Press releases from the Moto2 and Moto3 teams after qualifying at Brno:
Early crash disturbs qualifying for Brad Binder
While his team mate Luis Salom was lapping the Brno circuit at full speed Brad Binder was limping around in the garage of RW Racing GP. An early crash, only five minutes into the qualifying practice, ruined the chances of the South African on a good result.
In Binders second lap he ran into Guiliane Pedone while he tried to overtake the Swiss on the inside. Pedone closed the door by crossing in front of Binder who could not avoid hitting him. Binder was able to walk away, but with much pain in his hip and b ottom. Binder paid a visit to the Clinica Mobile to make sure nothing is broken.
The bike was too damaged to continue. The crew had just put in a new engine and with stones from the gravel trap in the air box, going out was too risky. Binders bike will be taken apart overnight and rebuilt for the race.
Luis Salom in the meantime was on pole position pace for most of the session. Only in the finale few minutes he was pushed off the front row and had to settle for fifth.
Luis Salom (5th): "Front row or second row is not that much of a difference to me, but it would have been nice to be on the front row once. It&rsqu o;s going to be a tough battle anyway. In FP3 this morning I was not very comfortable with the bike, but after some small modifications I was really happy with it this afternoon. We used a pair of soft tires to set a fast lap time. I did it on my own, without a slipstream.’’
Brad Binder (23rd): "This position - 23rd - is not what I was hoping for. It’s such a shame I crashed so early in the session. Not just because of the position, but because it cost me valuable track time. My hip and my butt hurt. It will surely be sore tomorrow and therefore it will be a difficult race, but I’ll try to make the best of it.’’
Team manager Johan Stigefelt: "We all feel sorry for Brad. He is running into bad luck all the time. Physically he could continue QP, but the bike was not safe. With gravel in the air box it is just too risky, for the rider but also for the engine. We hope Brad will be f it enough to have a decent race. He is a tough guy.’’
Viñales to start from pole at Brno
Repsol rider claims best time in duel with Cortese. Rins places eighth, Álex Márquez eighteenth and Oliveira twenty-first.
The weekend of the Czech Republic GP is reflecting the battle in the overall standings, as Maverick Viñales and Sandro Cortese lead the way. The Repsol rider came out on top in qualifying, taking his fifth pole of the season. Álex Rins was eighth in the session, in which Álex Márquez and Miguel Oliveira both crashed to place 18th and 21st, respectively.
The second day of action at Brno began with conditions considerably different to day one. After overnight storms, the day began with cloudy skies and the threat of heavy rain at any moment. The track conditions stayed largely the same, and Maverick Viñales and Sandro Cortese continued to put in the fastest times. In the morning practice, the Spaniard was just 77 thousandths of a second down on Cortese.
Equally positive were the performances of Oliveira, Márquez and Rins. The Portuguese was one of the quickest in the session, although he eventually finished eleventh —two places ahead of Márquez. Rins also began confidently, riding amongst the frontrunners until he crashed at the same place as on Friday —turn 9— midway through the session. He rode his Suter Honda back to the pits, where his team repaired the damage to the left hand side and got him back on track with 15 minutes to go. He placed seventeenth.
Come qualifying, the first and second placed riders in the World Championship were again fighting for pole. Whilst they were close in practice and Cortese had won out on that occasion, the roles were reversed in the afternoon and the Repsol rider claimed pole number five of the season —33 thousandths of a second quicker than his rival.
Álex Rins, on his first visit to Brno and sore from two crashes over the course of the weekend, had an impeccable session to give him eighth place and a third row start. On row six will be Álex Márquez, who crashed twice in qualifying and could only salvage eighteenth place. One row behind will be Miguel Oliveira, who has been experiencing problems with the long straights and also fell today, at turn nine. He claimed twenty-first on the grid.
FP3 - 2:08.499 15 laps, 81 km.
QP - 2:08.075, 16 laps, 86 km.
“I am very happy, because I took pole without relying on slipstreams and I have a good pace. Brno has a lot of straights and it is hard to take pole riding solo. We are where we need to be now, working hard, and we have to forget about the crash at Indianapolis. We have found a very good setting and the feeling is good. We have the chassis working well, which is very important. Tomorrow is going to be a thrilling race, but I’m sure that we will be fighting for the win.”
FP3 - 2:09.943, 15 laps, 81 km.
QP - 2:10.182, 15 laps, 81 km.
“We are finding it harder than normal at this track, as we have only been able to knock six tenths off yesterday’s lap times and we weren’t sure which way to go with the setup. We tried a few things that didn’t work in qualifying and in the final stages I latched onto a quick group. That was when I crashed, as I was right at the limit with the bike. We start from far back tomorrow, so we need to make a comeback.”
