Press Releases from the Moto2 and Moto3 teams after qualifying at Austin:
Redding storms to maiden pole position in Texas
Austin, Texas - 20 April 2013: Marc VDS Racing Team rider Scott Redding celebrated a major career milestone at the new Circuit of the Americas (COTA) this afternoon when the British rider stormed to a sensational maiden pole position.
A stunning last lap attack saw the 20-year-old post a flawless lap of 2.10.577 that saw him blitz the 32-strong Moto2 field by 0.689s. Only three riders could get within a second of Redding's scintillating pace as he took full advantage of improved conditions at COTA today, with warmer air and track temperatures offering significantly more grip than yesterday's slick surface.
The spectacular COTA track might be one of the longest on the Moto2 World Championship schedule at 3.427 miles but heavy traffic throughout qualifying threatened to thwart Redding's charge to the top of the timesheets.
Frustrated at not being able to get a clean lap in, Redding superbly kept his composure to deliver the only sub-2.11 lap seen all weekend ahead of tomorrow's 21-lap race.
Mika Kallio has his sights set on a top five finish in the first ever running of the Grand Prix of the Americas. The Finn called upon all his experience to secure a place in ninth on the grid with a superb last lap attack of 2.11.925.
Redding and Kallio are expecting a tough 21-lap race tomorrow, with both finding it difficult to find a setting that gives them good front and rear tyre endurance over the race distance.
Scott Redding #45: 1st - 2'10.577
"It feels amazing to get my first pole position. I'm really happy because to be honest it didn't feel like a fast lap. I'd been held up so many times earlier in the session that it was getting frustrating but I managed to control my anger and channel it into a positive. Normally I'd start over riding the bike but I managed to deliver when it really mattered and that was the first time I'd been given the chance to put a lap time together. I've been struggling with tyre life from the front and rear, so I wasn't sure if I still had the grip for that last lap. I never gave up although I don't know where the time came from. When it came up 2.10.5 on my timer I thought it had broken! Then I saw I was first and I am really happy for the Marc VDS Racing Team. It was important to be on the front row because there could be some chaos at that tight first corner but I need to take advantage of Espargaro being in seventh. I will try and breakaway if I can and then try and control the tyre, but it is a great chance to claw back some of the points Espargaro gained on me in Qatar."
Mika Kallio #36: 9th - 2'11.925
"I am not so happy to be honest but at least on the last lap I could find a good lap that put me on the third row and that is not so bad. I was pushing over the limit and we have to try a different setting in the warm-up because I've had a lot of problems with the front tyre. It is destroyed on the right side after five laps and it is the same regardless of whether I use the hard or soft option. On my fast lap it felt like the front was pushing away all the time but it seems like many riders have found this an issue. I am over one second away from Scott and it feels like I am right on the limit, so we have to try something different before the race to try and get more endurance out of the tyres. The key for the race though will be who can save the tyres the best for the final laps."
Michael Bartholemy: Team Principal
"Today was absolutely fantastic for Scott and everybody connected with the Marc VDS Racing Team. The lap Scott pulled out right at the end of qualifying was something really special and to be almost 0.7s ahead of the field is unbelievable. It is rare to see such a huge gap in Moto2 but Scott's performance gives us huge confidence for tomorrow's race and we will go to bed tonight dreaming of our first win. I am happy for Scott and his crew because they have worked very hard in the winter and he has started the season incredibly strong. I have to say Mika did a great job too because he also produced a very impressive lap right at the end to get into the top 10 and he can certainly be battling for another top six tomorrow."
Rins flies to pole position
The Repsol rider added another World Championship pole position to his tally, setting a strong pace on the second day of practice. His teammate Alex Marquez, who took the sixth fastest time, assured himself a start from the second row of the grid.
Alex Rins dominated qualifying today at the Circuit of the Americas, the scene of today's second day of practice. The Repsol rider set the fastest time of the day, which will see him head the grid for the second time in his World Championship career –the first being at the Spanish GP in Jerez last year–, with his teammate Alex Marquez starting from the second row, in sixth position.
