Press releases from the Moto2 and Moto3 teams after qualifying at Misano:
Zulfahmi Khairuddin lands his best grid position of the year
The Malaysian Red Bull KTM Ajo rider will start tomorrow in fourth position at Misano, while Luis Salom will start from the fourth row and Arthur Sissis from the sixth.
14/09/2013 - Misano Marco Simoncelli Circuit
It was a great qualifying session for Zulfahmi Khairuddin, who, for the first time this season, will start from the second row of the grid at the San Marino and Riviera di Rimini Grand Prix. The Red Bull KTM Ajo rider achieved the fourth best time with a 1:43.657. Current championship leader Luis Salom continued to work while thinking about the race to land the tenth fasted time, giving him a fourth row start for tomorrow. Two places back from Salom will be Arthur Sissis, who landed the eighteenth spot on the grid.
The morning session saw Arthur Sissis pace seventh fastest, proving that he had done his homework since yesterday by improving his pace significantly in the first sector of the San Marino track, a stretch where he was losing time the first practice day. Thanks to this improvement, the Australian rider found a good pace and on the last trip out of the box during qualifying put his name in the top ten with a 1:43.967. Zulfahmi Khairuddin lowered his best time from the day before by half a second to put him thirteenth. Meanwhile Luis Salom paced in sixteenth position with a best time of 1:44.616, taking advantage of the practice to test various setup changes and to recover lost time after a crash yesterday .
The qualifying practice did not start well for Zulfahmi Khairuddin, who fell in turn 11 on the third lap. This did not slow him down, and the Malaysian rider returned to the garage and got quickly back on track. He used the remaining time to an excellent result, demonstrating an almost perfect lap and superb pace on his final lap pace to clock a best time of 1:43.657. Luis Salom clocked in at 1:43.960 and Arthur Sissis at 1:44.405 in qualifying and both are waiting for tomorrow’s warm up session to iron out some final configuration points on the KTM for the race .
The twelfth Moto3 round of the year starts tomorrow at 11.00h. In last year's San Marino GP, Salom placed second.
Results (Qualifying practice)
1. Jonas Folger (Kalex KTM) 1:42.707
2. Alex Rins (KTM) 1:42.768 +0.061
3. Maverick Viñales (KTM) 1:43.171 +0.464
4. Zulfahmi Khairuddin (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 1:43.657 +0.950
5. Niccolo Antonelli (FTR Honda) 1:43.727 +1.020
10. Luis Salom (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 1:43.960 +1.253
18. Arthur Sissis (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 1:44.405 +1.698
"Overall today I felt more comfortable than yesterday after the crash. We have to find the right way forward still, but I am calm because we are pretty clear about what we need to do and how. Even though this morning I didn’t find the feeling like I had before, we are on the right path. We know that tomorrow will be a very hard race and very difficult, but we will try. I will give everything to make it a good race."
"The qualifying practice didn’t go too well, this morning I was much faster in the final practice session. During the last part of qualifying, with new tires, Luis [Salom] and I went out together to try to help each other out, but we didn’t get the same times as the morning session. But with the lap times we had this morning, we know we can do well in the race. We just need to make a good start and twist the throttle."
"In the free practice sessions we were pretty good and in the qualifying, we made a good lap that put us in fourth. We had a good strategy with the tires and I only made one mistake in the first time out, which led to a crash. I'm very happy because this is the result of hard work from the whole team, who came together to figure out the best setup and basically let me concentrate on my riding.
This fourth position gives me confidence for the rest of the season. I hope to finish the weekend fighting in the leading group and finishing the race in a good position."
Rins second in qualifying and Marquez ninth, after confirming rennovation
Alex Rins and Alex Marquez will take off from front and third row, respectively, at San Marino GP. Duo will remain teammates in 2014.
The second day of practice for the San Marino Grand Prix saw the grid positions for the race decided, with Alex Rins qualifying second and Alex Marquez ninth. Rins was once again involved in the fight for pole and headed the standings on various occasions in the session, before finally coming up short to Folger by 61 milliseconds.
Marquez was still smarting from a heavy crash suffered yesterday, which left him with light damage to his right thumb. That meant that he was unable to fight for the top spots during qualifying. An additional light crash at the start of the qualifying session this afternoon created further difficulties, but Marquez got back on track and clinched ninth –on the third row– with a time 1.246s off that of Folger.