FP3 - 2:10.339, 12 laps, 76 km.
QP - 2:09.221, 15 laps, 81 km.
“That was a fairly positive qualifying session, as in the end we got a good time. Bearing in mind the practices yesterday and this morning, which were affected by my crashes, I think that we can be satisfied. I think that we can be fighting with the front group tomorrow, as we have a good pace, but we can still improve it by quite a bit.”
FP3 - 2:10.202, 14 laps, 65 km.
QP - 2:09.821, 9 laps, 49 km.
“In the morning we took some important steps forward which allowed us to improve our feeling with the bike. We were very confident about the afternoon and had a good plan for going faster. However, when following Cortese I had a small crash and had to take the bike back to the garage. When I went back out there were seven minutes left, and the great job from the team allowed me to go at a fast pace again. Then another rider hit me and I hit the ground again, this time unable to finish the session. Tomorrow we will start from eighteenth and look for more race experience. I am happy with how the team are working."
NICE ONE NICCOLO!
Niccolò Antonelli's track knowledge helped him to show his true potential today as he stormed to the fourth fastest time and a second row start for tomorrow's Moto3 race at Brno. The Team San Carlo Honda Gresini Moto3 youngster demonstrated not only his talent but also his character to bounce back from a disappointing weekend in Indianapolis and set himself up for a good race in the twelfth round of his rookie season.
Niccolò Antonelli (4th 2' 08” 660) “Fourth place is a great satisfaction to me. True, we could have been on the front row but I am happy because I feel very confident with the bike and I am sure I can have a good race tomorrow. The guys in the team will make some small but important changes to the bike tonight and then it is up to me to make a good start and stay focused to bring home a good result.”
Fausto Gresini “It is great to see Niccolò riding with such courage and determination to do well. I am really happy and I think this fourth place is a nice way for him to show the progress he is making right now. His race pace is good and I am sure that he can get involved in the fight at the front tomorrow. Bravo Niccolò!”
HÉCTOR FAUBEL BATTLES THROUGH PAIN FOR SECOND ROW START
MAPFRE Aspar rider sixth fastest despite Indy injuries, Folger in top ten on tomorrow's grid
The Moto3 class escaped the rain that head threatened to fall on the Brno circuit this afternoon but the cool and cloudy weather certainly made for some tricky track conditions. The three top riders in the current championship Sandro Cortese, Luis Salom and Maverick Viñales proved to be the men to beat throughout the day and although the lap times were inconsistent it was the latter of the trio who eventually emerged to take pole position with a stunning effort of 2'08.075.
Like most of his rivals on track MAPFRE Aspar rider Héctor Faubel went for the softer tyre compound this afternoon but it wasn't to his liking. However, the Spaniard was able to qualify in a creditable sixth place considering the injuries he sustained at Indianapolis a week ago. His team-mate Jonas Folger will start from two rows further back after struggling to find a front-end set-up with his new bike for this circuit. The German starts tenth fastest and although he was unable to set a fast lap on his own terms today he is confident he can run with the pack in tomorrow's race.
6th Héctor Faubel 2.08.880 (15 laps): "I had an injection today for qualifying and it eased the pain but made me feel ill so I won't be doing it again for the race tomorrow. I am happy because even though I'm not 100% fit I was able to set a good pace on my own. At the end of the session I tried the softer compound but I wasn't keen on it and we know what we need to do with the setting for the race. The two top guys are a step ahead but the guys behind them are quite close so anything could happen in the race. My objective is to get a good start and hang on to the lead group for as long as I can."
10th Jonas Folger 2.09.382 (13 laps): "I struggled to adapt to the soft tyres today and I was losing time in the first sector. I tried to get a tow from another rider and came up behind Kent but ran out of time to set a good lap. I would have liked to be higher up on the grid and I know I can go faster but I'm still not comfortable with the feel from the front end. We have tried a lot of things and we know what we need to to do improve. It will be a tough race tomorrow and there will be a big group at the front so we need to be consistent and keep an eye out for attacks. Last weekend I finished on the podium after qualifying fifteenth so hopefully we can repeat it tomorrow."
Step forward for Marc Márquez
Repsol rider makes notable improvement over course of Saturday practice sessions and will start from fourth at Brno. Faulty tyre impedes him on hot lap.
Consistent hard work in the garage for Marc Márquez allowed the Repsol rider to overcome the difficulties experienced yesterday and improve his chances of victory tomorrow. However, when looking for a front row spot for the Czech Republic Grand Prix, the Spaniard was hit by a tyre problem that prevented him from consolodating his good feeling with a fast time. He will take off from fourth, heading the second row. Pol Espargaró will be on pole.