In the third free practice session it was clear for all to see that Rins had gotten to grips with the American circuit, on which he'd steadily improved his feeling and the setup of his KTM, and from the start he was at the top of the leader board. In free practice he set a time of 2’17.260, further dropping it to 2’16.396 in the qualifying session. His teammate, who was 19th in the free practice session after an early crash prevented him from continuing, bounced back to a 6th grid position –only 2.199 seconds behind the pole time.
Tomorrow will see the second Moto3 race of the year, at 11:00 local time (18:00 CET).
FP3: 2:17.062, 14 laps, 77 km.
QP: 2:16.396, 14 laps, 77 km.
“I am delighted to have achieved the second pole of my career. But let’s not forget that the points are won tomorrow. Today we set a good pace, but the race is sure to be very tough, since Salom and Viñales are pushing hard. Tomorrow we will try to take a good team approach, with the aim of being able to break away together and, if that is not possible, fight for the podium.”
FP3: 2:20.800, 10 laps, 55 km.
QP: 2:18.595, 14 laps, 77 km.
“The qualifying session went pretty well, considering that in the morning we had a crash that delayed our work a little. We took a step forward and I've improved some of my lines. In the end I secured sixth position, which is not bad. I believe that in the morning warmup we can continue to improve the bike with the team, and be as prepared as possible for the race."
RW Racing GP not satisfied with qualifying
Jakub Kornfeil will start the GP of the Americas from 13th position, Jasper Iwema from 19th. RW Racing GP is not satisfied with that result. 'It could have been better', team manager Jarno Janssen says. 'That is why I am not
satisfied: they didn't get the best out of the qualifying session. They should have been on 7th and 15th, like they were in the morning practice.'
The gap with the front row was too big, but the differences behind were a lot smaller. If Iwema, for example, would have been half a second quicker he could have been in the top 10. According to Janssen it was possible to find that half a second.
'Both Jakub and Jasper were waiting too long. That took too much time. Jakub wanted to change too much on the bike, while he could have been in 7th or 8th if he had used the time he had. Jasper was waiting for a slipstream which brought him into troubles. A 40 minutes session isn't that long.'
Turn 1 of the new circuit in Austin, Texas is a very tight corner. Janssen is afraid his riders are too far back and might get into troubles because of the traffic in this turn. 'Everybody wants to be there first. It's easier when you are just a bit further up front. Hopefully they will both have a good start of the race and gain a few positions.'
Jakub Kornfeil (13): 'I wanted the bike to be better and that took time. Even after the qualifying session I kept on working on the bike with my mechanics to improve for the race. In the race it has to be perfect: that's when the prices are given. Not in qualifying.'
Jasper Iwema (19): 'To be honest 19th is fine with me. I'm satisfied with that result. Maybe it could have been better, but it could have been worse as well. I'll have to make up in the race and that is okay.'
Front row for Salom
Spanish rider claims second fastest time in qualifying for the Red Bull Grand Prix of The Americas. Arthur Sissis and Zulfahmi Khairuddin will start from the fourth row of the grid.
20/04/13 - Circuit of The Americas
At the Circuit of The Americas this afternoon, the Moto3 grid for the latest World Championship round was decided. Red Bull KTM Ajo rider Luis Salom was second quickest in qualifying, securing a second front row start in as many races. Teammates Arthur Sissis and Zulfahmi Khairuddin will take off from tenth and twelfth, respectively.
Current Moto3 World Championship leader Luis Salom was the second fastest man in the afternoon shootout, with a time of 2’16.879. Patient and with a strong pace in the opening part of the session, the Red Bull KTM Ajo rider set his best time on his antepenultimate lap. Salom was one of only two riders able to breach the 2’17 barrier.
