2013 Austin Moto2 And Moto3 Friday Press Releases

Press releases from the Moto2 and Moto3 teams after the first day of practice at the Austin MotoGP round:

No grip in Texas

The new track in Austin, Texas, gave RW Racing GP riders Jakub Kornfeil and Jasper Iwema difficulties. In the first free practice for Moto3 there was no grip at all, leaving them in 17th (Iwema) and 18th (Kornfeil). In the afternoon session the track was a little bit better, thanks to the practice sessions of the other classes. Kornfeil was over 4 seconds quicker and ended up in 11th. Iwema finished in 22nd position.

The differences between the top riders and the rest of the pack were big. Kornfeil, in 11th, lost 2,6 seconds compared to the fastest man, Maverick Viñales. Iwema was 3,6 seconds behind. According to team manager Jarno Janssen the lack of grip was the cause of these gaps. "Tomorrow the differences will probably get smaller, although everybody will be faster.''

Scott Deroue set the second fastest time in the free practices for the Red Bull Rookies Cup.

Jakub Kornfeil (11): "It's a nice track: technical and difficult. We have tried to get to know the track the last few days on the scooter and by foot, but it is always different when you are on the Moto3 bike. It's a typical Formula 1 track, which is not easy for the bikes. But we'll get used to it and learn it quick enough to aim for a good result in qualifying tomorrow.''

Jasper Iwema (22): "It is a new track for all of us, but I obviously had some more problems with the lack of grip. No grip means no feeling with the bike. I didn't feel very confident, which is absolutely necessary on this technical track. But it can only get better.''

MotoGP Moto3 - San Carlo Team Italia FMI off to a good start in Texas

Fenati posts the fifth fastest time, Bagnaia is 31st

San Carlo Team Italia FMI wrapped up the first practice day of Moto3 on the Austin track with optimism. Romano Fenati (San Carlo Team Italia FMI FTR Honda#5) was fastest in the morning session and constantly improved his lap times, closing the day in fifth position, + 1.468 behind Maverick Viñales who was fastest today with a 2'18.254.

The rookie Francesco Bagnaia (San Carlo Team Italia FMI FTR Honda#4) also took over three seconds off his FP1 time, closing the day in 31st position.

Romano Fenati, 5º, 2'19.722

"We planned some changes at home and identified the setup problems we had to solve. The bike improved a lot under braking, but we still have some work to do. I really like the track. We lapped all together to learn it. I hope to be able to put up a fight during the race, but we need to do well in qualifiers first."

Francesco Bagnaia, 31º, 2'23.712

"The track is fantastic, fun and fast. We are working well on the bike, improving little by little. Now we have to keep going in the same direction. The grip was a lot better in the afternoon, and we found a good solution on the front. I think I can do a lot better tomorrow."

Roberto Locatelli (FMI Technical Coordinator)

"We are moderately satisfied after this first day. With Romano's experience from last year we managed to do a work that brought us back to the top positions, which is our objective with him. We are not fazed by Bagnaia's position, as we hope to adjust a few things before qualifiers and allow him to climb the rankings as well."

Solid first outing in Austin

for Rins and Marquez

Repsol riders make positive start in practice, with Alex Rins second quickest and Alex Marquez eighth.

Repsol Media Service - United States, Circuit of The Americas - Friday 19/04/2013

The second round of the Moto3 World Championship is underway, running from today until Sunday at the Circuit of the Americas in Texas. In their first ride at the new US track, Alex Rins placed second overall, behind Maverick Viñales. Alex Marquez was eighth quickest.

In the first of two free practice sessions, Rins and Marquez placed sixth and seventh, respectively. At the end of the day, with 29 laps under his belt, Rins had stopped the clock in a best time of 2’18.793. He was 0.539 off timesheet-topper Viñales. Marquez, meanwhile, put in 28 laps and had a best time of 2’20.395. That was 2.141 seconds off the top spot.

