2014 Argentina Moto2 And Moto3 Friday Post-Practice Press Releases

Press releases from some of the teams after the first day of practice at the Termas de Rio Hondo circuit:


First encounter with Argentine circuit

Repsol Moto3 riders end Day 1 in fourth and ninth place, respectively, as the Rio Hondo circuit debuts in the World Championship.

For the first time in 15 years, the World Championship returns to Argentina this season, where the Rio Hondo circuit debuts on the calendar. Alex Rins and Alex Marquez opened the track with the fourth and ninth fastest times, respectively, on a day dominated by Jack Miller.

At first, the aim was to memorise corners, find the ideal lines for the track and make the first adjustments to the setup of their Hondas. To do this, Alex Marquez completed 18 laps in the first session –placing sixth– and many more in the second, improving by almost two seconds and stopping the clock in a final time of 1’51.234. This time placed him fourth.

Alex Rins experienced more difficulties and, after 19 laps, finished twenty-second in the first session. However, he improved by more than 3 seconds in the second session and ended the day ninth –with a time of 1’51.550.

Tomorrow sees a final practice session before qualifying, which will decide the grid for Sunday's race.

Alex Rins 9th 1:51.550 37 laps 178 km

"The truth is I found it difficult to adapt, first off. Maybe I was a little laid back and so I finished further back in the first session. In the second I came out more determined, and I rode looking to find the limit. It did not go badly. In addition, we made a big step forward with the setup compared to the first free practice; it is always difficult to find the best configuration for the bike first time out. I think tomorrow we can do much better."

PROFILE AUDIO

Alex Marquez 4th 1:51.234 36 laps 173 km

"As usual and as we saw last year in Austin, the first day at a new circuit –like Rio Hondo is for us– means a lot of sliding and a trickier situation for all the riders. However, the track cleaned up with every session and got more rubber laid down, which will improve the grip levels. Lap by lap we have been finding the best line, improving the bike and especially polishing up my riding, which was what I needed to do after the first session. Tomorrow I have to keep improving, especially on the third and fourth sectors which are proving tough. I’ll try to take that little step that we need to be on the first or second row."


RW Racing GP exploring new limits in Argentina

For the first time since 1999 MotoGP is back in Argentina. The Autodromo Termas de Rio Hondo was new and unknown to everybody. The goal for Ana Carrasco and Scott Deroue on the first day of the Argentinian GP was therefore to explore the track and found out what settings are needed to be quick.

Carrasco proved to be the most eager of the two RW Racing GP riders and quickly found her rhythm on the 4,8 kms long circuit. Carrasco was running around P15 to P18 until the final minute, in which she dropped back to P21.

In the second free practice the track was cleaner and lap times dropped. Positions changed quickly all the time. Carrasco improved her time as well, but not enough to hold her position. She finished FP2 in 27th with a best time of 1.53,460.

RW Racing GP team manager Jarno Janssen: “Unfortunately Ana couldn’t set a fast time in her last lap, but she is on the right track for sure. She feels comfortable and confident with the bike and the track and really likes the layout of the circuit. She can do well tomorrow.”

Scott Deroue botched it up a bit in the first session, cruising around insipidly in the early stages. In doing so he rode on his own for most of the time, which isn’t the best option to learn where the limits of the track are and to find out what you need in terms of settings. Deroue finished FP1 in 28th.

That was disappointing enough to serve as a wake-up call but in FP2 Deroue first needed to make up for the track time he wasted earlier. He improved his lap time and ended the session in 23rd with a lap time of 1.52,998.

Team manager Jarno Janssen wasn’t satisfied with Deroue’s first day. “Scott could have done much better. He wasted too much time in the first session and thus was running behind in the second one. Doing one fast lap in someone’s slipstream is not what it is about in free practices. You have to use the limited time you have to find the pace and the settings that allow you to go fast.”


Jack Miller dominates opening day in Argentina

Excellent start for Red Bull KTM Ajo at Autodromo Termas de Rio Hondo, with Miller setting day’s fastest time and Hanika close behind in fifth.

04/25/2014 - Autodromo Termas de Rio Hondo, Argentina

The Autodromo Termas de Rio Hondo in Argentina held its first World Championship free practices today, but Jack Miller and Karel Hanika adapated quickly to the circuit. The current Moto3 World Championship leader topped the timesheet in both sessions on Friday, whilst the Czech rider took an important step forward in the final runout to set the fifth fastest time of the day –his best placing to date.