Arthur Sissis and Zulfahmi Khairuddin will again share the fourth line of attack. The Australian was tenth with a time of 2’18.951, whilst his Malaysian colleague was twelfth thanks to a 2’19.065 lap. Both concluded a roundly satisfying day with improvements lap-after-lap in practice and qualifying.
Race number two of the season gets underway tomorrow from 11am local time. After winning in the opening round at Qatar, Luis Salom is prepared to fight for another victory on US soil. He is the only rider on the Moto3 grid to have won a race in America before.
Results (Qualifying practice)
1. Alex Rins (KTM) 2:16.396
2. Luis Salom (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 2:16.879 +0.483
3. Maverick Viñales (KTM) 2:17.100 +0.704
4. Jack Miller (FTR Honda) 2:18.303 +1.907
5. Jonas Folger (Kalex KTM) 2:18.570 +2.174
10. Arthur Sissis (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 2:18.951 +2.555
12. Zulfahmi Khairuddin (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 2:19.065 +2.669
"Both the team and I have done a good job. This afternoon we resolved some of the problems from the morning, as we had been too far off the top times. We turned that around and were able to improve our setup. We are working well and we are calm and hopeful about tomorrow’s race."
"Today went better than yesterday. We improved some aspects of the bike and of my riding, thanks to the track surface being better. In qualifying I felt comfortable with the bike, but just when I was on my fast lap I ran off track after a collision with another rider. The time wasn’t what I expected, but I hope that the pace is a little better tomorrow."
"Today’s qualifying was good, as we took three seconds off my time from yesterday. I feel comfortable on the bike, although there is always something that we can improve. With luck, tomorrow I hope to get a good start and take a spot at the front in the race."
FOLGER TO START INAUGURAL GP OF THE AMERICAS FROM THE SECOND ROW
MAPFRE Aspar rider expecting a tough battle tomorrow as his team-mate Eric Granado targets points from 20th
The first ever Moto3 qualifying at the Circuit of the Americas took place today with the new pole record for the minor category set at 2'16.396 - some six second faster than the best lap in yesterday morning's first free practice. Alex Rins was the man to set the benchmark today but with such drastic improvements in lap times as the weekend has progressed anything could still happen in tomorrow's race.
After fighting hard all weekend to find a setting for this technically demanding track MAPFRE Aspar rider Jonas Folger managed to put his bike fifth on the grid. The German rider has spent most of free practice trying to get more confidence with the front end of his bike through the fast corners and he still has some ideas to try in tomorrow's warm-up. On the other side of the garage Eric Granado set the fastest top speed of the session (230.1 km/h) as he qualified in 20th position.
5th Jonas Folger 2.18.570 (13 laps): "We have spent all weekend trying to improve the front-end feel of the bike and maybe in order to achieve it we need to alter the rear. We tried various different suspension settings today and altered the geometry but I still didn't feel completely comfortable going into the fast corners. We'll play around with the rear suspension in the warm-up tomorrow and see if we can get a better feeling. Fifth place on the grid is not a bad position but the difference in lap time to pole is worrying and we need to improve somehow."
20th Eric Granado 2.19.664. (14 laps): "We found a good set-up this morning that allows me to hold my line better and the bike was ready for qualifying. At the start of the session I was up in the top fifteen and then came in to change tyres but I didn't have the same confidence in the front when I went back out and I ran wide a couple of times. I pushed hard on the last lap to make up a couple of positions and managed to qualifying in 20th so now we'll have a look at what happened and try to put it right in the warm-up. If we can recover the feeling I had in the first part of the session we can have a good race."
Niklas Ajo qualifies seventh
Avant Tecno KTM rider takes important step forward from yesterday and takes over two seconds off his previous best times at the Circuit of The Americas.
20/04/13 - Circuit of The Americas
Niklas Ajo will start from the third row for the Moto3 Grand Prix of The Americas. The Avant Tecno KTM rider put in an excellent qualifying lap that gave him seventh position on the grid. His 2’18.618 time allowed him his third best starting spot in the World Championship, after the fifth places in Losail and Assen last year.
