Press releases from the Moto2 and Moto3 teams after practice at Aragon:
Salom and Zulfahmi Khairuddin start amongst top five
Luis Salom, third, and Zulfahmi Khairuddin, fifth, start Aragon GP weekend well. Arthur Sissis takes seventeenth fastest time.
27/09/2013 - MotorLand Aragon Circuit
The third Spanish round of the Moto3 World Championship began in satisfactory fashion for Red Bull KTM Ajo. World Championship leader Luis Salom —third—, was amongst the fastest riders in the two Free Practice sessions on Friday, whilst Zulfahmi Khairuddin took a step forward in the afternoon session to claim the fifth best time of the day. Arthur Sissis was eighth in the morning, but ended the day seventeenth.
Red Bull KTM Ajo made a strong start at MotorLand Aragon. Salom clocked the second fastest lap in the first session of the day, with a 2:00.930 time. He was one of just two riders to breach the 2:01 barrier. Salom was trying out updates to his KTM chassis, whilst his teammates –Arthur Sissis in eighth with a 2:01.753 lap and Zulfahmi Khairuddin eleventh with a 2:02.253– gathered important data as they worked with a suspension adjustment.
The fruits of the hard work were shown in the afternoon session, in which the Red Bull KTM Ajo riders lowered their times. Salom led the way in the early stages, but left his best time until the antepenultimate lap of the day. His 2:00.229 time put him third overall. Zulfahmi Khairuddin put in a 2:00.924 lap and Arthur Sissis –suffering from a cold– contributed a 2:01.655.
Luis Salom will attempt to repeat his front row qualifying spot from last year in tomorrow’s grid-deciding session, whilst Zulfahmi Khairuddin and Arthur Sissis will look to improve upon the third and sixth row, respectively.
Results (Combined practice time FP1-FP2)
1. Alex Rins (KTM) 1:59.801
2. Maverick Viñales (KTM) 1:59.961 +0.160
3. Luis Salom (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 2:00.229 +0.428
4. Miguel Oliveira (Mahindra) 2:00.477 +0.676
5. Zulfahmi Khairuddin (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 2:00.924 +1.123
17. Arthur Sissis (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 2:01.655 +1.854
"My foot is much better. Even though I cannot walk too much still, I'm happy because my condition has improved and by the end of the year I hope to be almost fully recovered. As for today's practice sessions, we did very well. The feeling was very good, both in the morning and afternoon, but at the end of the second session I came up against some traffic.
We will continue working tomorrow as we did today and try to finish polishing the details of the setup. We are pleased with the performance of the bike at this track and that's very important."
"I feel better than yesterday, but it's still a bit hard for me to breathe and I notice that when I'm riding. It will not be an easy weekend. The first session was good, while in the second I had to go back to the pits on the first lap because I was not comfortable with a setting that we had changed. Apart from this, we put in good laps with the intermediate tyres. On the last run we tested the hard tyres and they did not respond so well.
Tomorrow we will focus on testing them more and try to improve our cornering lines on Turns 1 and 3. Those are the most difficult corners, where I think I am losing most time."
"I think it was my best day so far this season. In the two sessions we tried to save the tyres for tomorrow and the truth is I am very happy with the bike’s performance. We must continue working to drop at least a second off our times, and get closer to the leading group. The feeling is good and we just need to perfect small details on some corners to finish off the job.
I'm sure of myself, the team and the bike and think we can do well this weekend. Today we used few tyres and this may be one of the keys to tomorrow ahead of the qualifying session."
Alex Rins shines in Spain
Strong start for Rins puts him sixth on day one at Aragon, with Alex Marquez sixth and Maria Herrera twenty-sixth.
After enjoying a few days of the local festivities at Valdealgorfa near MotorLand, Alex Rins was back to work today to begin the Aragon Grand Prix. The Spaniard set the fastest time of the day on Friday, with teammate Alex Marquez sixth and wild card entry Maria Herrera claiming twenty-sixth. The latter had been impressive in the morning run at Aragon.
Rins and Marquez took it easy in the first session of the weekend, marking the fifth and sixth fastest times, respectively. The surprise of the session was Maria Herrera, who in her first World Championship run set the tenth fastest time, 1.7s behind quickest rider Maverick Viñales.
