Press releases from the Moto2 and Moto3 teams after Sunday's race in Austin:
Jack Miller wins with authority in Austin
Red Bull KTM Ajo rider takes second win of the year after leading Red Bull Grand Prix of The Americas from start to finish. Karel Hanika takes first GP Top 10 placing after fightback.
04/13/2014 - Circuit of The Americas, Austin
Jack Miller made it two wins from two races in the Moto3 World Championship season in Austin, Texas, triumphing in the Red Bull Grand Prix of the Americas from pole position. The result makes Miller the first Australian rider in history to take two consecutive wins in the smallest cylinder class (125cc/Moto3). His teammate, Karel Hanika, took the best result of his rookie campaign to date, with a magnificent tenth place.
It was a spectacular start made by Miller, who had decided to push hard from the get-go with the threat of rain and a red flag at the Texan track. His pace surprised the rest of the Moto3 grid and only Efren Vazquez was able to keep up with the Australian. Miller never relinquished the lead during the 18-lap contest, although the group at the front increased to four riders on the final laps.
Rookie sensation Karel Hanika also had an excellent race. Setting off from the sixth row of the grid, the Czech rider moved up five places by the end of lap one. As part of the fourth group, battling for ninth place, Hanika gave his all to cross the line tenth and take his best World Championship result so far. For the second race in a row, he was the top rookie.
After two rounds of the series, Miller leads the overall standings in Moto3 with 50 points. Hanika is thirteenth with 8 points and is in front in the Rookie of the Year standings. Both riders will be looking to add further points to their tallies on April 27th, when Moto3 action returns after a weekend off. The scene will be the Autodromo Termas de Rio Hondo, which hosts its first every World Championship event.
8 JACK MILLER
"I don’t think we could have asked for a better race. The KTM was running perfectly, with a setup that allowed us to conserve the tyres and have enough grip to push on the final two laps. I was made to fight through to the end, but it was really good. Achieving a second consecutive win is amazing. I take my hat off to the team for the work they have done. We must continue in this way, but progress with in each GP. This will be very important throughout the year. It’s been a perfect weekend; pole position and a victory! I'm very happy and I can only thank the team."
98 KAREL HANIKA
"It was a really hard race. I got a good start and was able to gain positions on the first two laps. I took a little time to find the best feeling and get a good pace going. I was in a group with Kent and McPhee and gradually we were approaching the front group, but in the end it was not possible. The last lap was a good fight. I was in ninth, but when McPhee overtook me there was a yellow flag on the final corner and I couldn’t fight to get the place back. I’m already looking forward to more in Argentina."
AKI AJO - TEAM MANAGER
"It was an incredible race. Jack [Miller] did a perfect job, as he did all weekend. During the race he has shown how strong he is mentally. I want to thank Red Bull, KTM, all our staff and partners and especially Jack, who has been very calm leading from start to finish. It was also the first Top 10 for Hanika, so we are very happy. It was a perfect day."
Moto3 - Unfortunate race for the San Carlo Team Italia in Texas
An early crash affects the race of Locatelli, Ferrari don’t even start due to a technical problem
Ready to start to the race after getting some promising results in practice, the riders of the San Carlo Team Italia today have been affected by a series of particularly unfortunate problems at the Circuit of the Americas at Austin. In a race that saw Jack Miller (KTM) taking his second consecutive victory edging by just 69/1000 the strong comeback of Roman Fenati (KTM), the riders of the federal team have been forced to postpone their aim to get a positive result in the competitive Moto3 class.
Andrea Locatelli made a small mistake soon after the start. After re-joining the race, the Italian Moto3 Champion maintained a pace in line for a place in the top-15. The unlucky moment of Matteo Ferrari continued today when he was betrayed by a minor issue with the clutch just a few seconds before the lights got off.
Today the San Carlo Team Italia raced edged in black to remember Massimo Tamburini, motorcycle engineering and design genius, who passed away in the night of Sunday, April 6 and to mourn Emanuele Cassani who tragically died today in an accident at Misano (Italy). The Team Italia and the FMI with his President Paolo Sesti is close to the family of Massimo and Emanuele.
