Press releases from the Moto2 and Moto3 teams after qualifying at a very wet Motegi:
Pole number seven for Rins and front row for Marquez
Action finally gets underway at Motegi, with single qualifying session on asphalt with puddles. Rins dominates and Marquez takes valuable third place.
Repsol Media Service - Japan, Twin Ring Motegi Circuit - Saturday 26/10/2013
Though with less fog and with medical helicopters already at the Japanese circuit, the constant rain did not abate until after noon, when the Moto3 riders were able to go out on track in a single qualifying session of 55 minutes in duration. Alex Rins and Alex Marquez took full advantage of the track time and overcame a difficult situation for first and third on the grid for tomorrow.
In an exceedingly difficult session, Rins engaged in a battle for pole position with Maverick Viñales, and the two took turns to lead the way during the run. With around ten minutes remaining, Rins set a time of 2:09.287 to take close to a second off his compatriot.
His teammate Alex Marquez also had a great performance, setting the third fastest time. He will start tomorrow from the front row of the grid.
QP - 2:09.387, 19 laps, 91 km.
“Bearing in mind the mess about the star, the session went quite well and we put in a good time. It’s a pity that at the end we could not improve because the track conditions worsened and it became wetter. But I think if we develop our setup for tomorrow and give our best, we can do quite well. Seeing how it went today, I hope that the race is wet because I will do better then. But if the warm up is dry, we’ll try to get a good setup and then we'll see about the race."
QP - 2:10.313, 22 laps, 106 km.
“It's been a difficult weekend so far, because of the weather. Yesterday we could not go out and today we had to start directly with the qualifying session. It's a difficult situation, but we have adapted quite well, getting a place on the front row. It is a very positive result for tomorrow, because last week we saw that coming up through the field makes it much tougher to be up there with the top guys. We will see how things go if it turns out dry, because if so we do not know what everyone’s pace is. If it rains again, we can get a better idea. Personally, I had a good feeling and good pace today. I think if the race is wet we are ready, but if it dries out we will have to do a good job in the practice session in the morning."
RW Racing GP gets the maximum out of single session
After a full day of just staring at the wet track and dark clouds and a night with being woken up by an earthquake Jasper Iwema and Jakub Kornfeil finally got into action at Motegi Twin Ring circuit. In one single session of 55 minutes they had to practice, find the right settings and qualify in the best possible position. They did. In the still pouring rain Jasper Iwema qualified in 11th position and Jakub Kornfeil in 16th for tomorrow’s Moto3 race.
The 55 minutes qualifying session was the first of the weekend, after all three free practices were cancelled due to the weather circumstances in Japan. Therefore it was a matter of being focussed right away and riding as many laps as possible. Both Jasper Iwema and Jakub Kornfeil immediately felt well on their Kalex KTM’s in the wet.
The team was afraid Iwema had crashed in his 8th lap, after he didn’t come through for a while, but soon found out he only went straight and had a bit of trouble getting his bike running again. Iwema rode a perfect lap in the end of the session, setting best times in all sections of the Motegi Twin Ring circuit.
Jakub Kornfeil did his best section times in three different laps. He set his qualifying time in his 11th lap around, halfway through the session.
Jasper Iwema (11): "We all woke up from the earthquake at night. We’re on the 12th floor of the hotel and everything was shaking. Weird experience. Qualifying started a bit wonky as well, as it’s strange to have to qualify without any practice before, but we used the 55 minutes for its best. I’m happy with how the bike feels in the wet and with my 11th position of course.’’
Jakub Kornfeil (16): "After a day and a morning of picking one’s nose I was burning to ride, so it was good to be back on the bike despite the conditions. The feeling was good from the start, so we didn’t waste much time in finding the right set up.’’
With daylight saving time changing in Europe the start of the Moto3 race will be at 3.00 am CET.
Salom fourth at wet Motegi
Red Bull KTM Ajo rider takes spot on second row in wet qualifying. Zulfahmi Khairuddin on fifth line with thirteenth place and Arthur Sissis trailing in nineteenth on row seven.
26/10/2013 - Twin Ring Motegi Circuit, Japan
The Red Bull KTM Ajo riders were finally able to turn a wheel at Twin Ring Motegi on Saturday, but had to wait until qualifying for conditions to be viable at the Japanese track. A fully wet track held the opening session of the GP, in which Luis Salom was fourth fastest forr a second row start tomorrow. Zulfahmi Khairuddin —thirteenth— and Arthur Sissis —nineteenth— will line up on rows five and seven, respectively.