This weekend, both riders confirmed their continuation with their current team for the 2014 season. Alex Rins and Alex Marquez extend a partnership that stretches back to the CEV Spanish Championship and lower classes under the guidance of Emilio Alzamora. The duo will remain in Moto3, where they will aim for further success next season.
FP3 - 1:42.917, 18 laps, 76 km.
QP - 1:42.768, 18 laps, 76 km.
“The qualifying session today was really positive. We were alone for the entire session, without getting behind anyone and that was really important. It was a little difficult to make a good time without any slipstreaming because there was some wind. If tomorrow we aren’t delayed by anyone in front of us, we may be able to reduce the lead group of riders more than in other races. Although today Luis [Salom] didn’t go so well, I’m sure tomorrow he will be looking to win. We stayed with the setup we found in FP1 until now, but tomorrow we’ll look to refine some details before the race. I am very happy for my renewal with the Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 for one more season. They are very professional are really helping me grow as a rider and together we are having success. I am glad to continue another year together."
FP3 - 1:43.886, 15 laps, 63 km.
QP - 1:43.953, 16 laps, 68 km.
“The qualifying session today was a little difficult. On the third lap I had a crash that paused the work we wanted to do today. I'm still not too good with the bike, because I just do not have the right feeling with it yet. In the race tomorrow it will be difficult to run with the lead group, because they are one step ahead. We’ll use the warm-up to try to improve the set-up of the bike and pick up the pace, because we've had two crashes this weekend that made me lose a little confidence. I need a lot of laps before the race. The positive is that we renewed with the Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 for 2014 and I'm very happy about that. During this season we took an important step forward, we all have done a good job and I had my first podium. I think this is the best team for me to progress next year."
THIRD ROW FOR ZARCO IN MOTO2, HARD QUALIFYING IN THE PREMIER CLASS FOR PETRUCCI AND PESEK
Misano , September 14, 2013 - The qualifying session for the Grand Prix of San Marino and Riviera di Rimini have seen Johann Zarco,Team CAME Iodaracing Moto2 rider, touch the second row. At the end of the session , Zarco , with his 1.38.340 , got the third row with the seventh fastest time overall, just nine thousandths of Xavier Simeon (6th) in the second row, and 0,674 s from pole made by Pol Espargarò .
JOHANN ZARCO - MOTO2 RIDER - SEVENTH TIME - THIRD ROW - 1.38.340 - "I am not satisfied with the third row would be enough to be sixth and very little in the second row. In practice I have always been ahead, but in this qualification could not to trust in some corners and I loose precious time. Tomorrow will be very important to do a good start, I'll just give my best to avoid let me overtake as happened in the past this season. I'm sure that in the warm- up tomorrow , together with the team , we can still improve".
Some difficulty in MotoGP for Danilo Petrucci , who in the fourth round of practice was the victim of a crash, harmless to him, but not for his Joda -Suter . The rider from Terni , was not able to use the bike number 1 with which he ride in about all the sessions in this weekend, having to use in the official round the bike number 2. This prevented him from being as fast as in the morning, when, in the third free practice, was able to confirm the second best time between CRT. With his 1.36.027 , Petrucci will start in the GP of San Marino and Riviera di Rimini from the seventh row of the grid with the nineteenth time . Bad luck for team-mate Lukas Pesek , who was unable to find a satisfactory set-up for his guidance . Pesek, author of his best time in 1.37.886 in Q1 , which is the eighth row and the twenty-fourth time .
DANILO PETRUCCI - MOTOGP RIDER - 19th TIME - SEVENTH ROW - "I am truly sorry for the crash in the fourth free practice. I was further improving my time, but I lost the rear as yesterday, the same way. Shame because I had slipped because of use the bike number two that I have never used these two days. I tried to do my best , but I could not do better than seventh row. Tomorrow I'll give my best to gain places at the start, this is a very narrow track I'll have to be very careful . "
LUKAS PESEK - MOTOGP RIDER - 24 ° TIME - EIGHTH ROW - " I cannot drive and find my rhythm, but we still have the warm-up to improve the situation, of course I'm not very confident. I hope to make a good start and finish the race".