Andrea Locatelli (San Carlo Team Italia - Mahindra MGP3O #55) 25th
"It was a real shame. By my side there is a great disappointment for having been unable to take advantage of this opportunity. I made a small mistake under braking soon after the start, and I am really sorry for myself and for Arthur Sissis who got involved in the accident. I didn’t give up and after a pit-stop I re-joined the race aiming to make the most of the rest of the day increasing my experience: my times have been competitive, and I think that without the crash I would have been able to fight for a top-15 position. We certainly won’t give up because we always try to find the positives of each weekend, no matter the result. I leave from Texas determined to do well in two weeks in Argentina, because I think we are working in the right direction".
Matteo Ferrari (San Carlo Team Italia - Mahindra MGP3O #3) DNF
"The bad luck is haunting us. There’s not much to say, except that I’m frustrated for not taking part in the race. In this morning warm up I had found a great setting for the bike with used tires, and I think a comeback race was possible. Too bad, but I remain positive because very soon we will have the opportunity to take revenge".
Virginio Ferrari (Team Manager - San Carlo Team Italia Moto3)
"It was a day to forget. The guys have tried hard and gave their best throughout the whole weekend, but a series of circumstances and unfortunate problems have affected our chances to do well. The race of Andrea was compromised since the start: unfortunately, crashes are part of this sport. As for Matteo, in the recent period he has indeed been affected by a series of unconventional issues that have so far prevented him to show his real value. The whole team will continue to work hard looking forward to the next race in Argentina in order to achieve the goals we set for our project".
Valuable fourth place for Alex Rins as Alex Marquez crashes out
Rins salvages positive result from difficult race, whilst Marquez goes unrewarded in podium fight.
The Grand Prix of the Americas saw mixed results for Emilio Alzamora’s proteges, as after solid practice sessions for Alex Rins and Alex Marquez, neither was able to obtain the expected rewards. Rins eventually took a valuable fourth place, whilst his teammate Marquez was involved in the fight for the podium until the final lap, crashing out two corners from the end.
At the start, the duo managed to get amongst the lead group. Jack Miller ‒winner of the first Grand Prix of the year in Qatar and winner again in Austin on Sunday, set a fast pace right from the first lap, leaving the rest of the field behind with the exception of Efren Vazquez. First Marquez and later Romano Fenati were able to reach the duo after they had scaped midway through the race, but Rins had to settle for leading the second group ahead of Jakub Kornfeil.
On the penultimate corner of the last lap, Marquez suffered a crash under heavy braking when riding in fourth. It was Rins who finally took the position at the chequered flag.
At the end of round two, Rins lies fourth in the overall standings with 24 points. Teammate Marquez is sixth with 20.
Alex Rins 4th +7.182 sec
"We have improved a little from Qatar, but we found it really hard to set the bike up throughout the weekend. When I was behind Alex [Marquez] and saw that he was getting away, I tried to brake later. That was my mistake. When I saw that I couldn’t keep up the same pace, I decided to focus on the points and try not to make any errors. The result today was both good and bad."
Alex Marquez - fall
"We didn’t get a good start and at the beginning of the race I found it hard to pass Rins and Kornfeil. When I did so, I went after the lead group where Vazquez and Miller were. When I reeled them in I felt good on the bike and could keep up my pace without problems. However, at the end I was right on the limit and was about to fall on every corner. It was the penultimate turn which eventually caught me out, and I crashed. It was a pity, because we’d been having a good race. We can’t make mistakes like this again; we have to look ahead and keep improving the bike."
BASTIANINI NOTCHES UP FIRST POINTS AT COTA AS ANTONELLI CRASHES OUT
Enea Bastianini notched up his first World Championship points in the Grand Prix of the Americas held today in Austin, Texas, thanks to a thirteenth place finish: in his only second race on the World stage, the 16-year-old from Rimini put in a strong performance, recovering immediately three positions at the start and later engaging a great battle with Belgian Livio Loi, Finn Niklas Ajo and Portuguese Miguel Oliveira.
After a good start from the second row of the grid, Niccolò Antonelli has instead been forced to retire due to a fall on the eighth of the 18-laps race, while he was laying in seventh, less than 2” behind the group of the three riders fighting for the fourth place.