The Moto3 riders had 55 minutes in which to fight for grid spots for tomorrow. After not having had a chance to ride in any of the scheduled practice sessions, Salom, Zulfahmi Khairuddin and Sissis had to adapt quickly to the wet track. Rain was also present intermittently during the session, in which Salom put in his 2:10.656 best time on his penultimate lap. Zulfahmi Khairuddin’s 2:11.793 and Arthur Sissis’ 2:12.335 were both contributed on their final time around.
Dry conditions are forecast for tomorrow’s race, scheduled to start at 11am local time. Luis Salom enters the GP with a 5 point advantage in the overall standings, with 50 in play.
Results (Qualifying practice)
1. Alex Rins (KTM) 2:09.387
2. Maverick Viñales (KTM) 2:10.310 +0.923
3. Alex Marquez (KTM) 2:10.313 +0.926
4. Luis Salom (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 2:10.656 +1.269
5. Jack Miller (FTR Honda) 2:10.671 +1.269
13. Zulfahmi Khairuddin (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 2:11.793 +2.406
19. Arthur Sissis (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 2:12.335 +2.948
"The qualifying session went well. I took a long time to get a good feeling in the wet, and only got it at the end of the session. Fourth on the grid is not bad. I wanted to do two or three more laps at the end to improve my time, but nevertheless I’m happy with the result."
"The truth is that it was a very difficult qualifying session. Yesterday and today we could not ride and also today practice was cancelled, so we got on the bike for the first time at this GP in qualifying. The track was very wet and I tried to ride with care on the early laps. During the last minute I tried to push, but it rained and the track was much wetter , so I was not as fast as I would have liked. Hopefully tomorrow the race is dry and we can go quicker."
"At the beginning of the session it was not bad, and I felt really good on the bike. Nevertheless, at the end of the run I had strange feelings about the conditions and was not sure whether it was wetter or drier. I thought nobody was going to improve their times on the closing laps.
Honestly, I expected to be in a slightly better position, but thirteenth place is not bad. Tomorrow we will try to keep improving and hopefully the weather will do so too. Hopefully, tomorrow will be our race."
JONAS FOLGER NINTH FASTEST AS ACTION GETS UNDERWAY IN THE WET AT MOTEGI
MAPFRE Aspar adapts quickly to difficult circumstances in Japan to seal third row start, Eric Granado to line up in 31st
At 12:50 today the roar of motorcycle engines finally broke the silence at Motegi after a day and a half lost to bad weather. The Grand Prix of Japan got underway with qualifying practice for the Moto3 class, who had just 55 minutes to find a setting for their bike and push for a position on tomorrow's starting grid. In wet conditions and in true Japanese tradition there was more than the odd wildcard rider looking to stake a claim at the top of the timesheets but in the end it was the familiar name of Alex Rins that took pole position by nine tenths over his closest challenger, with local forecasts predicting dry weather for tomorrow.
MAPFRE Aspar rider Jonas Folger was one of the strongest riders on track throughout the session, reporting impressive grip from the asphalt and a good feeling for his bike. Only a lack of rear feel towards the end of the session impeded him from qualifying higher up the grid but the German still starts from the third row with a strong chance of a podium challenge tomorrow. On the other side of the MAPFRE Aspar garage his team-mate Eric Granado was caught cold by the conditions and will have to start from 31st on the grid.
9th Jonas Folger 2.11.223 (21 laps): “Even though the track was still very wet I had a good feeling and the grip was good. My objective was to complete as many laps as I could and to try to get into a rhythm. We made a change to the front-end towards the end of the session that seemed to be an improvement but we lost some rear feel and I didn't want to waste time coming in so we couldn't manage any higher than ninth position. It is not a bad result considering the conditions today and we should have a dry race tomorrow so I am calm. We have a good set-up and tomorrow in normal conditions I am sure we will be competitive.”
31st Eric Granado 2.14.706 (21 laps): “It has been a strange weekend because of the weather. We have had to pack our whole programme into one session and even though I pushed hard I could not get used to the track conditions or the layout. I didn't feel confident so I tried to take things calmly, perhaps too much so. I am annoyed with myself because I didn't take enough risks and I am going to have to start from a long way back as a result. Hopefully we have better weather and a better feeling tomorrow so that I can make up positions. It has been a tough day so we have to do whatever we can to make up for it.”
Niklas Ajo earns sixth row start in wet qualifying
Avant Tecno KTM rider seventeenth quickest in session held at wet Motegi.