Difficult day for Niklas Ajo in Misano
The Avant Tecno KTM rider suffered a hard crash in the FP3 that only allowed him to complete one lap in qualifying. Ajo will start from the seventh row in tomorrow’s race.
14/09/2013 - Misano Marco Simoncelli Circuit
It was a tough day for Niklas Ajo at the San Marino and Riviera di Rimini Grand Prix, who had big fall in the third practice session, obliging him to visit the Riccione Hospital and thus miss most of qualifying. With everyone on the team pulling together, the Avant Tecno KTM rider made it out onto the track with just five minutes remaining to complete a single lap, which placed him in the twenty-first position on the seventh row.
The start of the second day of work was complicated for Niklas Ajo. The Avant Tecno KTM rider suffered a crash on his first trip out of the box, when another rider abruptly slowed in Turn 2. Although he suffered no major injuries, he missed over twenty minutes of the session. With an excellent effort from the team, Ajo was back on track and able to set a time of 1:46.059.
Following this session, the youngster started to notice headaches and after passing through the circuit's medical center, was sent to hospital in Riccione for a full check. Fortunately the results were positive and Niklas Ajo returned to the circuit in time for the last five minutes of qualifying. With time for just one lap, the Avant Tecno rider set the twenty first fastest time of the session and will start the race tomorrow from the seventh row.
Niklas Ajo will complete his second Grand Prix of San Marino of his career in tomorrow’s race, as last year saw him unable to finish the race.
Results (Qualifying practice)
1. Jonas Folger (Kalex KTM) 1:42.707
2. Alex Rins (KTM) 1:42.768 +0.061
3. Maverick Viñales (KTM) 1:43.171 +0.464
4. Zulfahmi Khairuddin (KTM) 1:43.657 +0.950
5. Niccolo Antonelli (FTR Honda) 1:43.727 +1.020
21. Niklas Ajo (Avant Tecno KTM) 1:44.609 +1.902
"It was a difficult morning. I fell in the third free practice session because a rider was braking suddenly in front of me in the middle of the turn. I couldn’t avoid hitting the back of his bike and I crashed. I hit my head hard against the track. At first I didn’t understand anything and everything looked a little fuzzy. I went to the medical center because I had a headache and I was sent to the hospital for a complete physical check. They gave me the 'OK' to enter qualifying. I arrived back with ten minutes to end the session and I went out to set a lap that put me on the seventh row for tomorrow."
POLE POSITION JOY IN MAPFRE ASPAR GARAGE
Jonas Folger takes his second pole of the season at Misano as Eric Granado seals best ever Moto3 grid position
After their domination of free practice there was little doubt that the battle for pole position would be between three riders at Misano this afternoon and so it proved, with Jonas Folger, Alex Rins and Maverick Viñales all taking turns at the top of the timesheets. Folger and Rins raised the bar as they were the only ones able to break the 1'43 barrier, a 1'42.707 enough for Folger to eventually secure the leading position on the grid for tomorrow's race and breaking the record from last year of 1'44.201.
The MAPFRE Aspar Team starts from pole in Italy for the second time this season having already done so at Mugello, where his team-mate Eric Granado had recorded his best grid position up to now. Today the Brazilian youngster did it again, qualifying seventh fastest to secure a third row start – easily his best grid position in his rookie Moto3 season. His mission will be to try and stay in a similar position during the race tomorrow whilst Folger, who clocked the fastest top speed today with 202.2km/h to go alongside his pole record, is determined to at least finish on the podium.
1st Jonas Folger 1.42.707 (16 laps): “We are really pleased with the way the bike has performed here all weekend and personally I am happy with the way I am riding. I was struggling yesterday in the first section but we improved a lot today and set a consistently fast pace. To top it off with our second pole of the season is a special moment for us. Now it is important that we don't let our guard drop tomorrow and make sure we are at least on the podium. That is the objective from now until the end of the season. Rins and Viñales are sure to put up a fight and the first few laps will be crucial. I haven't had a close look at the lap times yet but I think the three of us could escape.”