The next round is scheduled for April 27 in Argentina, at the Termas de Rio Hondo circuit.
NICCOLO' ANTONELLI (DNF)
“Too bad, we knew that at the beginning, with a full fuel tank, we would have struggled a bit, but we also knew that the situation would have improved after halfway through the race. I was starting to get a good rhythm when unfortunately I made a really stupid mistake at turn 19. In that point the curb is irregular: I ran over it with the rear wheel and this has resulted in a high side. Now my left leg hurts, but fortunately I have nothing broken. Now I hope to get fully fit ahead of the next race”.
ENEA BASTIANINI (13th)
“I’m really happy and excited for this thirteenth place: I started the race from the back of the grid but I managed to recover well, battling with other riders throughout the whole race. Unfortunately, in the final stages Loi managed to beat me, but I was really at the limit with the tyres and also we were lacking a bit of acceleration. I also had to defend myself from Ajo and Oliveira, but in the last corner I gave my best with a late braking and I was able to beat them on the finish line. I'm also happy because the bike was fine, I’ve been four tenths faster than my qualifying time, that means that we are on the right direction for a further improvement. Something is still missing to try to stay with the leading group, but we'll get there”.
“Antonelli’s crash is a real shame: I am really disappointed, Niccolò was probably struggling a bit. Fortunately, he’s physically quite good, so we hope he can be fully fit soon. Bastianini made a great race, showing again good performances after the Saturday morning’s fall which slowed him down during qualifying: to finish in the top fifteen in a World Championship like this is already a remarkable achievement, but the most positive thing is that Enea is learning quickly”.
Kent fights back for eighth place
Husqvarna take first Top 10 finish in Moto3, courtesy of Danny Kent. Niklas Ajo claims first two points of the season.
04/13/2014 - Circuit of The Americas, Austin
This Sunday, Austin -Texas- was the scene of round two of the Moto3 World Championship: The Red Bull Grand Prix of The Americas. This was to be the first race in which Husqvarna riders Danny Kent and Niklas Ajo placed in the points. The Briton claimed eighth and earnt his first Top 10 finish of the year, whilst the Avant Tecno Husqvarna Ajo rider opened his tally with two points.
Danny Kent set off keen to finish a tricky weekend in positive fashion. He moved up two places on the opening lap, and then the Red Bull Husqvarna Ajo rider found a steady pace with which to battle for tenth position with the fourth group. Kent used experience to his advantage and, after 18 laps and various crashes from his rivals, concluded the contest in eighth place. Jack Miller was the winner of the Texan round of the World Championship.
Niklas Ajo was unable to make a good start, and dropped four places in the early going. That made him lose touch with the groups ahead of him and get caught up in a battle for thirteenth. In the end, his fourteenth place finish allowed him to score his first points of the campaign.
After two races, Danny Kent is eleventh in the Moto3 standings with 11 points. Niklas Ajo has 2 and is eighteenth. The next GP takes place on April 27th at the new Autodromo Termas de Rio Hondo in Argentina, which hosts the only South American round of the year.
52 DANNY KENT
“In the end the weekend did not conclude too badly. With all the problems we had, I did not have a good feeling and we started from 16th due to a poor qualifying session. However, this morning in the warmup we changed some things on the bike that allowed me to immediately feel more comfortable. We improved 0.6 seconds this morning compared with qualifying. If we had run this pace in the first free practice session, we would have been stronger today. Now we have to work hard with our focus on Argentina, taking things step by step.”
31 NIKLAS AJO
"Overall, it was a good weekend, even before the race. We obtained a good result in the qualifying session and we were well prepared for the race. But when it started, after a few laps I had problems with the tyres. There was a lot of chatter, especially on the right-handers, and it was very difficult to ride the bike. I lost time on the fast chicanes, despite having closed in on Danny [Kent] and Karel [Hanika]. I made a mistake and they got away again. I'm a little angry about this mistake, but this is racing and now we have to focus on the next race."