In the afternoon, Rins went quickest after swapping hot laps with Viñales. Alex Márquez set the sixth fastest time and Maria Herrera continued her learning process, with the twenty-eighth fastest lap of the session –twenty-sixth overall.
FP1 - 2:01.532, 17 laps, 86 km.
FP2 - 1:59.801, 16 laps, 81 km.
“Today has gone very well. At the end of the second practice session we set a good time and the truth is that we were not expecting it. We struggled a bit to find pace and the heat did not help either. We are working very well considering the race-worn tyres we are using, and I think we could still lower our times further. Tomorrow we will try to keep improving and working on the bike as we have been doing at every Grand Prix. We will try to ride alone in order to get a good pace."
FP1 - 2:01.572, 16 laps, 81 km.
FP2 - 2:00.971, 17 laps, 86 km.
“The feeling in general is good. At first I struggled a bit to find my pace, but finally we managed to find a good setup and greatly improved the lap times. I'm not too happy with the second practice session, but we have learnt important lessons that will serve us well for the race. In the end I could not put in a strong lap, but we have to be calm. Tomorrow we have to continue working and improving."
FP1 - 2:02.242, 17 laps, 86 km.
FP2 - 2:02.454, 17 laps, 86 km.
“During the first session today I found the race pace I had in the CEV Repsol visit here, so I rode very comfortablly. I tried to push hard, kept the pace up and concentrated mostly on my lines. We can say that we've done pretty well today, but in the second session I struggled a bit to pick up the pace because of the change in track temperature. Tomorrow we will continue working to improve these things. I am very happy, although I still find it a bit strange to be riding with Rins, Viñales and Salom overtaking me. Normally I watch them riding very fast and today I am here with them."
FOLGER BATTLES PAIN TO LAP ELEVENTH FASTEST AT ARAGON
MAPFRE Aspar rider on the pace at Motorland despite recent ankle surgery
The penultimate European round of the 2013 season kicked off at Motorland today with late Spanish summer sunshine making for ideal conditions and temperatures of almost 30°C. With the entry list boosted by the addition of two wildcards in the shape of Bryan Schouten and María Herrera, the later making history by ensuring the presence of two females on the grid for the first time ever (the other is Ana Carrasco), there was a familiar look to the top of the timesheets as Alex Rins set the pace ahead of Maverick Viñales and Luis Salom.
After undergoing surgery on his fractured ankle last Monday MAPFRE Aspar rider Jonas Folger was back on his bike today and managed to rack up nineteen laps. Jonas was given a painkilling injections this morning and after a difficult first session he underwent intense physio over lunch and was a bit more comfortable in the afternoon, allowing him to set the eleventh fastest time as well as the highest top speed (228.8 km/h). MAPFRE Aspar Team rookie Eric Granado admitted he was surprised by how technical Motorland is, having struggled to adapt today and only managing the 34th fastest time.
11th Jonas Folger 2.01.302 (19 laps): “After a long and busy day my ankle is quite painful and as soon as I stop moving it starts to burn. I had an injection in the affected area this morning and it allowed me to ride all day so I am happy because my pace was good. Now I need to keep working on the ankle this evening. If I am not on the bike I am undergoing physio and trying to get it fixed as quickly as possible. We didn't touch the bike setting today, just tried some different tyres, so it is good that we have something that seems to work.”
34th Eric Granado 2.03.434 (25 laps): “I didn't get to do many laps this morning because we had a problems with the gearbox. I spent time in the afternoon riding alone trying to get my references but I struggled to get into any kind of rhythm. Unfortunately at a Grand Prix you have to be on the pace straight away but I have found it difficult to get up to speed here at Aragón. I didn't have a good feeling with the bike and started to lose confidence. The only good thing today is that we tried a new fairing that seems to work well.”