In the opening 40 minutes for the Moto3 riders at the Argentine track, Miller was on flying form. Always amongst the fastest riders, the Australian set a phenomenal 1:51.929 lap which left him over 7 tenths ahead of the second best man. His teammate was eleventh, improving with every lap and setting his best time on his final attempt.

Still lacking grip due to the dirtiness of the track, the Red Bull KTM Ajo riders continued to lower their times in the afternoon. Miller bested his previous top time on just his second lap, but his best came right at the end with a magnificent 1:50.367. Rookie Hanika was 0.903s off with a time of 1:51.270, after having led the way with just six minutes remaining.

Tomorrow Miller will look to repeat the pole position taken last time out in the GP of the Americas, whilst Hanika will be aiming to improve on his sixth row start for that race. Qualifying begins at 12:35pm local time.


First experience in Argentina for Hafiq Azmi

SIC-Ajo Team rider begins well at Autodromo Termas de Rio Hondo, setting the twenty-sixth fastest time of Day 1.

04/25/2014 - Autodromo Termas de Rio Hondo, Argentina

Hafiq Azmi made a positive start to the third race on the Moto3 calendar, the Grand Prix of Argentina. The SIC-Ajo Team rider was once again riding at a new circuit, the Autodromo Termas de Rio Hondo, but this time he was not alone in doing so; this is the first time the track has held a Grand Prix event. After an excellent start, the young Malaysian rider ended the day with the twenty-sixth best lap on the combined timesheet.

Hafiq Azmi came out strong in Argentina. Despite a dirty and slippery asphalt surface for the Moto3 field, he quickly adapted to the new circuit. In the first ten minutes, Hafiq Azmi put down the fifth best time. After a solitary trip to his garage, he put in the most amount of laps possible -16- and finished the session with the twenty-third best time: 1:54.822.

Work with the setup of his KTM continued in the afternoon with positive results. On his first flying lap he had already improved his morning time. However, it was on his second stint that he improved his pace to the 1:53s and set a best lap of the day with a 1:53.202. That put him twenty-sixth, over 1.5s faster than in the first session.

Tomorrow will see the qualifying session to decide the starting grid for Sunday. Beginning at 12:35pm, local time, it will feaure Hafiq Azmi trying to improve on his two tenth row starts so far this season.


Positive feeling for Kent on debut in Argentina

British rider puts Husqvarna in sixth place on the combined timesheet for the first day at the Autodromo Termas de Rio Hondo. Niklas Ajo improves session-by-session to conclude seventeenth.

04/25/2014 - Autodromo Termas de Rio Hondo, Argentina

After 15 years away, Grand Prix motorcycle racing returned to Argentina on Friday. It did so at a new track: Autodromo Termas de Rio Hondo. Danny Kent adapted very well on the opening day, making his best start to a weekend of the Grand Prix season with the sixth fastest time. Niklas Ajo also completed a good first day, lowering his times in each session and finishing seventeenth overall.

Danny Kent was patient on his first laps of the Argentinian track. After beginning to learn the best lines in the opening practice session and having adjustments made in the garage, the Red Bull Husqvarna Ajo rider took an important step forward to place amongst the fastest on track. His 1:52.765 put him third and gave him his best practice placing of the season so far. The Briton continued his progress in the afternoon; with six minutes remaining he led the way with a 1:51.283 –eventually enough to put him sixth.

Niklas Ajo was fifteenth with a time of 1:54.035 in the morning. He took that spot on his last attempt after achieving a steady 1:54 pace being one of the riders to put in the most laps. The Avant Tecno Husqvarna Ajo rider continued to work on the setup of his bike and, despite the low grip levels of the track, lowered his morning time by more than 1.5 seconds –1:52.432.

Tomorrow sees the final free practice session and the third qualifying run of the season. The best grid position for a Husqvarna bike in Moto3 so far is the second row taken by Danny Kent in Qatar.


Moto3 - Promising start for the San Carlo Team Italia in Argentina

Some encouraging signs for Locatelli and Ferrari came from the first day of practice at the Termas de Rio Hondo

The today first practices at the Autodromo Termas de Rio Hondo saw the return to action of the Motorcycling World Championship in Argentina fifteen years after the last Grand Prix took place in 1999 at Buenos Aires.