Great battle by Scott Deroue and Ana Carrasco in tough GP of the Americas
Scott Deroue and Ana Carrasco made a great performance in the Moto3 race of the Grand Prix of the Americas by finishing in 19th and 21st respectively. It was a tough and physically demanding race, partly due to the 87% humidity. But both RW Racing GP riders managed to fight all along and gain as many positions as possible.
The Circuit of the Americas is a demanding track by its own with its many changes of direction up and down the hills. The circumstances, with a constant threat of rain, made it even tougher.
Both Scott Deroue and Ana Carrasco were lucky not to be caught out by crashes of other riders just in front of them. Carrasco could only just avoid a double crash in Turn 1 already, after she made a brilliant start in which she gained at least four positions.
Carrasco was able to battle her way through the pack, just like she predicted after qualifying on Saturday. Already after a few laps the Spanish lass met her team mate Scott Deroue, who was tangled up by another crash (Azmi) and had made a slight mistake in shifting gears. The Dutch rookie as well had a decent start, moving up from 25th on the grid to 20th position at the end of the first lap.
The two RW Racing GP riders hooked up with Philipp Oettl and it came down to the three of them to fight for 19th: the best possible left to gain. They entered the last lap almost side by side, with a maximum gap of 0,2 between them.
After changing places with Oettl a few times in the final corners Deroue came out as the winner, just in front of Oettl and Carrasco.
RW Racing GP team manager Jarno Janssen was happy with the result and especially with the way his riders had battled all along the 99 kilometre long race. “Compliments in particular for Ana. She has been struggling in practices, but in the race she found the pace and the rhythm. In almost every lap of the race she was faster than she has been in practice. In the race you just have to make shift with what you’ve got: you can’t keep on thinking about setup and come in to make changes, you just have to put your head down and go for it. Let’s hope this is a confirmation for Ana she can do it in qualifying as well.”
Janssen had seen a few avoidable mistakes in Deroue’s performance. “Scott had a decent race and again showed that he is capable of winning battles, but without the mistakes he could have been closer to grabbing points.”
Scott Deroue – 19 (+1.02,422)
“The last lap and the outcome of it were okay, but looking at the whole race I’m not satisfied. There was more in it. If it hadn’t been for a few riders that crashed in front of me, I would have finished as 25th and that’s not good enough.
The oppressive weather and humidity bothered me a lot. I started sweating immediately and because of that I was wearied out too soon and found it difficult to fully concentrate. I’ve been struggling with myself and made a few stupid mistakes in changing gears for example. That cost me the connection with the group that eventually was fighting for points. I should have been in that group and therefore I’m not satisfied.
Racing with Oettl was nice and I also enjoyed racing with Ana a lot. Going into the final lap I was determined to win the battle. I passed Oettl in the uphill turn, but he overtook me again. In the final series of right hand turns I got on the inside and passed him again to finish 19th.
I’m looking forward to Argentina in two weeks’ time. It’s a new track to all of us and normally I am able to adjust to new tracks quickly, which might be an advantage. I’ve had a look at the layout and I think it suits me.”
Ana Carrasco – 21 (+1.02,695)
“Gaining 10 places from start to finish is something to be very happy with and I am.
I had a good start and made up some positions immediately. In Turn 1 I was just on the outside of Sissis and Locatelli when they touched each other and crashed. I saw it happening from the corner of my eye and I could just get out of the way. I was really lucky there.
It didn’t affect my rhythm and I could pick up the pace straight away. My speed was good, the bike was good, I’ve had some good battles. I enjoyed the race.
And even more importantly: I really have the feeling I’ve made a big step today. Hopefully I can keep this momentum going and next time start further to the front and then again make up that amount of positions. That would be awesome.”
JUANFRAN GUEVARA SCORES CAREER-BEST ELEVENTH PLACE IN TEXAS
MAPFRE Aspar rider narrowly misses top-ten finish in composed performance
The Australian national anthem rung out for the second Moto3 round in succession today as Jack Miller added to his opening-race victory in Qatar with another win in Texas. Miller made an early break from pole, chased only by Vázquez, and the pair had a two second gap over the field by the time they crossed the line for the first time. Márquez eventually closed the gap to make a group of three and with five laps to go Fenati joined the party to make for an exciting finale that saw Miller come out on top ahead of the Italian and Vázquez.