Tomorrow, the third practice session takes place first, ahead of qualifying, which kicks off at 12:35 local time (19:35 CET) and will decide the grid for Sunday’s race.

FP1: 2:22.735, 15 laps, 83 km.

FP2: 2:18.793, 14 laps, 77 km.

“It is a very fun circuit, but at the same time it is a tricky one. It has rises and drops, a very fast first section and a slower second part. In the morning we had a bit of trouble finding our pace, because the asphalt didn’t offer any grip. In the second session we had a bit of an improvement in this respect, with more rubber on the surface. Nevertheless, I think that the track can improve a lot more.”

FP1: 2:23.120, 14 laps, 77 km.

FP2: 2:20.395, 14 laps, 77 km.

“The first day went fairly well. At the moment the differences between riders is large, but I think that we still have to continue in the same way. In the morning the track was very dirty and it was hard to find a good line, but in the afternoon the asphalt was in much better shape and we were able to go faster. Tomorrow we have to continue developing and looking to find the limit –in order to do well in qualifying. The track is really good; it has a section with linked corners and also a slower part, which is very fun."


Jonas Folger and Eric Granado lap sixth and nineteenth fastest on Texan reconnaissance mission

The Circuit of the Americas opened its doors to MotoGP fans for the first time today as the world's fastest motorcycles completed their first laps of the newest addition to the World Championship calendar. The Moto3 riders were the first onto the track this morning as they tried to understand the technically demanding layout, which is full of hard-braking, fast corners, blind entries and long straights. At 5.513km it is probably the most complete circuit on the calendar and it took the riders a good handful of laps to get their eye in, with most dropping around four seconds from the first free practice to the second.

MAPFRE Aspar rider Jonas Folger went third fastest this morning and sixth fastest this afternoon, spending time learning the track but also trying to adapt his set-up to the mixture of corners. Jonas found two seconds in the second session to finish the day as the sixth fastest rider on track. Eric Granado was one of the riders to improve by four seconds in the afternoon, the Brazilian rookie taking a cautious approach to learning the track and gradually building his pace and finding a chassis set-up for his Kalex machine.

6th Jonas Folger 2.20.210 (27 laps): "It is a difficult circuit but I love it. It was hard to find the right line at the start but we have done a lot of laps and have our references now. We were losing a lot of time in the fast section so we have to keep working hard on this area tomorrow and try to adapt the set-up more. We need more front-end feel in the fast corners. We improved engine performance so at least we don't have to worry about that aspect any more. We have taken a big step from the last race and now we can work on the rest of the set-up of the bike. I ran into a bit of traffic at the end of the session this afternoon so my lap time suffered but I am not worried about that."

19th Eric Granado 2.21.618 (29 laps): "The first session was a bit strange for everybody but I tried to take my time and learn the track without taking big risks. We worked hard with the telemetry and the gearbox settings in the afternoon and improved our pace from lap to lap. We know the track now for the rest of the weekend so we can start to work more on the set-up, try to get the bike turning better and not lost time in the fast corners."


On paper it looked like it was going to be a difficult circuit and in reality it proved even more so, as the Moto3 riders completed their first laps of the new track in Austin, Texas. The last thing Niccolò Antonelli needed was to lose track time due to a technical issues but that's exactly what happened to the Team GO&FUN Gresini Moto3 rider this morning, although he worked hard to make up for it this afternoon. Lorenzo Baldassarri had his own mechanical problems to overcome but the young pair like the track and are confident of making major improvements tomorrow.

Niccolò Antonelli (21st 2’ 21” 869 ) “Unfortunately we had a problem this morning and barely got out on track at all but luckily we managed to get some work done in the second session. I like the track and I am sure things will go differently tomorrow.”

Lorenzo Baldassarri (28th 2’ 22” 892) “It didn't go too badly today. I like the track and I managed to learn it quickly. The only problem was that we had some issues with the engine at the end of the session. Anyway I am calm and happy that we can improve tomorrow.”