26/10/2013 - Twin Ring Motegi Circuit, Japan
After the cancelation of the first three sessions of the Japanese Grand Prix, the weather finally allowed the Moto3 riders to contest qualifying on Saturday. On a totally wet surface, Niklas Ajo worked hard to earn a place on the sixth row of the grid for tomorrow. His best lap of 2:12.236 was the seventeenth quickest on the timesheets.
Intermittent rain and a wet track made things difficult at Motegi for Niklas Ajo and the rest of the Moto3 riders in a qualifying session longer than previously scheduled, lasting 55 minutes. The Avant Tecno KTM rider took things with caution and tried to find his feel for the track lap after lap. In his final outing, Niklas lowered his times on four consecutive occasions to score a last lap of 2:12.236 –enough for seventeenth position.
The penultimate race of the year will be held tomorrow from 11.00am local time. Weather forecasts predict a dry race.
Results (Qualifying practice)
1. Alex Rins (KTM) 2:09.387
2. Maverick Viñales (KTM) 2:10.310 +0.923
3. Alex Marquez (KTM) 2:10.313 +0.926
4. Luis Salom (KTM) 2:10.656 +1.269
5. Jack Miller (FTR Honda) 2:10.671 +1.269
17. Niklas Ajo (Avant Tecno KTM) 2:12.236 +2.849
"This weekend has been a little strange so far. We've not had any free practice session and we rode for the first time in the qualifying session under lots of rain. I started with caution –more than usual– as if in a free practice session. I possibly should have upped the pace at the end of the session, because I had nothing to lose, but it was important to put in the maximum number of laps possible. The difference to the front runners is big, but we'll see tomorrow what conditions we have for the race."
FRONT ROW FOR ZARCO AT MOTEGI , 16th PLACE FOR PETRUCCI IN MOTOGP
MOTEGI , October 26, 2013 - The CAME Iodaracing Team celebrates the first row of Johann Zarco at Motegi. The French rider was third fastest in the qualifying session of the Japanese Grand Prix , with time 2.01.404 . Zarco will start with next to Xavier Simeon ( Kalex ) , second and Mika Kallio ( Kalex ) pole man with the best lap time in 2.01.248 .
The Saturday saw all classes compete in a single round of tests, already apply for the starting grid . The weather, in fact, not allowed to try in the morning , therefore, the Race Direction permitted the entry on the track in the afternoon. In Moto2 , Johann Zarco took full advantage of the development of his Suter, growing his pace at the end of the session to lower his times , staying close to the pole position .
In MotoGP Danilo Petrucci, in the only session available, has had a technical problem that did not allow him to fight for a better position of 16th place . His 1.57.540 , in fact , put him on the sixth row , but is very close to the 15th time Andrea Iannone (Ducati ) which is far less than two-tenths.
A bit more difficult , however, for Lukas Pesek who was unable for the moment to qualify for Sunday's race . The pilot of the Czech Republic still has available the Sunday morning to get back in the times.
JOHANN ZARCO - MOTO2 RIDER - 3rd IN QP - 2.01.248 - "At the beginning of the tests I tried to remain calm because the conditions were not optimal yet . The track was still very wet and that's why I remain calm. A crash was just what we shouldn't do. Then in the second part of qualifying , the weather has changed and also the track began to dry up in some places. So I could start pushing more and I found my pace. I'm satisfied with how it went. Friday the Race Direction did not allow us to test and this could penalize us, but today things went well. Certainly, the pole would been a better result, but we are in the first row and tomorrow I will start from the front and try to do the whole race in attack" .
DANILO PETRUCCI - MOTOGP RIDER - 16th IN QP - 1.57.540 - "I could do better than the sixteenth place , I'm sure. The problem is that my number one bike broke the engine and I was unable to take advantage because the tires available. One of the two sets of tires remained on the bike stopped, then once I come over to the box, I had to make the qualifications with the bike number two and with only one set of tires available. I'm sorry to start so far back because I am sure that I could earn at least one row if the engine of my bike was not broken".
Kent storms to season best qualifying in Japan
Tech 3 Racing Team rider Danny Kent superbly mastered tricky and rapidly changing track conditions at the Twin Ring Motegi this afternoon to claim a season best ninth position on the grid for the Japanese Moto2 Grand Prix.
After the entire schedule was lost to adverse weather conditions yesterday, Kent and his Moto2 World Championship counterparts finally made it out on track at 3:15pm local time this afternoon for an extended qualifying session following further disruption to today’s schedule.