MAPFRE Aspar rider Juanfran Guevara took to the grid looking to make up for a frustrating start to the season in Losail, and starting from a best ever grid position of thirteenth he made up two positions on the first lap. The young Spaniard continued his charge up to eighth place but from the fourteenth lap his tyre performance dropped and some front-end chatter ultimately cost him positions on the final lap. However, eleventh place represents his career best finish so far and his first five World Championship points.
11th Juanfran Guevara: “Last year I didn't score any points all season and this year we have picked up five in the second race. I am happy because it's my best result in the championship and we finished not too far off the front group. We have struggled this weekend to get comfortable with the front end, I just didn't have the same feeling with it as Qatar. All things considered, to come away from here with eleventh place means that when we go to circuits where the bike is working we can aim much higher. We have to take the positives and keep moving forward step by step. I got a pretty decent start in the race but got a bit distracted in the early laps. I tried to hold my position to the end but as the tyres wore down I suffered from chatter and got passed by a bunch of riders in the last sector. I am just as happy with the result as I am with the work we have done here.”
Hafiq Azmi achieves best result in the World Championship so far
SIC-Ajo Team rider places twenty-fourth at the Grand Prix of the Americas. This position is the best result of his Grand Prix career so far.
04/13/2014 - Circuit of The Americas, Austin
Hafiq Azmi had a tricky race at the Circuit of the Americas, Austin on Sunday. In the second Grand Prix of the year, he completed all 18 laps and continued his learning process in the Moto3 World Championship. His end result was good, with a twenty-fourth position finish which is his best to date.
Starting from the tenth row of the grid, the SIC-Ajo Team rider stormed forward when the red lights went out, gaining nine places by the end of the first lap. The young Malaysian found a good pace, but on lap three he suffered a fall at Turn 11 that undid all the work that had gone before. However, Hafiq Azmi did not give up, remounted his KTM and continued putting miles under his belt, before crossing the line 24th.
To continue taking steps further forward in the Moto3 World Championship, Hafiq Azmi will have to wait for another two weeks and the Grand Prix of Argentina on April 27th. For the third race in a row, he will be riding at an entirely unfamiliar circuit. This time, it will also be the same for the rest of the field as the series makes a maiden visit to the Autodromo Termas in Rio Hondo.
38 HAFIQ AZMI
"I am very happy with the performance from the bike. The mechanics did a great job for the race. I also made a good start, so I could pass some riders at Turn 1. Then I maintained a good pace but I tried to keep myself in check. I was pretty relaxed and enjoyed the race. I tried to catch Oettl, but off the back straight -turn 11- I opened the gas too soon. Sometimes I thought I could do it and sometimes I didn’t, but this time I got on the throttle too early and crashed. I was lucky in that I could get back on the bike and continue. I tried to keep pace with the top riders, but the bike was different after the accident and cornering was quite unstable. I preferred to just keep learning and finish the race."
JORDI TORRES WITH THIRD FASTEST LAP OF RACE BUT OUT OF LUCK IN AUSTIN
MAPFRE Aspar runs into trouble in turn one but equals pace of front group, Nico Terol retires with mechanical fault after also being involved in early drama
The start of the Moto2 race was slightly delayed as rain began to fall just ahead of the scheduled start time of 12:20 but eight minutes later the lights went out and even though the conditions were officially dry there was confusion in the first corner as a rider mistake saw a whole group of riders (Herrin, Terol, Lowes, Salom and Pons) hit the deck. On the second lap Zarco wiped out Simón and the crashes kept on coming as the race progressed, leaving a group of five (Aegerter, Simeon, Viñales, Kallio and Rabat) to break clear at the front. Viñales picked up the pace from the fourteenth lap to take his first victory in Moto2, followed by Rabat and Aegerter.