Fausto Gresini “It hasn't gone particularly well today and this morning we had some problems with Niccolò's bike that cost him practically the whole session. It is a long and difficult track and as a result we are a bit behind schedule. We just need to stay calm, let the guys work and tomor row everything will be a lot better. Baldassarri continues to gather experience and we will help him. Despite everything he likes the track so tomorrow he should do much better.”

Positive start for Niklas Ajo in Austin

Avant Tecno KTM rider marks first appearance at Circuit of The Americas with thirteenth fastest time in Moto3, after two practice sessions.

19/04/2013 - Circuit of The Americas

Niklas Ajo this Friday completed two practice sessions at the Circuit of The Americas, which debuts on the Moto3 World Championship calendar this season. The Avant Tecno KTM rider ended the day with a positive feeling about his first encounter with the Austin track. He put in 30 laps, 166km and the 13th fastest time.

At 9am, local time, the green light of the Circuit of The Americas pit lane went on to signal the start of the Moto3 run. It was the first ever World Championship session held at the track, and Moto3 was in charge of debuting the asphalt. Niklas Ajo was one of those riding on a very complete circuit, featuring three distinctly technical sections. In the morning session, the Finnish rider took the eleventh fastest time —2'23.596— after 15 laps (83km) on his machine.

Niklas Ajo put in the same distance in the second session. With an idea about the track already in his mind, the Avant Tecno KTM rider continued searching for the fastest available line on a 15 metre-wide riding surface. His best lap was clocked on his final time around: 2'20.969.

The third free practice session will take place tomorrow morning. Niklas Ajo will attempt to improve his setup and then take on qualifying with a best performance on American soil —15th on the grid at Indianapolis in 2011— in his sights.

Results (Combined practice time FP1-FP2)

1. Maverick Viñales (KTM) 2:18.254

2. Alex Rins (KTM) 2:18.793 +0.539

3. Luis Salom (KTM) 2:18.815 +0.561

4. Miguel Oliveira (Mahindra) 2:19.606 +1.352

5. Romano Fenati (FTR Honda) 2:19.722 +1.468

13. Niklas Ajo (Avant Tecno KTM) 2:20.969 +2.715

"It is a really difficult track, so we devoted the day to learning the circuit and looking for some adjustments. It is a complicated track because it is really intended for cars, with some really slow corners in which you have to brake very hard and then let go of them to let the bike go. That makes it difficult to find the best setup combination, but tomorrow we will try to improve and I hope for a step forward."

Salom third fastest in Austin

Red Bull KTM Ajo teammates Arthur Sissis and Zulfahmi Khairuddin finish first day at Circuit of The Americas with 23rd and 27th best times, respectively.

19/04/2013 - Circuit of The Americas

The Circuit of The Americas opened its doors to its first World Championship practice sessions today. The Red Bull KTM Ajo riders completed their first laps of the track, setting up their KTM machines. Luis Salom was third best on the combined timesheet, with Arthur Sissis 23rd and Zulfahmi Khairuddin 27th. All three put in their best time in the afternoon session.

Each Red Bull KTM Ajo rider put in more than 70km in their first session of work, taking stock of a technical track that features constant changes of elevation and direction. Luis Salom was fifth quickest, recording a time of 2’22.728, whilst Zulfahmi Khairuddin and Arthur Sissis’ best times were a 2'24.411 and 2'25.941, respectively.

The work undertaken in the morning began to bear fruit in the second session, in which the Red Bull KTM Ajo riders improved their lap times. Salom was third with a 2’18.815 lap, and both he and Sissis —2’22.209— knocked 3.5 seconds off their previous best. Zulfahmi Khairuddin contributed a 2’22.812 lap, although his progress was impeded by a small crash midway through the session.

Tomorrow sees the final free practice session and qualifying session, which will decide the grid for the Sunday Moto3 contest.