ZARCO STARTS WELL THE ARAGON WEEKEND, PETRUCCI AND PESEK AT WORK FOR THE QP
ALCANIZ , September 27, 2013 - The CAME Iodaracing Team starts in the better way the Aragon weekend with Johann Zarco author of an excellent fourth fastest time (1.54.564 ) in the second free practice session for the Moto2 class . The French rider carried out the firsts practice sessions on the Motorland Aragon in continuous progression, constantly improving its lap references. The weather conditions, characterized by warm peaks of over thirty degrees, however, does not make him effortless to drive at the highest level and that's why Johann suffered in the final session laps.
Some difficulties of set up, however, has slowed down the work of Danilo Petrucci on his Ioda Suter BMW in MotoGP class. The italian rider, who finished the second free practice session with the 18th fastest in 1.52.121, will have to find a solution for tomorrow's practice and especially for the afternoon's qualifying session .
On his Ioda Suter BMW is back, after the physical difficulties that forced him to retire in race in the Grand Prix of San Marino, also Lukas Pesek . the Czech Republic rider for the moment does't suffer any pain in his right wrist, thanks to physiotherapy made in the days following the Misano race. Pesek has been working with his team, ending the second free practice session on the circuit of Motorland Aragon in 1.54.793, which is the twenty-third overall time.
JOHANN ZARCO - MOTO2 RIDER- 4th IN FP2 - 1.54.564 - "I'm pretty happy with these first tests, because I found a good pace right immediately. I suffer a little out of the corners where the bike slide and that' very hard to manage. The situation is almost similar as happened after the race at Misano. We have to solve this problem because it will be important to arrive here at the end of the race in good physical condition to be able to get an important result".
DANILO PETRUCCI - MOTOGP RIDER - 18th IN FP2 - 1.52.121 - "In the afternoon session we had some difficulties because we have made some changes of set up, however, for temperatures higher than this morning we could not benefit from it. The bike was sliding a lot due to hot asphalt . Tomorrow we'll come back to try to be as competitive in qualifying."
LUKAS PESEK - MOTOGP RIDER - 23 ° IN FP2 - 1.54.793 - "In the afternoon we changed the driving position and now I feel much more comfortable on my Ioda Suter . We continued to develop the electronics and chassis and in fact my lap times have dropped since this morning. Tomorrow we will continue on this path in qualifying because I want to get the best possible position . As far as my wrist, which in past races has given me much trouble, this time I have no particular difficulty in driving. After Misano I did a lot of physical therapy and this has certainly helped me".
POSITIVE START AT ARAGON
Team GO&FUN Gresini Moto3 riders Niccolò Antonelli and Lorenzo Baldassarri made a positive start to the Grand Prix of Aragon today. Antonelli lapped thirteenth fastest and could have been even higher up the order if Amato didn't crash in front of him. Overall though it was an encouraging start and the prospects are good for qualifying and the race. Lorenzo also had a decent first day although Aragon is a particularly demanding circuit for him because of the long straight, where he loses significant time due to his size and weight.
Niccolò Antonelli (13th 2’ 01” 489) “I am satisfied because we have worked in a methodical way and the results are coming. If Amato hadn't crashed in front of me I could have set an even better lap time but I still think it has been a positive day for us. ”
Lorenzo Baldassarri (26th 2’ 02” 292) “Apart from a few problems with rear grip and the long straight here, where I lose out because of my size, it has been a positive day. We need to work on our tyre choice and the rear setting but I am sure we will take a significant step forward tomorrow.”
Fausto Gresini “Niccolò went well today and if it wasn't for Amato crashing in front of him he could have been even closer to the top. It doesn't really matter because the important thing is that he is fast again and in the right shape to do a good job here. Lorenzo is making progress and if he can solve his rear grip issues tomorrow he will take a big step forward.”
First run-out for Niklas Ajo at Aragon
Avant Tecno KTM rider places 21st on opening day of Aragon Grand Prix.
27/09/2013 - MotorLand Aragon Circuit
The thirteenth round of the year in the Moto3 class began in earnest on Friday at MotorLand Aragon. Niklas Ajo was back onboard his KTM machine to work hard and improve session-by-session, and that is just what he did. Although not satisfied with his lap times, the Finn was 21st fastest with a best time of 2:02.000.
Temperatures of 19 degrees in the atmosphere and 22 degrees on track helped the Moto3 riders gain a feel for the tough Spanish track. On Niklas Ajo’s fourth lap he clocked his best time of the morning session, with a 2:02.838 putting him 20th. Small changes made in the pits did not give him any significant improvement.