Amongst the unlucky in Austin were MAPFRE Aspar pair Jordi Torres and Nico Terol, who suffered separate misfortunes at COTA. Jordi Torres started from twelfth on the grid and was determined to chase the front group but contact from another rider in turn one damaged his exhaust and he was forced to pit for a repair. His impatience to get back on track saw him break the pit-lane speed limit and suffer a ride-through penalty, after which Jordi composed himself and set a pace in the 2'10s, matching that of the lead group and clocking a fastest time on the penultimate lap (2.10.342) bettered only by Viñales and Rabat. Nico Terol was one of the riders involuntarily involved in the turn-one pile-up and after picking himself up to rejoin the race he was forced to retire on the seventeenth lap with a mechanical problem.
26th Jordi Torres: “I'm annoyed because we did a great job during practice here and we had the pace to run with the guys at the front. This morning in the warm-up we made a couple of changes that allowed me to really maximise my riding style at this track but after the contact in the first turn I realised I couldn't get the bike leaned over on the lefthand side and I had to come in. The mechanics quickly realised it was an exhaust problem and they got me back out on track but then I broke the pit-lane speed limit and had to come back in. It made no difference because my race was ruined by another rider in the first turn but the positive thing is that we had the pace to run at the front.”
Nico Terol (DNF): “Despite the problems we had this weekend I got a pretty good start to the race. Unfortunately another rider tried something crazy in turn one and wiped a bunch of us out. I tried my best to save it but I ran over another bike and went flying. I got back up and even though the fairing was hanging off and the handlebar was bent I wanted to finish the race and gather whatever data I could but the bike started to fail towards the end of the race and I had to come in.”
Kent finishes a solid 8th in Moto3 GP of the Americas
Red Bull Husqvarna Ajo factory rider Danny Kent picked up a solid eighth place in the Moto3 GP of the Americas on Sunday in the second round of the 2014 World Championship.
Both he and Husqvarna-supported rider Niklas Ajo were in the points for the first time. Husqvarna, a brand with a great tradition and success in off road racing is making its debut year in road racing.
Kent had his share of difficulties in the earlier practice sessions while the team worked on the bike set-up but made a big improvement on race day after adjustments to the bike following the morning warm-up session. He started back at sixteenth on the grid after a difficult qualifying but moved up two places on the opening lap then settled down to a steady pace to battle it out for tenth position.
Kent, who returns to Moto3 after a year in Moto2 kept a steady head, avoided any trouble as a slew of riders crashed and ended the day for his first top ten finish for 2014. After two GPs the British rider is eleventh in the standings with 11 points.
Danny Kent: “We improved 0.6 seconds this morning compared with qualifying. If we had run this pace in the first free practice session, we would have been stronger today. Now we have to work hard with our focus on Argentina, taking things step by step.”
Supported rider Niklas Ajo started from twelfth on the grid but did not get away well and dropped four places in the early part of the race. But on a positive note, his fourteenth place finish allowed him to pick up his first points in the 2014 championship.
Team boss Aki Ajo: “ I think we’ve improved since Qatar and we also can see this in the results,” he said. “We made some steps with the guys. It’s a new team so I think somehow we have to be quite happy about this weekend. Danny had some problems in practice and Niklas seems to have had some tire issues in the race but we have to be positive and look forward.”
The next GP is on April 27th at the new Autodromo Termas de Rio Hondo in Argentina, which hosts the only South American round of the year.
Rabat and Kallio battle for Texas podium
Austin, Texas – 13 April 2014: Tito Rabat maintained his 100% podium record in 2014 after the Marc VDS Racing Team rider rode to a determined second place in an entertaining Moto2 race at the Circuit of the Americas.
After a delayed start when rain spots fell just moments before the warm-up lap, Rabat recovered brilliantly from sixth position to take second, extending his World Championship lead to seven-points over race winner Maverick Vinales.
The physical demands of the long and technical COTA track, which features some of the hardest braking zones and fastest changes of direction on the calendar, aggravated on old left shoulder injury for Mika Kallio.
The Finn ignored the intense pain to keep himself in the podium hunt right to the chequered flag and he eventually finished just over a second behind third place in fourth.
Front-end modifications and a super aggressive start to the 18-lap Moto3 race were decisive in helping Livio Loi enjoy a positive race debut at COTA.