In the third practice session, Márquez took a big step forward in his pursuit of the leading riders of the weekend. The Repsol rider improved lap after lap, until on his fifteenth of eighteen laps he stopped the clock at 2'02.983 —0.395 off Pol Espargaró.
With the threat of rain a constant on Saturday, a few drops fell in the Moto3 practice to prove as much. Márquez took no chances, starting the Moto2 qualifying run with intent. He dominated the opening half of the session, clocking a time of 2'02.342. He put in two 5-lap stints and upped his pace, up until he came across the misfortune of a faulty tyre on his final run. That meant that he could not improve his grid position and would have to settle for fourth and a second row start.
FP3 - 2:02.983, 18 laps, 97 km.
QP - 2:02.342, 19 laps, 102 km.
“I am happy, because on my opening two stints I felt very comfortable. However, this wasn't reflected on the timesheet. We worked on our race pace in order to get a good setup for tomorrow and I think that we can fight up at the front —if we can replicate our performance from the start of the session. It is a shame that our final run was performed on a defectuous rear tyre, because I was riding very comfortably and those new tyres gave us a lot of chatter. I was going a second slower but felt like I was at the limit, but these things happen".
QP: SIXTH TIME FOR IANNONE DESPITE A CRASH, ANDREOZZI KEEPS PROGRESSING
The starting grid for the Moto2 class was defined today, for the bwin Grand Prix Ceske Republiky.
In the session of this morning, which was marked by lower temperatures than Friday, Iannone and his technicians tried out some new solutions for the Speed Up machine, in case the weather was the same tomorrow in the race. Despite a crash at the beginning of the QP, Andrea got back on top of his bike and finished the session with the sixth best time, achieving a placement in the second row for tomorrow’s starting grid.
Andreozzi, thanks to the data gathered in the three free practices, had the chance to find a more favourable feeling with his Speed Up, improving by 1.2 seconds in the qualifying session. Alessandro therefore makes some further progress on the track of Brno and the warm up will be essantial to work out some final changes to the set-up.
Andrea Iannone #29 - 6th with 2'02.914
“The crash at the beginning of the session didn’t help us. I’m sorry because this session was important in order to prepare the bike for tomorrow’s race. It was significant to fully take advantage of the time at disposal today to understand what directives we need to take. Now we’ll try to sort out the Speed Up setting at its best and to be ready for tomorrow.”
Alessandro Andreozzi #22 - 28th with 2'05.233
“The session of this morning was somewhat complicated, but in the afternoon we tried a modification that I liked and we managed to improve a lot, we were about 1.2 seconds faster. We are still starting from the back of the grid, but I’m satisfied because we found the right direction we need to work. In the warm up we’ll test a last modification to reduce the chatter and we’ll see if we can keep making some further steps in the race.”
MotoGP Moto3 - Team Italia on fourth and fifth row in Brno
Tonucci qualified in 12th position, Fenati in 13th
Alessandro Tonucci, after lapping fast during free practice, confirmed his chemistry with the Czech track by being among the Top 10 for most of the qualifying session and posting the 12th-best time with a 2'09"498, 1''4 behind poleman Viñales, which granted him a fourth-row start. He also showed a strong pace, and can climb further positions during the race.
Fenati suffered some bad luck, as he was constantly in the Top 5 during the first half of the session but crashed out without consequences toward the end. His bike came back in the pits with only a few minutes to go and the crew worked strenuously to give him a chance to do a couple more laps, but he could not improve his best time of 2'09"532.
Michael Ruben Rinaldi, who rides for Team Italia in the CIV Moto3 championship and replaces temporarily Jack Miller, qualified in 25th position with a 2'11"108.
Alessandro Tonucci (Team Italia FMI FTR Honda#19) 16 laps with a 2'09"498
"I'm very happy about today. I had a strong qualifying session and barely missed the Top 10. I focused on race pace and I can fight at the top tomorrow. We'll tweak a few more things during warm-up and I can't wait for the lights to go off."
Romano Fenati (Team Italia FMI FTR Honda#5) 8 laps with a 2'09"532
"Things were going well but I lost the front toward the end and I couldn't fight for better positions. I have a good pace and will try to climb my way back during the race. I like the track, and we'll use the warm-up to try to be even faster."
Roberto Locatelli (FMI Technical Coordinator)
"Tonucci had a strong qualifier after improving constantly since the first free practice session. Fenati was penalized by his crash, but his race pace can help him score important points. Special thanks to the team, who rebuilt his bike quickly. We can do well tomorrow."