Torrential rain and low visibility that prevented an air ambulance from being fully operational again meant this morning’s FP3 was cancelled and qualifying extended to an one-hour format to try and make up for lost time on track.
The heavy rain that dominated the earlier part of the day had stopped when qualify commenced and Kent shone on a rapidly drying track, with sun finally breaking through grey and threatening clouds by late afternoon.
A fantastic last lap of 2.02.255 put Kent into the top 10 in ninth and he was only just over one second away from pole position and less than 0.1s behind World Championship leader Pol Espargaro on the French designed and built Mistral 610 machine.
Today’s outstanding performance was easily the 19-year-old’s best qualifying result of the season and he is now confident he can score points for the fourth race in a row with a maiden Moto2 top 10 in tomorrow’s 23-lap race.
Teammate Louis Rossi found the challenging conditions a tough proposition and he was not able to find the same confidence and speed that Kent discovered on the 4.801 km circuit.
Rossi was looking very strong when the surface was at its wettest in the early stages but he was not able to make the progress he had anticipated when a clear dry line started to appear towards the end of a session.
His best time of 2.04.138 put him in 28th on the grid.
Danny Kent 9th 2.02.255 – 20 laps :
“We can be really happy with qualifying. It has been a long weekend for all the riders and teams just waiting around, so it was good to finally have the possibility to go out on track. I’m truly satisfied with the third row because I wanted to show some strong races at the end of the year to pay the team back for all the hard work they have put in this season. But I’m extra happy because I had to pass two riders in the last sector on my fastest lap and still managed to improve my lap time and I’m just one-tenth away from the top six, which gives me a lot of confidence for tomorrow. It will be a tricky race because it looks like we will have totally different conditions than today and that will change the situation completely, but I will give it my all trying to get a good start and fight for a top 10 finish.”
Louis Rossi 28th 2.04.138 – 22 laps :
“I’m really disappointed with today’s qualifying because we started quite well and I felt strong when the track was completely wet. I felt confident with the bike but as soon as the track conditions improved I started to struggle more and more and the last run was the worst. I had no confidence at all going into the corners and maybe the set-up was not the best and I just was not able to adapt quick enough. But I’m happy to see Danny on the third row because it clearly shows that we can be fast with the Mistral 610 machine on this track. I really hope the race tomorrow is in the dry because after the good performance in Australia I want to show how strong I am and battle my way through the pack to get the best result possible.”
ANTONELLI QUALIFIES SEVENTH AT MOTEGI
After missing a day and a half due to bad weather the action finally got underway at Motegi this afternoon, where Niccolò Antonelli sealed a third row start for tomorrow's race in seventh position. Lorenzo Baldassarri tackled a new circuit with typical determination and showed some good potential that he wasn't quite able to consolidate with a fast lap at the end of the session.
Niccolò Antonelli (7th 2’ 11” 011) “Maybe we could have qualified a little further forward today but we ran into some traffic at the end of the session and there was no point taking unnecessary risks. The forecast for tomorrow is for good weather so seventh place is not a bad starting positions. It was important today to confirm our good recent progress and we will try to continue it also tomorrow.”
Lorenzo Baldassarri (24th 2’ 12” 577) “I was able to adapt quickly to the track today despite the conditions and I set some fast laps even though I couldn't quite back it up and go that extra step at the end of the session It's a shame because it would have been good to qualify further up the grid for tomorrow's race.”
Fausto Gresini “I would say that it wasn't a bad session for our guys considering that this afternoon was their only track session and it was wet. Of course it could have been better for Antonelli if it wasn't for traffic at the end of the session but we know his potential is high and we expect to see it once again in the race. For Baldassarri it is his first time at this track and he went well at the start of the session only to lose his rhythm towards the end. Anyway I think he can do better in the race.”
Kallio secures his first Moto2 pole position at Motegi
Twin Ring Motegi, Japan - 26 October 2013: Mika Kallio secured his first Moto2 pole position this afternoon with an impressive qualifying performance in difficult conditions at Motegi. Scott Redding qualified 15th today, just a week after fracturing the radius in his left arm.
With all of yesterday's and this morning's free practice sessions cancelled as a result of the weather, the first time Kallio and Redding took to the track at Motegi was for an extended qualifying this afternoon.
Kallio was quick to adapt to the conditions during this afternoon's hour-long qualifying session, which started wet but with a dry line starting to appear before the end. The 30-year-old Finn was consistently top five on the timesheet, before securing pole position with his final flying lap on a new set of wet tyres.