The Avant Tecno KTM man began the second day of work in a good way, taking 1.2 seconds off his best time from Friday (2’19.769). He once again made a breakthrough in the qualifying run. Always amongst the top ten, Niklas Ajo clocked his best lap on the last of his 13, with a time of 2’18.618 putting him on the third row.
The first ever Grand Prix of The Americas will take place tomorrow at 11am local time. This will be Niklas Ajo’s third race in the USA, after the Indianapolis rounds in 2011 and 2012.
Results (Qualifying Practice)
1. Alex Rins (KTM) 2:16.396
2. Luis Salom (KTM) 2:16.879 +0.483
3. Maverick Viñales (KTM) 2:17.100 +0.704
4. Jack Miller (FTR Honda) 2:18.303 +1.907
5. Jonas Folger (Kalex KTM) 2:18.570 +2.174
7. Niklas Ajo (Avant Tecno KTM) 2:18.618 +2.222
"Qualifying went rather well. We made some changes to our setup, because I suffered some chattering on a few corners and we looked to solve this. The grid position is good, because the top three are all a step above the rest of the field. After these sessions, I hope to have a good race tomorrow."
MotoGP Moto3 - Tough qualifiers for San Carlo Team Italia FMI in Texas
Fenati is 17th, Bagnaia 31st
After some positive signals during free practice, San Carlo Team Italia FMI struggled during Moto3's qualifiers on the Circuit of the Americas of Austin, Texas. Romano Fenati (San Carlo Team Italia FMI FTR Honda#5) was not able to improve by much after FP3 and closed with a 3.118 delay from the pole position posted by Alex Rins (2'16.396). Fenati is, however, just one second from second row.
The rookie Francesco Bagnaia (San Carlo Team Italia FMI FTR Honda#4), despite taking two seconds off his FP2 time, closing the day in 31st position due to some unexpected problems at the front.
Romano Fenati, 17th, 2'19.514
"Our opponents improved significantly and we did not. We are not worried though. We are struggling with our setup more than usual, but we just have to keep working. We will analyze the data and hopefully we'll find some good ideas during the warm-up."
Francesco Bagnaia, 31st, 2'21.484
"I still lack confidence on the front. Starting from the back will also be an experience. But the team is working hard, and we have to continue calmly We are behind but we'll surely climb back. I need to take advantage of the warm-up."
Roberto Locatelli (FMI Technical Coordinator)
"We struggled to find the best balance between riding style and setup on a track unknown to everyone. The path we took didn't yield the fruits we expected after the good free practice, so we need to turn back and try something new during the warm-up. It's going to be a uphill race but we won't surrender."
EIGHTH AND TENTH ROW STARTS FOR ANTONELLI AND BALDASSARRI
Team GO&FUN Gresini Moto3 riders Niccolò Antonelli and Lorenzo Baldassarri face a battle from the back of the grid in tomorrow's inaugural Grand Prix of the Americas after a disappointing qualifying session this afternoon. Antonelli will start from the eighth row whilst Baldassarri is even further back on row ten. Both riders have struggled with under-performing bikes today and they have not been able to show their true potential, which they hope to be able to do tomorrow.
Niccolò Antonelli (23rd 2’ 20” 077 ) “Today didn't go well because we had some problems with the set-up and the engine didn't perform so well. We need to work hard and I am sure the team will give me a bike tomorrow that allows me to make up positions.”
Lorenzo Baldassarri (29th 2’ 21” 166) “Unfortunately qua lifying didn't go as I expected and maybe I made the mistake of not riding hard enough and waiting for a tow because I let the tyres cool and when I wanted to push they were no longer at the right temperature. Hopefully we can get a good start and make up positions tomorrow.”
Fausto Gresini “We are obviously not happy with the starting positions for tomorrow's race because we know we can do better. The bike is clearly not at peak performance at the moment and the engineers in charge of the Moto3 project need to work to improve the chassis and engine package. I am confident we will find something quickly but we all need to stick together and look to the future.”