REA PROGRESS RUINED BY A CRASH
Gino Rea's hopes of a top grid position were dashed today by a crash on the first lap of qualifying practice at Brno. It is a shame because the British rider has shown top ten potential and pace throughout free practice but now he has it all to do in tomorrow's race.
Gino Rea (27th 2' 04” 399) “Unfortunately out of the whole weekend we picked the worst time to crash. I have had plenty of moments this weekend where I have felt the front slide and I've been able to bring it back but this time there was no warning and I couldn't save it. It's a shame because it happened before I was able to post a decent qualifying time. I managed to get some laps in at the end but the bike didn't feel the same and I wasn't able to go as fast as I did this morning so now we have to try and get the result we deserve tomorrow.”
Fausto Gresini “A crash on the first lap has cost Gino the opportunity to qualify well for this race and it's a shame because he has shown good confidence with the bike here and he was in good shape to do well so we're disappointed. ”
NICO TEROL REAPS REWARDS OF CONSISTENCY
MAPFRE Aspar rider makes constant progress to qualify eighth with team-mate Torres an impressive thirteenth
Qualifying practice for the Czech Republic Grand Prix started out with crashes for Gino Rea, Elena Rosell, Andrea Iannone and Axel Pons but it finished with a new pole position record for Pol Espargaró, who emerged at the head of an intense battle with Thomas Lüthi and Scott Redding.
For Nico Terol there was little such drama as the MAPFRE Aspar rider continued with his quiet but consistent adaptation to the Moto2 class, recording his best qualifying session of the season for the second week in succession. Nico worked hard throughout to overcome front-end problems with his bike and a time of 2'03.128 on his eighteenth lap proved enough for eighth place on tomorrow's grid. Jordi Torres also impressed today, the Spaniard making significant progress of his own to qualify thirteenth fastest for only his second race since returning to the Moto2 World Championship with the MAPFRE Aspar Team.
8th Nico Terol 2.03.128 (18 laps): "We have had three good weekends now making constant progress and moving steadily up the order. I like the track but we've had more issues here than we expected, with some front chatter that makes it particularly hard to ride. I tried to adapt and even though I struggled at the start we put the soft tyre in at the end and I was able to set a good lap. I was still some way back on the time sheets but on my last lap I got behind Iannone and was able to follow him in some areas and lower my time. I am really happy because this is my best grid so far and tomorrow I'm going to fight right to the end - hopefully in the lead group."
13th Jordi Torres 2.03.249 (17 laps): "All the work we did in Indianapolis to adapt to the bike has paid off here and over the course of the weekend we have made continued progress and adapted the bike a little bit to my style too. The team are helping a lot and working really hard and we are taking constant steps forward. This circuit has a lot of hard braking areas and I feel comfortable here. Unfortunately I lose a bit on the straight because of my weight but I am pleased with my performance and especially with the bike. I consider myself more of a racer than a one lap wonder so hopefully we can get a good start tomorrow, stay with the group and finish in the points."
Smith aims for top six in Brno
Tech 3 Racing Team rider Bradley Smith is optimistic he has the speed to challenge for a top six finish in tomorrow's Czech Republic Moto2 race at the Brno track.
The British rider, who confirmed he has signed a two-year contract move to MotoGP with the Monster Yamaha for 2013 and 2014 this morning, will start the 20-lap race from 15th position on the grid.
The 21-year-old was able to set a best time of 2.03.303 to finish less than 0.4s away from the top six despite not h aving found the ideal set-up with his Mistral 610 machine.
Belgian Xavier Simeon is also confident he can fight his way through into points-scoring contention from 21st on the grid. He posted a best time of 2.03.594 on his final flying lap but with the eighth fastest rider less than 0.5s ahead him on the grid, he is confident he can challenge for a top 10.
Bradley Smith - 15th - 2.03.303 min:
“Today obviously started in fantastic fashion for me with confirmation that I will be with the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 MotoGP Team in 2013 and 2014. I already knew this from last September but it is nice for it to be confirmed. Unfortunately we couldn't build on that positive news on the track. For some reason we seemed to struggle a lot with entry grip in to the corner. We made some good steps during the practice and we improved our lap time by 0.6s during the qualifying but in this Championship it's not enough. We still need to find another 0.5s a lap and tonight we need to study the data in detail to find something to improve in this area. We do not know what the weather will do tomorrow with some people saying it will be a wet race. But starting from 15th it will be a tricky race in the dry or wet.”