Conditions for tomorrow's 23-lap Moto2 race are forecast to be dry but Kallio, three times a winner at Motegi in the past, is confident he can take maximum advantage from his pole position start to fight for the win.
Redding was passed fit to ride by circuit medical staff on Thursday afternoon, but his return to the track was delayed until today's qualifying session by the weather conditions that have proved so disruptive to proceedings at Motegi.
The 20-year-old Briton was fast in the wet, jumping up to second on the timesheet behind his Marc VDS teammate, but erred on the side of caution when the drying track started to make grip more unpredictable. Redding is confident that his injury will cause no issues in the race tomorrow, regardless of whether conditions are wet or dry.
While his Moto2 teammates both have previous experience of the Motegi circuit, for Livio Loi this afternoon's 55-minute Moto3 qualifying session was the first time he had seen the track from the seat of a bike. The 16-year-old Belgian's learning curve was made even steeper by the fact that the session was run in very wet conditions, with standing water still evident on some sections of the track.
Despite the obvious disadvantages, Loi qualified 25th this afternoon, just 3.208s off the time of pole sitter, Alex Rins.
Mika Kallio #36 // Pole Position // 2'01.248
"It's difficult to go straight into qualifying with no practice at all, but I had a good feeling with the bike from the start, so it was possible to push straight away. I thought it might dry enough for a slick right at the end, so we waited before the final exit, but a dry line never really appeared, so I made the last exit on a new set of wets. I pushed, like everyone else, and it was enough for pole. I'm really happy for that, but the important day is tomorrow. The race will be completely different if it's dry, but let's see. Always here my feeling is quite good, it doesn't matter on what bike, so we'll get on the gas tomorrow and see what happens."
Scott Redding #45 // 15th // 2'02.985 // @Reddingpower
"The wrist was a little painful, but it was more awkward to try and change the weight a little bit. I felt good in the rain, comfortable and fast, but as the track started to dry it got a bit greasy. It meant the chance of a crash increased and that's the last thing I need my first time back on the bike after the crash, so I was a bit more cautious. Finishing P15 was good enough for me today and now I'm looking forward to the race tomorrow. If it's dry, as the forecast says, then I need to score points. Top ten is the goal, but I think it's possible to finish a little higher than that. We will see."
Livio Loi #11 // 25th // 2'12.595 // @LivioLoi
"Motegi is a new track for me, so the first part of qualifying was spent learning my way around. Halfway through the session it started raining heavily and there was a lot of spray, which meant I was struggling to find my braking markers, braking too early for every corner. The last part of qualifying, when I'd found a good rhythm was better and I was able to improve my time by almost a second on every lap. The only problem was that it was too late in the practice; I could have done with more track time. Now we need to improve further in free practice tomorrow, ahead of the race, which is supposed to be run in dry conditions, so very different to today."
MAPFRE ASPAR RIDERS LOOK FOR COMEBACK IN JAPAN
Jordi Torres and Nico Terol in 17th and 25th, respectively, after mixed track conditions in ‘all-in-one’ session
The Moto2 class was arguably the most fortunate of the three on Saturday, in terms of track conditions. The intermediate category had its schedule reduced to a single session, lasting 55 minutes and deciding the grid for the Japanese GP. There was no rain in the runout, but a gradually drying track created an optimum line towards the end. Kallio, Simeon and Zarco were the three to occupy the first row, in a group of riders fighting for the same goal.
They came into this round off a good weekend in Australia, but the confusion surrounding the Japanese round finally took its toll on the MAPFRE Aspar riders today. Both Jordi Torres and Nico Terol had a good feeling at the start of the session, with a fully wet track, but as the laps went by and the track dried out further, they began to have problems. Both gave a final push on their last lap to improve their times. Jordi Torres concluded in seventeenth place and Nico Terol in twenty-fifth. Tomorrow, in the dry, they expect to recover the good feeling experienced at Phillip Island and enjoy a good race.
17th Jordi Torres 2.03.051 (21 laps): "Before our session began, Nico and I were watching the MotoGP and Moto3 sessions and we feared the worst. The situation that we didn’t want was for the track to dry out but stay partially wet, meaning neither one condition nor the other. Our bike becomes very fickle in the wet, and it seems that the rear wants to throw you off on every corner. Under these conditions we must be cautious, because the front gives you a lot of confidence but not the back, and you can be surprised. I tried to ride smoothly and still be as fast as possible, but it was tricky. On the last lap I pushed hard to try to move up the order, but I got caught up with another rider and I lost a lot of time in the final sector. I'm not happy with the result today, but I’m motivated. Tomorrow we have forty minutes to get the bike set up for dry conditions, and although we will be starting from far back we will give our all.”