In the second session, the Avant Tecno KTM rider lowered his lap times from the morning. He did that in his second stint, but further shaved tenths off on three occasions. His final lap was his best: 2:02.000.
Qualifying in the Moto3 class takes place from 12:35pm, with Niklas Ajo looking to better his 20th place at last year’s race.
Results (Combined practice time FP1-FP2)
1. Alex Rins (KTM) 1:59.801
2. Maverick Viñales (KTM) 1:59.961 +0.160
3. Luis Salom (KTM) 2:00.229 +0.428
4. Miguel Oliveira (Mahindra) 2:00.477 +0.676
5. Zulfahmi Khairuddin (KTM) 2:00.924 +1.123
21. Niklas Ajo (Avant Tecno KTM) 2:02.000 +2.199
"It was a very similar day to the first day of the last few GPs. It was a little difficult to find a good feeling. We didn't ride too badly, but we need to improve our times a lot. I don't know exactly what the problem is, bearing in mind that at the start of the season we were fast. In the second session we improved a little, but we have to find out what the problem is and solve it.
Whether that be a setup issue or a problem with my riding, we need to rectify things to go quicker. For tomorrow we will be working hard to regain confidence."
Promising start at Aragon
Jakub Kornfeil and Jasper Iwema set off with promising results in the beginning of FP2 at Motorland Aragon. They set their fastest lap times in their sixth and fourth lap around the track. Unfortunately they could not improve later on in the session, ending the first day of the Aragon GP in 18th (Kornfeil) and 22nd (Iwema).
Both RW Racing GP riders were almost a second faster in the afternoon compared to the morning session. The lap time Kornfeil set in his sixth lap (2'01.658) was good enough for top 10 for a big part of FP2. Iwema (2'02.023) was amongst the 15 fastest for long time. But the further practice continued, the more riders ducked under their lap times. Kornfeil and Iwema couldn’t improve. Both were close, but just missed out.
Iwema was on an impressive move in the final minutes of practice, setting his fastest times in the first part of the track, when he ran wide in sector 4 and lost almost half a minute. Looking at his ideal lap time, his pace should have been good enough for 18th position.
The ideal lap time of Kornfeil – the combination of the four best sector times – would bring him to 11th, but the Czech could not find the consistency to ride a perfect lap. After he had been back to the garage for a few adjustments Kornfeil had difficulties finding his rhythm and was held up by traffic on the track.
Nevertheless the first day of the Aragon GP was not bad for RW Racing GP. "We have done a lot of work to gather data and improve the bike,’’ according to team manager Jarno Janssen. "We are on the right way. Tomorrow both Jakub and Jasper should be a second faster.’’
Jakub Kornfeil (18): "The bike feels good. I’m pretty sure I can go a lot faster, but I had some bad luck with traffic on the track in the second half of the session. In a field of 35 bikes there are riders everywhere and it is hard to find a clean way.’’
Jasper Iwema (22): "I’m not satisfied yet, but I think we are on the right way compared to the last four races. I feel confident with the bike and I believe there is more in it than what came out today. It’s a pity I went straight in my penultimate lap and lost momentum. But I least I know now that I can be fast enough for qualifying in or close to the top 15.’’
Grip proves an issue for Kallio and Redding at Aragon
Aragon, Spain - 27 September 2013: Mika Kallio ended the opening day at Aragon fourth on the timesheet with Scott Redding eighth, after both Marc VDS riders struggled for grip in this afternoon's second free practice session.
Kallio was quick from the start of free practice this morning, ending the session third on the timesheet and just 0.157s off the provisional pole position time of Nico Terol.
As the track temperature rose and the grip levels dropped ahead of the second free practice, Kallio struggled to find the same feeling with the bike and was unable to improve on his lap time from this morning, slipping to fourth on combined times. It's a problem that has plagued the 30-year-old Finn all season, with even major set-up changes making little difference, but Kallio and his crew will continue looking for a solution ahead of tomorrow's all important qualifying.