7th Eric Granado 1.43.843 (18 laps): “I am really happy after securing my best grid position of the season. We struggled for consistency this morning and didn't feel comfortable on the bike but in the afternoon I pushed hard and improved my time from yesterday, which helped settle my nerves. At the end of the session on our last set of tyres I gave it my best shot and managed to get a couple of good slipstreams to seal seventh spot. It is great to be in the top ten and we have to enjoy the moment but without losing concentration. The level of the riders around me is very high so I have to give my best to stay with them and finish with a good result.”
SUPER SECOND ROW FOR ANTONELLI AT HOME GRAND PRIX
Team GO&FUN Gresini Moto3 rider Niccolò Antonelli maintained his concentration following some early technical problems in qualifying this afternoon to post the fifth fastest time of the day and secure a second row start for his home race here at Misano tomorrow. Lorenzo Baldassarri could only manage to qualify in 27th position, due largely to his excessive size for a Moto3 bike which is costing him crucial time in the fast sections of the track.
Niccolò Antonelli (5th 1’ 43” 657) “I am very happy. I was worried because we had a problem with the bike at the start of the session but the guys did a great job to fix it and things changed quickly. I managed to stay in control of the situation and put in a great lap at the end to qualify on the second row, which will be really important for the race tomorrow.”
Lorenzo Baldassarri (27th 1’ 44” 808) “The bike was running well but we were losing too much time in the fast sections and couldn't recover it around the rest of the track. In the end I managed to improve my lap time but it was cancelled by race direction. That lap would have qualified me in eighteenth but unfortunately I honestly didn't realise that I had cut the lap. I am disappointed but we'll try to make up for it tomorrow.”
Fausto Gresini “Niccolò's fifth place on the grid is very pleasing. I was worried halfway through the session because the bike performance dropped off but the guys did a great job to get it firing again and Niccolò stayed calm to set some competitive times at the end and qualify in a good position. Lorenzo set a good lap but it was ruled out, which is a shame because he is struggling here in the fast sections because of his size.”
Kent aims for career best result in Misano
Tech 3 Racing Team rider Danny Kent will start tomorrow’s Misano Moto2 race in San Marino brimming with confidence and optimistic that he can secure a maiden top 10 finish after an excellent qualifying performance earlier this afternoon.
The British rider powered his Mistral 610 machine to the 13th best time in hot and sunny conditions at the Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli.
His best pace of 1.38.788 was less than 0.5s away from the top six and the 19-year-old is now determined to make an aggressive start to try and better his previous best Moto2 result of 12th in Brno last month.
Kent also demonstrated his determination and commitment to help the French-based Tech 3 squad achieve the best possible result in tomorrow’s 26-lap race when he allowed teammate Louis Rossi to follow him in the closing stages of this afternoon’s qualifying session.
The Frenchman immediately benefitted from following Kent’s fast and consistent pace and Rossi will start from 22nd on the grid after he was able to post a personal best lap of 1.39.273. Rossi is now fully focused on getting a quick start to try and fight his way into the points for the third time in 2013.
Danny Kent 13th 1.38.788 – 22 laps :
“I am really happy to be in 13th place on the grid because it gives me a great opportunity to finish inside the top 10 for the first time. The lap times are so close that a bad qualifying like I had in Silverstone would have been very costly and made it very hard for me to score points. So I have achieved the first objective to qualify well and now I am confident and looking forward to the race. I need to make a good start and keep pushing because I am sure I can score my first top 10 in Moto2 and that would be a great reward for all the hard work put in by my Tech 3 Racing crew.”
Louis Rossi 22nd 1.39.273 – 21 laps :
“We made a big step today in between practice and qualifying and I was one second faster. But I am a little bit angry with myself because it is taking too much time to find my confidence on the bike and to brake late to help me turn. I have the sensation that I am giving my maximum and I have reached the limit and then I make another step. I have to improve my strategy for the weekend being more determinate and closer to the limit from the first session on and i need to learn how to brake stronger with lean angle because that is the key to go fast in Moto2. Danny has again demonstrated the potential of the Mistral 610 and I have to say a big thanks to him because he let me follow him at the end to improve my lap time. That shows what a great team player he is and I really appreciate his help.”