The Belgian teenager came from 24th on the grid to score his first World Championship points of the season with a hard earned 12th position, which equals his best ever Moto3 finish.
Tito Rabat // 2nd
“After making the pole position obviously I wanted to win but these are 20 very important points for the Championship. I got a good start but there was a lot of contact throughout the race, so I pushed as hard as I could and I’m satisfied to come through to second. I had a problem with the gearbox again in the first gear corners. It was so bad at the end I wasn’t even using first gear, so to finish second is a positive result and we can go to Argentina leading the World Championship and ready to fight for the victory again.”
Mika Kallio // 4th
“I was really strong at the start of the race and I was always around fourth position and confident my pace was good enough to stay with the first group and get on the podium again. I was right in contention and then suddenly I started to get a really bad pain in my left arm and shoulder from an old injury. I lost power in my hand and I kept making mistakes on the brakes and it was hard to use the clutch for shifting down. The pain was coming so bad in the shoulder I just wanted to finish the race and without that I am sure I could have finished on the podium.”
Livio Loi // 12th
“I am really happy to score my first points of the season at the end of a difficult weekend. We made a positive change for the warm-up to help the bike turn better in the fast and flowing sections and it really helped my feeling and confidence on the bike. I just decided to ride like a beast. At the first corner I passed about six riders and I kept working my way up. And at the end I am really happy to keep Bastianini, Ajo and Oliveira behind me because it was a great battle.”
Michael Bartholemy // Team Principal
“Tito did another great job today and I am happy he is back on the podium to remain at the top of the Championship. The clutch and gearbox problems he had in the first gear corners yesterday weren’t completely fixed, so we couldn’t give him the best package today. So we have to say a big thanks to him because he made a great job. And it is a pity Mika had some problems with his left shoulder because I’ve no doubt without that we’d be celebrating a double podium for the second race in a row otherwise. I’m pleased with Livio to equal his best result in Moto3 because he beat some quality opposition in a straight fight like Oliveira, who was close to the podium in Qatar. Hopefully this is the platform for him to build on to establish himself as a consistent top 15 finisher, which was our big pre-season target for him.”
DOUBLE DISAPPOINTMENT IN TEXAS FOR SIMEON AND BALDASSARRI
Xavier Simeon and the Team Federal Oil Gresini Moto2 leave Texas without collecting points: after leading most of the race, the Belgian rider has in fact been forced to retire after a crash during the 16th lap, while he was fighting for the third position.
Siméon mantained the lead until the 12th lap, when he did a mistake caused by the same gearbox problems he experienced during practice and qualifying, dropping to fifth. He then passed Mika Kallio and with just two laps to go, Xavier was targeting the podium, when he unfortunately lost the front at turn 19.
The disappointment was strong also in the Team Gresini Moto2 garage: Lorenzo Baldassarri, who had finally solved the set-up problems found during practice he was recovering several positions in the early stages of the race, before crashing as he lost the front at the penultimate corner of the fourth lap.
XAVIER SIMEON (DNF)
“I'm really sorry for the team, which is doing a great job: it’s the first time that I stay in the lead for so long and today we obvoiusly could get on the podium. In the early stages I managed to keep a good pace, although I continued to have some problems with the gearbox, struggling to engage first gear. I made a first mistake because of this problem, then I found myself in fifth position but I was able to recover: I overtook Kallio and I was catching Aegerter. At that moment, my goal was clearly the podium, when at a certain point, on turn 19, I lost the front. It’s really reassuring to be so competitive, although it is clear that the most important thing is making points and so far unfortunately we didn’t do it”.
LORENZO BALDASSARRI (DNF)
“I got off the line well, but then at the first corner a few riders crashed in front of me and I lost time: I felt good on the bike and I wanted to recover, but maybe I wanted to do it too quickly. I was catching the group of riders in front of me when, at the penultimate corner, while I was on the white line on the outside, I lost the front as soon as I touched the brakes. Too bad, because we had finally found the solution to ride well even on tight corners and I was faster than in qualifying”.