Grip was also an issue for Redding today, both at the front and the rear of his Kalex Moto2 machine. A lack of feeling with the front lost the Moto2 championship leader time on corner entry, but it was the rear spinning up out of every turn and not driving the bike forward that had the biggest impact on his lap times, as well as overworking the rear tyre.
Redding and his crew made a number of changes to the set-up of the bike throughout free practice today, eventually finding a combination of tyre and suspension settings that allowed the 20-year-old Briton to improve by almost 0.5s right at the end of the second session.
Livio Loi struggled to find a good feeling with his Kalex-KTM Moto3 bike around the undulating 5.078km Aragon circuit this morning, ending the opening free practice session in 28th position. Reverting to a previous set-up on the bike made a marked improvement this afternoon and, with his confidence restored, the 16-year-old Belgian improved his lap time by more than a second to end the day 24th on combined times.
Mika Kallio #36 // 4th // 1'54.784
"This morning the bike felt good, I was enjoying riding and the lap times came easy, but this afternoon was a different story. The track temperature went up, the grip went down and, like we've seen already this season, we seem to struggle more than other riders in this situation without really knowing why. We tried to improve the bike during the session, making changes to the set-up for all three exits, as well as changing to the other tyre option, but it made little difference. We've been trying to fix this issue all year, so to think we're going to suddenly find the solution isn't realistic, although that won't stop us trying. Our best chance for tomorrow is if the track temperature is a little cooler for qualifying."
Scott Redding #45 // 8th // 1'55.028 // @Reddingpower
"Today was okay. The hand was fine, no real problems there, but I'm struggling a little bit with grip and feel because the track feels quite greasy. I think there are a few guys struggling with the same issues, but we need to think for ourselves and come up with the right solution. It got better at the end there; I just calmed myself down a little bit because I think I was trying too hard and it was better. We just need to try and find a few little things to improve rear traction tomorrow, that's the priority."
Livio Loi #11 // 24th // 2'02.122 // @LivioLoi
"This morning the feeling with the bike was not what it needed to be. Between the two sessions we went back to the set-up I had on the bike during testing here earlier in the season, and the feeling was immediately better. We need to make some additional changes for tomorrow to improve the feedback from the front tyre through turns 3, 10 and 16, which are all fast, but these will be only small adjustments. With the problems this morning our weekend only really started with FP2, so we have some catching up to do ahead of qualifying, but now I have the bike I want to ride and that's a big step in the right direction."
PRESSURE GETS TO PRADITA AT ARAGON
Doni Tata Pradita had a difficult day at Aragon, showing some good potential in the morning session only to waste it in the afternoon by allowing his nerves to get the better of him. The Indonesian rider made a series of mistakes and infuriated the team by missing his pit board instruction to return to boxes for several laps. Tomorrow he needs to make up for it and try to work in harmony with the team.
Doni Tata Pradita (29th 1’ 57” 862) “Today was a day to forget. I think I was a little nervous and I made a lot of mistakes, including missing my pit board for a few laps when the team wanted me to come back in. I needed to come in to speak to them but by the time I did it was too late. We need to make up for it tomorrow.”
Fausto Gresini “Doni didn't have his best day today. He was out there riding in his own world and showed a lot of nerves. It is a shame because he actually went quite well this morning and should have improved from there.”
WAROKORN BUILDING CONFIDENCE AT ARAGON
Thitipong Warokorn completed his first laps of the Motorland circuit in Aragon, Spain, today and quickly discovered why it is considered to be such a technical and difficult track. The Thai youngster was able to gradually build his confidence and find the best racing line throughout the two free practice sessions today and his aim is to continue to improve in tomorrow's final free practice session before qualifying takes place in the afternoon.
Thitipong Warokorn (30th 1’ 57” 996) “It hasn't been an easy start here and I have made a lot of mistakes trying to learn the best line around a completely new track to me. I managed to improve my pace in the afternoon and started to realise what I needed to tell the technicians in order to get more competitive. I am quite happy and I think we can take another step forward tomorrow.”
Fausto Gresini “Aragon is not an easy track to learn for an inexperienced rider like Warokorn. However, he has made gradual progress and I think that he can continue in the same way tomorrow with some help from his team.”