PRADITA MAKES PROGRESS IN AUSTIN
Learning a new circuit was never going to be easy for a Moto2 rookie but Team Federal Gresini MOTO2 rider Doni Tata Pradita has worked hard throughout practice to adapt as well as possible to the Circuit of the Americas in Austin. The Indonesian rider's qualifying position is not ideal but he will aim to make continued progress in tomorrow's race.
Doni Tata Pradita (29th 2’ 14” 894 ) “I know that my lap times are still a long way off where they need to be to challenge closer to the front but I am satisfied with the progress we have made even though we need more time on the bike. I need to get behind some other guys and learn the best lines but I am starting to learn a lot of things about the bike set-up with the help of the team and that is very satisfying.”
Fausto Gresini “Well done to Pradita today for his effort. He is improvi ng lap after lap and his relationship with the team will see him move forward in the future. He has a lot still to learn but there is definitely no shortage of determination to do so.”
Kent gains confidence and makes big progress in Texas
Tech 3 Racing Team rider Danny Kent scored a confidence-boosting 13th place on the grid for tomorrow’s inaugural Moto2 World Championship showdown at the Circuit of the Americas (COTA) in Texas.
The British rider has been steadily building up his confidence with the Mistral 610 machine throughout the weekend, which has been a challenging experience while he’s also had to learn the long and technical COTA track.
Kent finished practice in an encouraging 18th position after improving by over four seconds between FP1 and FP3 and his rapid progress continued in qualifying on the COTA track, which features the longest straight on the calendar and a spectacular climb of 134ft from the start/finish line to the tight first corner.
A lap of 2.12.399 saw Kent further improve his pace by over a second and he climbed five places up the rankings to head the fifth row of the grid. He was less than 0.4s away from storming into the top 10 and Kent is optimistic that he can claim his first points scoring finish in the competitive Moto2 category in tomorrow’s 19-lap race.
Tomorrow’s race will be a tough one for Frenchman Louis Rossi, who has found it difficult to find a comfortable setting with his Mistral 610 machine during the weekend.
He was 1.2s faster in qualifying than in practice but his best lap of 2.14.108 left him down in 27th position.
Danny Kent 13th 2.12.399 – 17 laps:
“I am really happy with how qualifying went and to be so close to the top 10 gives my confidence a big boost. This is an amazing track but really hard to learn and that task has been made even harder while I’m trying to adapt myself to the Moto2 machine. I’ve been steadily chipping away and getting faster and faster and I’m satisfied with the progress we’ve made. I’ve made a big step with my feeling with the bike since Qatar and now it will be important to start well and try to get in a good battle so I can learn as much as possible.”
Louis Rossi 27th 2.14.108 – 14 laps:
“I am disappointed to be starting so far down the grid because we expected a much better result. But right from the first lap on this track, which is very technical and difficult to learn, it was hard for me and I have not been able to find any confidence with the bike to push harder. We’ll try and find some solutions to help me feel more comfortable but I am lacking confidence with the front and that makes it hard to push for a lap time. I will do my best in the race and hopefully I can be more competitive.”
NICO TEROL ACHIEVES BEST QP RESULT IN MOTO2 IN THIRD
Having set a good pace throughout the weekend the MAPFRE Aspar rider is on the front row and looking to the podium places, whilst Jordi Torres starts 12th on the grid
In the Moto3 and MotoGP clases there were clear margins for Rins and Márquez at the top, but things were a lot closer in Moto2. Each free practice session has had a different leader (Terol, Redding and Espargaró), and ultimately it was Redding who repeated the trick in QP. The lead was not changing much in the last part of qualifying, just like in Qatar, before the dying seconds things got interesting and Redding took pole ahead of Nakagami and Terol. The Briton took the glory with a great last lap effort but it looked like any of the top five might snatch it, meaning there is great interest in what should be an open race on Sunday.