Xavier Simeon - 21st - 2.03.594 min:
“I'm a little bit disappointed because I made quite a big mistake on the last lap and that was my best of the session. If I didn't nearly crash in the second sector I would have managed to be at least three of four tenths faster and this would have put me close to the top 10 and this would have been a good position to start. It will be a big battle tomorrow as the lap times are very close between a lot of riders. I really want to do a good race and get some points for the Tech 3 Racing Team as a reward for all their hard work and effort again this weekend.”
Front row for Redding in Brno
Brno, Czech Republic - 25 August 2012: Scott Redding will start tomorrow's 20-lap Czech Republic Moto2 Grand Prix from the front row of the grid, after qualifying third fastest. Chatter issues meant that Mika Kallio was unable to qualify higher than 12th position at Brno this afternoon.
Second quickest on combined times from the three free practice sessions, Redding was building his pace in qualifying when a rain shower forced the majority of the Moto2 riders back to pit lane. Fortunately the rain was light and blew over the circuit quickly, leaving the track dry and the riders able to continue the session almost immediately.
Redding was one of the first riders to exit pit lane and, with a clear track in front of him, jumped to the top of the timesheet with his first flying lap. He was demoted to second shortly afterwards by a hard charging Pol Espargaro, but Redding looked all set to reclaim pole position until Alex de Angelis crashed heavily in front of him and he had to take evasive action.
The 19-year-old Briton was fastest through the second split on his next lap, but was baulked by another rider in the third sector and was unable to improve his time. A last minute dash by Thomas Lüthi pushed Redding back one place further, but third was enough to secure the Marc VDS rider his first front row start since his home race at Silverstone.
Kallio finished free practice yesterday in eighth position, but was unable to find the same feeling with the bike during today's sessions, which were held in much cooler conditions. The 29-year-old Finn struggled with traffic during this afternoon's 45-minute qualifying session, running into groups of riders on nearly all his flying laps, but front-end chatter was an even bigger problem for the Marc VDS rider, as it stopped him from significantly improving his lap time from free practice.
Despite starting from the fourth row of the grid tomorrow, the Kallio is confident that changes to the front end of the bike overnight will allow him to battle his way to the front in the early stages of tomorrow's race and, if all goes well, fight for the podium finish he set as his goal this weekend.
Today was also a successful one for the Marc VDS backed Belgian youngster, Livio Loi, who finished second in the Rookies Cup race at Brno. 15-year-old Loi, the first Belgian to be selected for the Rookies Cup, was involved in a frantic last lap battle with Karel Hanika and only lost out on the race win by the narrowest of margins.
Loi will return to the track tomorrow for round 12 of the championship and is determined to go one better and take his first race win, in what is turning out to be a very closely contested series.
Scott Redding #45: 3rd - 2'02.239
"It's been a good weekend so far. I've been on the pace from the start, at a track that hasn't been one of my strongest in the past, which is always good for your confidence. In qualifying I thought pole position was a definite possibility; even when de Angelis crashed in front of me and I had to go around his bike I still had the throttle pinned, convinced I could salvage the lap. Unfortunately I lost too much time, but he next lap was also a quick one until another rider held me up, and it was game over. But the front row is good enough here in Brno and I'm confident I can fight for a podium finish tomorrow."
Mika Kallio #36: 12th - 2'03.206
"Qualifying was a bit of a disaster, but also a bit of a mystery. The feeling with the bike wasn't good; I had some problems with front-end chatter and I felt like I was on the limit all the time. I tried to push more, to improve my time from free practice, but that just caused more problems with the front and the time didn't improve. I'm really disappointed because, even with this issue, I thought I could go faster, but it proved impossible. We need to try and improve things in warm up tomorrow if we are to go for a good result in the race. We don't need to make any big changes; I think just small changes will be enough to improve the feeling with the front. Or at least I hope so."
Michael Bartholemy: Team Principal
"Scott has done a great job all weekend. If you'd asked me at which tracks he was likely struggle this year then Brno - with its long straights and a big hill at the end of the lap - would have been near the top of the list. The Kalex Moto2 bike works well here, but the biggest improvement has come from Scott. His approach has been perfect this weekend. Mika had a difficult qualifying session today. He struggled to find a clear track and chatter issues meant he wasn't able to push as hard as we know he can. He will start the race from the fourth row of the grid, but I'm still hopeful we'll see both Marc VDS riders on the podium tomorrow. Our young Rookie rider, Livio Loi, also did a great job by finishing second today. He was the first Belgian to be selected for the series and now he's the first Belgian to stand on the podium. Livio's result shows we have the talent in Belgium, now we just need to develop it."