NICO TEROL MAKES GOOD START ON BIRTHDAY AT MOTORLAND
MAPFRE Aspar rider takes third best time of the day, with Jordi Torres sixth
The Aragon GP weekend kicked off at Motorland on Friday, with the Moto2 class returning after a fortnight off. The riders were still sharp, however, and times were fast on the opening day. Riders like Takaaki Nakagami and Esteve Rabat have come to the fore at recent races, and it was Nakagami who took the top spot on Day 1 with a 1’54.325 lap late in the afternoon session. Nico Terol joined the duo at the head of the timesheets, on a day in which title challengers Scott Redding and Pol Espargaró were momentarily out of the picture.
Nico Terol is a big fan of Motorland, and enjoys riding at the circuit. The Spaniard was on good form in the morning session, on the occasion of his 25th birthday. He set the quickest Moto2 time in FP1, and in the afternoon continued to fight at the front. He was third overall, and puts much of the credit down to the test undertaken by MAPFRE Aspar at Alcarrás earlier this week.
Also benefitting from that test was Jordi Torres. He was fourth in the opening practice session, with a solid pace almost immediately. Unfortunately, the afternoon saw a crash for Torres on his third lap out, as he fell at Turn 2. Spending the rest of the session in the pits, he was unable to ride any further laps in the session. The cause of his slip is being investigated by his team, as it appears to have come about through the engine cutting out.
3rd Nico Terol 1.54.564 (34 laps): “We come to this weekend off the back of a couple of races where things have been more difficult than normal. We haven’t thrown in the towel, however, and are taking a logical approach to things. I felt very comfortable on the bike today, and I am very happy with our pace. I was convinced that I would feel good here, at a track that I love. The test at Alcarrás played a big part in this, as we found a setup there that gave us a lot of grip. We need to work hard still, but this has taken us a step forward. I am convinced that the improvement is going to help us a lot in the latter part of the season. We reached our goal of getting back in front today. I hope to continue like this for the rest of the weekend. Tomorrow we will work on polishing aspects of the front end, but in general we have started fantastically.”
6th Jordi Torres 1.54.934 (21 laps): “This morning we began with a setup that worked well, and we were clear about things thanks to the test at the start of the week. We got on the pace quickly and that allowed us to put in some hot laps. We tested out a few things with the chassis in the afternoon, looking to get a bit more rigidity, and the three laps with it were positive. The negative is that I only did three laps before crashing. I leaned the bike over and the engine cut out on Turn 2, and I couldn’t pick it back up. We lost a stint due to that, but at least the chassis and swingarm stayed intact.”
Moto3 – Convincing debut for San Carlo Team Italia FMI in Aragon with Romano Fenati
Fourth in the morning, the Italian was consistently the fast on Honda-FTR and closed the day in 8th position. Bagnaia is 25th
In the first free practice day of Moto3 World Championship, Alex Rins and Maverick Viñales made the difference and broke the 2-minute barrier (1'59.801 the best lap by Rins). Romano Fenati (San Carlo Team Italia FMI FTR Honda#5), after being fourth during FP1, posted the eighth best time (+ 1.278). Francesco Bagnaia (San Carlo Team Italia FMI FTR Honda#4), after a complicated FP1, cut the gap to close in 25th position (+ 2.349), almost two and half seconds faster than in FP1 and a few tenths from the provisional Top 15.
Romano Fenati (San Carlo Team Italia FMI FTR Honda#5) 8th, 2'01.079
"Today was a positive day. I lapped consistently at the top and closed not far from the frontrunners. Tomorrow we'll try to improve the setup and feeling to get even closer."
Francesco Bagnaia (San Carlo Team Italia FMI FTR Honda#4) 25th, 2'02.150
"I'm happy with the work we've done today. I didn't start well but working on geometry I got progressively closer to the top. Tomorrow we'll try to improve the pace further."
Roberto Locatelli (FMI Technical Coordinator)
"We're pretty happy with our work today. Romano was fast since the morning, and just needs to tweak the setting a little more to get closer. Pecco had a few issues in the morning since it was his debut on this machinery on this track, last year he had very different parameters to deal with, but with a few changes on the frame he managed to lap a lot faster during FP2."