“Unfortunately, despite many beautiful expectations, to date we have no points. Today was another negative Sunday and it’s a shame because we have been protagonists until the end, with Siméon who led the race for many laps and he’s also been able to recover after a first mistake. Without the falls we would have been in the points with both riders, because also Baldassarri, until the crash, was showing a good potential. Our priority for the next round will be to finish the race”.
Strong top ten finishes from Schrotter and Cardus in Texas
The Tech3 Racing Moto2 Team completed a successful weekend at the Circuit of the Americas with both riders undertaking convincing displays and finishing inside the top 10 in round 2 of the Moto2 World Championship. The race was initially delayed at the start due to the weather conditions, however it did not disrupt the 19 lap race at the 5.513 kilometre Texan circuit.
Marcel Schrotter skilfully guided his Mistral 610 across the finish line in a hard fought 9th place, to score his first championship points of the Moto2 season. The young German had a positive start and held his qualifying position of 10th place during the opening minutes of the race. He then became involved in a battle for 9th, in the fiercely competitive intermediate class, before slipping back to 11th. Schrotter maintained a consistent pace and caught the 10th position rider in front. He proceeded to power past and clinch 9th at the chequered flag.
Stand in rider Ricky Cardus fought intrepidly during the Moto2 Grand Prix at the Circuit of the Americas to finish strongly in 10th place. After an unfortunate qualifying session yesterday, which saw him finish in 22nd position because of an early crash, the young Spanish rider had a magnificent start in a typically chaotic opening lap in the Moto2 class. He made ten places to find himself in 12th position when passing the finish line for the first time during the race. Cardus, then moved up to 8th, before battling for 7th place. The Spanish rider, who continues to replace the recovering Alex Mariñelarena, eventually slipped back and was overtaken by his teammate before crossing the line in 10th place while collecting his second set of championship points for the team.
Marcel Schrotter - 9th - 7 points:
“I am really happy about my race today. The start of the weekend was tough, but I managed to qualify well and had a strong race. It was not easy to keep concentration on the starting grid, as we had to wait for a long time and I was wondering how the track would be after the slight rain. Still my start was good, and I got through the first corner well. There was a lot of overtaking during the first laps, and all the riders were pushing hard, so I didn’t want to take too many risks straight away. Once everything had settled and I was alone, I got into a good rhythm, and caught the group in front of me half way through the race. I could have even overtaken DeAngelis at the end but unfortunately I continued to make several small mistakes just before the long straight, where the acceleration is vital. With the worn tyres, there was also a bit of chatter, but I am still very happy with our top 10 result, which is my best ever finish in the Moto2 class, and we will continue to work full of confidence for the next race in Argentina”.
Ricky Cardus – 10th – 10 points:
“I’m truly happy about today’s race, even if it has been a very hard and demanding one. Because of a small injury, I could not train as much cardio as I wanted to, so I felt really tired towards the end of the race. I had a great start and could recover positions quickly, so that even after starting from 22nd position I could stay the whole race with the group from 6th to 11th. Tenth is my best ever finish in the World Championship, so once again I want to say that I’m really thankful for the opportunity to be here with Tech3 Racing and I want to send a hug to Alex Mariñelarena who is recovering at home. His bike is waiting for him because even if it is an individual sport we have to be human and no one wants to take advantage of the injury of some another rider. For as long as I can, I will do my best and enjoy riding for Tech3 because they are really doing a fantastic job to help me”.
Herve Poncharal – Team Manager:
“We may have had better results in the past, with race wins and podiums , but I am really happy with today as both guys have done very well. It’s been a long time since we have seen both riders fighting for the top ten so it's a strong emotion to see them back up there. It is really good to see both riders fighting in the top ten. I want to thank Marcel for his hard work over the winter and at the beginning of the year. He showed strong determination and rode through the difficulties. Also Ricky did a fantastic job. He jumped on our bike at the test in Jerez without any preparation during this winter, and with just three days of track time before the start of the first race, he wasn’t too confident at all. To see him now fighting for the top ten is brilliant, and his start in which he recovered 10 positions to move into 12th was just incredible. The whole team did a great job and we finally have two riders who believe in us and our project. For sure both will continue to push without being negative. This is the only way to move forward and after this strong race hopefully the positive boost will take us to another convincing performance in Argentina“.