Results (Combined practice time FP1-FP2)

1. Maverick Viñales (KTM) 2:18.254

2. Alex Rins (KTM) 2:18.793 +0.539

3. Luis Salom (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 2:18.815 +0.561

4. Miguel Oliveira (Mahindra) 2:19.606 +1.352

5. Romano Fenati (FTR Honda) 2:19.722 +1.468

23. Arthur Sissis (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 2:22.209 +3.955

27. Zulfahmi Khairuddin (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 2:22.812 +4.558

Luis Salom

"The truth is that it went pretty well today. The whole team have done a good job. We got a good pace going, so now we just need to put in a good single lap. The bike is also running like we want it to. In the morning there was no grip on the track, but the afternoon saw much improvement on that. Let's see what we can do tomorrow, because I think we still have room for improvement and this could turn out to be a good weekend for us."

Arthur Sissis

"The first day was pretty hard. We were learning the new track, which is really difficult. We tried some new things with the suspension, to try to improve, and in some spots we have taken a step forward. Elsewhere we went worse, but we were able to work hard and in the end we managed to solve the issues. I hope that tomorrow goes better."

Zulfahmi Khairuddin

"Today was a really tough day for both me and for my team. We had a difficult session because, compared with other circuits, the feeling with the bike wasn't so good here. Now we are working to find that comfortable feeling and to discover the right setup for tomorrow."

Redding stars in stunning Texas debut

Austin, Texas - 19 April 2013: Marc VDS Racing Team rider Scott Redding made a stunning debut at the spectacular new Circuit of the Americas (COTA) in Texas today, the British rider dominating practice to lead the 32-strong Moto2 field by almost four-tenths-of-a-second.

Finnish teammate Mika Kallio also enjoyed a positive start to the Grand Prix of the Americas by lapping inside the top six on the long, technical and physically demanding COTA track.

Cold and windy conditions for FP1 left Redding down in 23rd position, the 20-year-old adopting a risk free strategy on a slippery surface. Rather than pushing for an outright lap time he preferred to try and learn the COTA track, which features jaw-dropping undulation, including a climb of over 130ft from the grid to the first corner, and a super fast straight that's the longest on the 17-race schedule.

With improved grip levels and higher temperatures for the afternoon session, Redding's patient approach paid off and he continued the form that took him to second in the season's opening race in Qatar by powering his Kalex machine to best time of 2.12.481. That pace comfortably put him at the top of the timesheets by 0.383s.

Redding was a massive 6.4s faster in FP2 while Kallio was close to five seconds faster as he too impressively adapted to the long and technical layout. A best lap of 2.13.140 rocketed him 12 places up the rankings while he assessed rear tyre performance and endurance ahead of Sunday's 19-lap race.

Scott Redding #45: 1st - 2'12.481

"I'm really happy to be fastest on the first day but I don't think this track is actually as good to ride as it looks. I was a bit disappointed because a lot of it is taken in first gear but it is still good fun. This morning wasn't great at all. I had no feeling and no grip and I wasn't pushing at all and the front would tuck while braking straight up and down. You rarely get that even in the rain, so it shows how bad it was. It makes no sense to risk a silly crash in those conditions so I was just trying to learn the track. This afternoon the track was transformed. The grip wasn't great but it was a lot better than FP1. At least this afternoon I could get in a good rhythm and the most important thing is being consistent and building on the momentum gained in Qatar. I was quickest by a decent margin and that's a great way to start the weekend, so I'm happy and hoping it continues."

Mika Kallio #36: 6th - 2'13.140

"This is a really special track and with grip this afternoon it is really funny to ride. I think it is one of the most difficult tracks I have ever ridden on but great because it really challenges you to understand how to go fast. It is difficult to learn being so long and you can't make many laps in a 45-minute session. The layout is incredible with a lot of undulation, fast changes of direction and hard braking and acceleration. This morning it was really difficult because there was zero grip and I struggled a lot. I didn't think I was going to like the track but with higher temperatures in the afternoon it was a completely opposite feeling. I had a good feeling on the bike and the tyres were working really well with a lot more temperature compared to this morning. My pace is not too bad and this afternoon I was testing the rear tyre for the race. Both compounds are wearing very fast so we will need to think really carefully about tyre choice for the race."