MORBIDELLI HAS FUN AND MAKES PROGRESS IN QUALIFYING
Franco Morbidelli demonstrated his capacity to learn quickly again today as he continued to adapt to life in the Moto2 World Championship, improving his pace despite a crash this morning. The Italian youngster has qualified in 25th position for tomorrow's debut appearance in his home Grand Prix at Misano.
Franco Morbidelli (25th 1’ 39” 456) “I really enjoyed myself again today like yesterday, maybe even more so! I learnt a lot, even from the crash this morning, and there are certain mistakes that I will only make once. Tomorrow I just want to have a positive race and to make sure I come away from this weekend with some good memories.”
Fausto Gresini “Morbidelli is a young rider who learns quickly. He is working hard without overdoing it and he is really listening to all the advice that the team have been giving him. He is having fun on the bike and he has picked up a lot in a short space of time. I'm expecting a good race from him tomorrow.”
MotoGP Moto3 – San Carlo Team Italia FMI on fifth row in Misano
Folger takes pole position. Fenati climbs back to sixth but in the end is 15th. Bagnaia is 31st, Morbidelli 25th, Marini 29th.
After closing FP3 in sixth position, Romano Fenati (San Carlo Team Italia FMI FTR Honda#5) could not repeat its best time, failing by just two tenths of a second to catch third row in a hard fought QP. His pace still leaves him hopeful to pass a few opponents and fight at the top of the second group.
Francesco Bagnaia (San Carlo Team Italia FMI FTR Honda#4), despite taking over a second off since yesterday, closed QP in 31st position. The rookie, not physically at the top, is still looking for a decent feeling on a track he's never previously seen, and counts on tomorrow's WUP session to make the decisive step forward.
Romano Fenati (San Carlo Team Italia FMI FTR Honda#5) 15th, 1'44.153
"During QP we had more issues than during FP3 because of track temperature. Also, I wasn't able to catch a good slipstream. Still, my pace is fast and if I can get a good start tomorrow it will be an exciting race for me."
Francesco Bagnaia (San Carlo Team Italia FMI FTR Honda#4) 31st, 1'45.167
"QP was decent. It's been a rough day as I woke up with a fever. We still managed to improve significantly, but the margin is still big. We just need to plug ahead during WUP to cover more ground during the race."
Roberto Locatelli (FMI Technical Coordinator)
"We still have a few doubts that we need to check during WUP in order to improve our lap times further. We chose the tires, now we need to tweak the setup a little better for the race. I saw our riders very determined, and I'm sure they will give their 100% percent tomorrow."
Wild-cards Luca Marini (Moto3) e Franco Morbidelli (Moto2) also had a difficult QP. Marini posted the 29th time, while the European Stock600 leader classified in 25th position in their first QP on a world stage.
Franco Morbidelli (San Carlo Team Italia FMI), 25th, 1'39.456
"Overall it went well. This morning I crashed but it was helpful to understand how to ride this kind of bike. During QP I cut the gap significantly, we'll keep working on the bike and hopefully enjoy a good race".
Luca Marini (San Carlo Team Italia Twelve Racing), 29th, 1'45.065
"I'm quite happy, my gap with the front is not terrible. This morning I had a small crash, but made my personal record in the afternoon. I wish I started closer to the front, but it's ok. I'll be ready for the race tomorrow."
Second row for Redding after busy qualifying at Misano
Misano, Italy - 14 September 2013: Scott Redding missed out on a front row start for only the fourth time this season, after running into heavy traffic during qualifying for the San Marino Moto2 Grand Prix this afternoon. With slower riders baulking him on every flying lap, the current Moto2 World Championship leader could qualify no better than fifth and will start tomorrow from the second row of the grid.
Redding went into qualifying this afternoon confident of securing a place on the front row for tomorrow's race. But with large groups of riders cruising just metres from the racing line, the 20-year-old Briton was denied the clear track he needed to further improve his time, leaving him fifth on the timesheet at the end of the session.
For Mika Kallio tomorrow's San Marino Moto2 Grand Prix promises to be a tough race, after mechanical issues saw him finish 15th in qualifying at Misano. The 30-year-old Finn has suffered a catalogue of problems this weekend, but the excessive vibration that stopped him from pushing for a better grid position this afternoon was not something he'd previously experienced in the three free practice sessions.