It was at Valencia last year that Nico Terol was last on the front row, in fourth spot specifically. Today he picked up his best ever Moto2 qualifying result and his last front row start saw him reach the podium so he will aim to repeat that feat. The MAPFRE Aspar rider was fastest in FP1 and with the great pace he's showing this weekend he has a shot at the podium again. Given his good record on American soil, where he took his first career win in 2008, he will push for another top result on Sunday. His teammate Jordi Torres, meanwhile, starts three rows further back. The rider from Rubí has taken steps forward throughout the weekend and will aim for the top ten in Sunday's race. Starting from 12th he has some rear end improvements to make as he fights for a good finish.
3rd Nico Terol 2.11.287 (15 laps): "We've had solid pace throughout the weekend and I've felt good since we got here. I felt good in Qatar too but the race wasn't easy. Before qualifying my target was the front row, given how confident I've felt during practice. Since yesterday things have been working really well and I'm pleased to have taken third. Tyre wear is crucial here, I saw that today that even as grip improves the rubber degrades quickly. In warm up we'll finalize our setting to take care of the tyres a bit more and in the race I'll have to keep an eye on that aspect. It's going to be a tough battle, we'll have to fight hard but I'll aim to find my pace and enjoy it as much as posible."
12th Jordi Torres 2.12.346 (16 laps): "We lost our way a bit yesterday so we went back to square one today and things got better. The front end still needs some work as its closing up at some points but it's better than Friday. In the morning we worked on that a bit and in the afternoon we made some more gambles which paid off. I'm not happy with the grid spot but I'm pleased the feeling on the bike is improving. We have some ideas for the warmup so we'll work on those and see what happens. I need to make sure I start well and don't lose ground so I'll be aiming to follow the riders in front of me. The race will be hard but I think we can do well."
NGM Mobile Forward Racing Team – Ready to start at Austin
The qualifying day has concluded for the NGM Mobile Forward Racing riders and their SpeedUp at the Circuit Of The Americas (COTA).
Simone Corsi will start tomorrow from the second row and will aim to fight for the podium. Ricky Cardús, who crashed during the last race in Qatra and is not yet fully recovered, was in the Top10 during most of the morning practice and has gained confidence with both his bike and the track. Mattia Pasini and Alex De Angelis have has a series of technical problems during the qualifying session but remain confident for tomorrow´s race.
Simone Corsi – 6th – 2’11.725
“Today it went really well, my goal was to get to start from the first or second row. The bike was very performing and that made me hope for even better results during qualifying. The feeling was good; we have worked really well and been very fast through out the weekend. Unfortunately there was traffic on track during the last lap but he race pace was good. Redding has done an extraordinary lap time but we can do well tomorrow, the race is long.”
Ricky Cardùs – 22th – 2’13.121
“I have made an important step since yesterday, I have gained confidence on this new track and during the morning practice I was for most of it in the Top10. During qualifying my lap times were close to the ones from the morning but I didn’t have much grip. I struggle a bit with the first sector, it is a very physical one and my back is not yet fully recovered from the crash in Qatar. I want to focus on tomorrow’s race levelheaded and do my best.”
Mattia Pasini – 24th – 2’13.295
“It’s been a strange day, this morning we had really bad luck and broke the rear shock causing me to crash. I lost most of the morning session and was unable to test any of the modifications that we had in mind. In the afternoon, we started off qualifying blindfolded and had some problems with the last tire. On my last try I did improve my lap times but still made a small mistake that prevented me from placing better for tomorrows race. It will be a taught race in which the focus will be in overtaking but I remain confident.”
Alex De Angelis – 25th – 2’13.382
"I was forced to change the chassis right before the qualifying session, we used the new version of the chassis on which we had to improvise the setting for. I had several problems with the tires throughout the qualifying session and was unable to be as fast as I would have wanted. We will work during warm-up to be in the best possible conditions to race tomorrow.”