setup. We have still to find the right solution, but we have to continue trying. We are all working and working well together, we hope to find the right solution for the race.”
Pietro Caprara - Moto2 Technical Manager
“It’s been a very difficult race. We expected it to he hard because of the weather forecast and particularly on the last lap when it began to rain heavily and the race got cut short. Alex made a good start and later on make a series of overtakes to Simeon, Smith and Zarco that constrained him to remain of the second group of the race, with without it he could have reached the first group or five riders. He is somewhat happier with the race result rather than with the free practices in terms of his feeling with the front of the bike. In terms of Yuki, he has last a lot of time to adapt to the weather conditions. He has improved his best lap time from during the second half of the race but we still have to work more on adapting the bike to his riding style and talent.”