Michael Bartholemy: Team Principal

"Today was a fantastic start for us because after this morning's session I was a little worried. It was strange to see Scott outside of the top 20 and he said the conditions were so bad this morning it was worse than riding in the wet on slick tyres. I think Scott suffered more this morning because he is so aggressive. He is always late on the brakes but even the front tyre was sliding this morning on the brakes. But he stayed very calm and when the conditions were better he capitalised. With more grip available he really showed his full potential and it is good to be fastest to show he can be there and put some pressure on his rivals for the championship. Mika also did a great job to be in the top six and if we can continue the strong performance of today then it promises to be a very successful first visit to Texas for the Marc VDS Racing Team."

The circus MotoGP arrives, for the first time, in the circuit of Austin, Texas, USA.

The majority of riders appreciate this incredible track, even though many consider it difficult.

Alessandro Tonucci: "In the afternoon we worked on data from the morning and we were able to find a better set-up. Even though others have done the same. The Gap with the KTM is great but I want to be able to be together with Fenati among the first Honda ... we need to improve, the feeling is good and I'm confident".

Hyuga Watanabe: "I tried to learn as much as possible and in a hurry. I still do not have a good feeling with the front and that's why I can not ride as I would like."

Sandro Di Stefano: "We working in order to find the correct set-up with the new FTR chassis. Compared to Qatar now we have more data and in the afternoon we were able to improve the feeling of the riders with the bike. We must work to reduce the gap with the best riders".


MAPFRE Aspar rider, three time Indianapolis 125cc winner, hits the ground running at COTA with good pace and fourth best time overall, whilst colleague Jordi Torres, ends up 13th

Several riders complained of a lack of grip early on during Friday's first free practices at COTA, with overnight temperaturas in Austin perhaps being one of the main factors slowing the riders down. Moto2 saw the biggest variation in front running times with several riders involved at the top with a real spread in best laps rather than the usual bunching within one second of the top group. The picture at the top of the timesheet is likely to continue to vary throughout the weekend. Although the Moto3 & MotoGP times improved from FP1 to FP2 it was in the Moto2 class that the biggest steps were taken in the afternoon outing - with a six second improvement made by some. Redding was fastest overall, but Terol and Zarco showed the most consistent pace.

It seems like whenever Terol rides in the US he steps up a notch. His first career win came at Indy in 2008 in the 125cc class, with two more victories since achieved on American soil. Today at a completely new circuit the Spaniard was on the pace again and eventually finished fourth best, giving him confidence for the rest of the weekend. Jordi Torres was fourth in the morning run and was running towards the top for much of the day but a setting change saw him lost some rear end traction and he eventually finished 13th. He will aim for the top again tomorrow.

4th Nico Terol 2.12.925 (32 laps): "I'm very happy with this first day here at COTA. I think we've got a good pace and although it's still early days, the circuit seems superb. America seems to be good for me and I'm feeling great again here. I love the technical aspects of this track and how demanding it is to ride. Tough braking, difficult corners, if you get it right it's great to ride. We worked on improving grip and we're going the right way but we still need to increase stability. In the afternoon we noticed something strange with the chain and we need to fix that tomorrow. In general I'm very happy, we're going well and being at the front is giving me a real boost in confidence."

13th Jordi Torres 2.13.999 (34 laps): "We took our time to find our way around in the morning and in the afternoon we continued on the same track, feeling good and riding near the top. We were amongst the top ten and improving the feeling. In the second session we tried a rear suspension change in order to try and improve grip but we ruined a rear tyre and we're not sure if it was just a bad tyre or because of the setting. We're looking into it with Dunlop. Apart from that little problem the feeling has been pretty good. We can't sit still though because we know everyone will improve tomorrow and I think times could come down at least two more seconds for qualifying."

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