Livio Loi will start tomorrow's San Marino Moto3 Grand Prix from 23rd position on the grid, after improving his previous best lap time by more than half a second in this afternoon's 40-minute qualifying session.
The 16-year-old Belgian once again struggled with confidence in the front end of the bike during this morning's final free practice session, but threw caution to the wind on his final qualifying lap, after finding a fast wheel in the form of championship leader, Luis Salom, right at the end of the session. Loi heads into tomorrow's race determined to try and fight his way through to a points scoring finish.
Scott Redding #45: 5th - 1'38.210
"Qualifying was just chaos. There were riders everywhere, in the most dangerous parts of the track, just waiting. Seven or eight guys waiting on the racing line, waiting on the fastest corner on the track, on every one of my flying laps. There was just no way for me to put a lap together. It's frustrating but, more than anything else, it's dangerous. We need to find some consistency tomorrow in warm up. If we can do that then we'll be in good shape for the race."
Mika Kallio #36: 15th - 1'38.891
"So far, this just hasn't been my weekend. Yesterday issues with the rear shock mount cost me a session, this morning the rear tyre span on the rim and this afternoon the bike started vibrating braking into the corners. It felt like it was starting at the rear and then being transmitted to the front, getting worse after six or seven laps, to the point where I just couldn't push any more without crashing. We suspect that a recently upgraded clutch may be the cause, but until we go into it in more detail tonight, it's difficult to say. I'm confident we'll get it fixed, but tomorrow's race is still going to be tough starting from 16th on the grid."
Livio Loi #11: 23rd - 1'44.732
"In all three free practice sessions I didn't have a good feeling with the front, mainly on corner entry, where I just didn't have the confidence in the front tyre to push hard. We made some changes ahead of qualifying that gave a small improvement, but I still wasn't completely comfortable. When I found myself behind Luis Salom at the end of the session I decided to just go for it and try and stay with him. It meant I had to push over what I thought was the limit, only to find that there was more to come from the bike. I learnt an important lesson today; when you think you're on the limit and there's still a two second gap to the front, you need to open the gas earlier and harder!"
Michael Bartholemy: Team Principal
"I know Scott is frustrated with the problems he encountered in qualifying with the traffic, but fifth on the grid isn't the end of the world. We need to find a little more from the bike, just to shorten the gap to the front three, but he'll be up there fighting for a podium in the race, of that I'm certain. Mika seems to have had as much bad luck this weekend as most riders have in one season. It means he'll start from a less than ideal position tomorrow, but some of his best races this season have come from the same place on the grid, so I expect it won't take him long to fight his way to more points. After struggling a little in free practice, Livio bounced back to finish just two seconds off pole position, which is where we expect him to be at this point. His goal tomorrow is to lead his group across the line, just as he did at Silverstone."
Kornfeil aims for another top 10
The results in the qualifying practice for the San Marino & Rimini Grand Prix were not what RW Racing GP was hoping for: 16th and 33rd. But the numbers don’t say much about the race. Although Jakub Kornfeil obviously wanted to be a bit closer to the front, the Czech still aims to end the race in top 10, like he did in the previous races. Also Jasper Iwema is still hoping for at least one championship point in tomorrow’s Moto3 race.
At the bumpy Misano track Jasper Iwema is again having a fight with his bike. But it is hard to blame it on the bike as other Kalex KTM riders are much further to the front, with Jonas Folger even on pole position. Team mate Jakub Kornfeil is riding the new, stiffer chassis in Italy and had no problems with it. RW Racing GP is very positive about the Kalex KTM and will continue with the bike next year.
Jakub Kornfeil (16): "The bike feels good, but I still have an issue with doing a perfect lap. It is easier for me to set my best time when I ride on my own instead of in a group, but in doing so I miss a few tenths and thus a few positions. I keep working on that. On the other hand, when you look at the analysis: almost nobody has had one perfect lap on this track. I know I can be strong in the race and fight for the top 10, as I did in the previous races. Therefore I’m not that worried.’’
Jasper Iwema (33): "Today was not what I expected and that is disappointing – again. I keep struggling a lot. I don’t know what’s going on. I just can’t find the feeling I’m looking for. Anyway, we will keep doing our best to improve.’’