25th Nico Terol 2.03.954 (23 laps): "In the qualifying session we bet everything on one card, so to speak, and things did not turn out as expected. At first, with plenty of water on the track, I had a good feeling. But when it started to dry out -theoretically the time in which I would be able to go faster- I got stuck behind, because I didn’t have a good feeling with the bike. It seemed like every time I accelerated the bike wanted to throw me off. Improving our feelings in the wet is something we have to look to do for next year, as it is not the first time we have had this happen. I know that today was hard, but I have to be clear about our chances in the morning if it is dry. We have the chance of having a good race and making a comeback. We will have to fight at our best. Tomorrow we will take our anger out from today, in order to be combative from the start.”
PRADITA STRUGGLES FOR CONFIDENCE AT WET MOTEGI
After missing a day and a half due to bad weather at Motegi Doni Tata Pradita finally got the chance to ride his Moto2 bike this afternoon but the Indonesian rider struggled to get comfortable on the wet track in just the single session available. It means that Doni will start from 32nd place tomorrow but with dry conditions predicted for the race it should be an easier challenge in prospect.
Doni Tata Pradita (32nd 2’ 05” 179) “I really struggled in the hard braking zones at this track and never managed to get confident at all. Hopefully with the better weather tomorrow and a dry track I can get comfortable and try to make up positions in the race.”
Fausto Gresini “After a really good weekend in Australia we have come here to Motegi and Pradita has found it a more difficult challenge because of all the heavy braking. A dry track tomorrow should help him adapt and to feel more confident on the bike in these areas.”
MORBIDELLI MAKES PROGRESS IN SINGLE SESSION
Despite only having one session available due to the bad weather at Motegi and the fact that he had never even visited the Japanese circuit before Franco Morbidelli did an impressive job to qualify in 26th position for tomorrow's Moto2 race. The Italian youngster made progress throughout the session and can be optimistic about his chances in tomorrow's race, when according to local forecasts the conditions should be dry.
Franco Morbidelli (26th 2’ 04” 110) “We can't be too upset with this because considering the conditions and the fact that I didn't know the track I think I have done well. If we had just another two or three laps available I think I could have made up even more positions so I am satisfied and looking forward to tomorrow because I think we can improve even more on a dry track.”
Fausto Gresini “Not bad at all considering Franco is a complete rookie at this track and the conditions were not ideal in a single session. Everything should be much easier for him on a dry track tomorrow. ”
MotoGP Moto3 - Tough QP for San Carlo Team Italia FMI in Motegi
With only 50 minutes on track after the cancellation of all free practice sessions, Romano Fenati and Francesco Bagnaia close in 26th and 34th place respectively. Franco Morbidelli is 26th in Moto2.
Alex Rins took Moto3 pole position in Motegi with a 2'09.387 and will be joined on first row by Maverick Viñales and Alex Marquez. Romano Fenati (San Carlo Team Italia FMI FTR Honda#5) and Francesco Bagnaia (San Carlo Team Italia FMI FTR Honda#4) struggled in the setup process, posting the 26th and 34th time respectively. Tomorrow they can take advantage of 40 minutes of free practice instead of a 20-minute warm-up, and both riders are looking forward to lay the foundations for a strong race, which theoretically will be dry.
Franco Morbidelli, European Stk600 champion at his second outing in Moto2 this season with Gresini's team, also qualified in 26th position.
Romano Fenati (San Carlo Team Italia FMI FTR Honda#5), 26º, 2'13.193
"Too bad we had such a short time to get ready in QP, because I already struggle in the wet and usually it takes me a while to get in the rhythm. At least we'll have twice as much time as usual tomorrow morning. With a nice weather forecast, I'm hoping to regain many positions during the race."
Francesco Bagnaia (San Carlo Team Italia FMI FTR Honda#4), 34th, 2'18.066
"The rain really complicated our situation. I didn't know the track and to test it in these conditions is not easy. It's already hard enough when we have more time, but I still tried to do my best to learn the lines. During the race, it will be crucial to get a good start and gain some positions right away to get closer to the points zone."
Roberto Locatelli (FMI Technical Coordinator)
"It was a tough session for everyone, but especially for us. We fought against the weather more than our rivals. Romano didn't have enough confidence, and Pecco was forced to learn a new track in slippery conditions. Both riders can improve the setup, and we'll have to make the most of tomorrow's free practice to be able to come back during the race."