Jack Miller (KTM) once again placed himself on top of the timesheet with a 1’50.367 best effort, but the pair of the San Carlo Team Italia had a promising start to the weekend Andrea Locatelli have been among the top 2o for the whole session, eventually clocking a 1’52”500 final best effort to finish 19th.

Matteo Ferrari made a consistent improvement in the second free practice session and set the 22nd best lap time in 1'52"872, finding a good direction for the set-up his Mahindra MGP3O.

Andrea Locatelli (San Carlo Team Italia - Mahindra MGP3O #55) 19th, 1'52"500

"I'm happy because today was another good day. I’m convinced that the work we are carrying out with total commitment is going in the right direction because we are improving at each session. Given that we mainly build up our gap on the straights we are trying to compensate it working on the chassis’ setting in order to increase our performance into the corners. The track is very nice, funny and, above all, fast: we spend more time on the throttle than on the edge".

Matteo Ferrari (San Carlo Team Italia - Mahindra MGP3O #3) 22nd, 1'52"872

"Today went well enough. We have been able to find some good settings for our bike in the FP2 and to improve our lap times at every exit, so now we are not that far. Certainly we are still missing something, but I am convinced that today we took the right direction. I have to say that I really like the circuit: it’s smooth, fast, and when the grip improved in the second session it became even more nice and enjoyable".

Virginio Ferrari (Team Manager - San Carlo Team Italia Moto3)

"Looking at the timesheets the positions of our riders is in line with the previous two races, but our gap from the front runners is definitely different: we have significantly cut it. From this point of view the whole team, as well as Andrea and Matteo, made some great progresses. The disadvantage of our riders from the top is now around 2 seconds: 1 second could be knocked off with a engine’s step forward, the other bettering the chassis set-up and improving the adaptation of the riders with their Mahindra. We have already found out some solutions to further reduce the gap and I think that the experience Andrea and Matteo will be making during the season will surely help them to move up on the standings".


Rabat and Kallio chasing grip in Argentina

Termas de Rio Hondo, Argentina - 25 April 2014: Marc VDS Racing Team riders Tito Rabat and Mika Kallio finished inside the top 10 at the end of an opening day of practice spent searching for grip on a dirty and slippery surface at the fast and flowing new Circuito Termas de Rio Hondo in Argentina.

World Championship leader Rabat was sixth fastest, the Spaniard dedicating his entire time on track in overcast conditions to improving grip and tyre endurance with his Kalex machine.

A lap of 1.45.394 was just over 0.3s away from the quickest pace, with the top 20 riders split by less than a second in a typically fierce Moto2 battle.

Mika Kallio eventually enjoyed a positive start to a milestone weekend in his Grand Prix career. The Finn was 33rd in FP1 but major set-up modifications rocketed him back into the top 10 ahead of what is scheduled to be his 200th start, making him the first Finnish rider to reach the landmark.

Livio Loi, who will celebrate his 17th birthday on race day, made an excellent debut at the 4.086km/2.986 mile track, the Belgian rider running close to the top three for the majority of FP2.

He eventually finished in an encouraging 14th and is confident he can battle for a career first top 10 finish in Sunday’s 21-lap Moto3 race.

Tito Rabat // 6th //1’45.394

“Today was very difficult and we had many problems with grip because the track is very dirty, especially this morning when it was very bad. In the afternoon the track improved a lot and I could go almost 1.6s faster but I still need to improve the setting of the bike tomorrow to get more grip. This morning we had problems with the rear and in FP2 it was more the front causing me some trouble, so we have to work to find a good balance.”

Mika Kallio // 9th //1’45.419

“This morning was a complete disaster and a horrible start to the weekend. The rear linkage I prefer is different to what most of the other riders use, and we know it doesn’t work at some tracks when the grip is low. We decided to start with the same package I raced in Qatar and Austin but we saw immediately I was so slow and I destroyed the tyres in the first three laps. We changed the linkage and immediately in FP2 the bike felt completely different and I was much faster. I am happy with the feeling now and it is good to be back in the top 10. The challenge now is to adapt the bike to work as the track gets cleaner and more grip is on the surface.”

Livio Loi // 14th // 1’52.010

“The track is interesting with some very fast and flowing parts on a Moto3 bike, but as expected this morning the surface was quite dirty and the grip low. I was fourth for a long time in FP2 after a really strong first exit that was close to perfect. I came in to change tyres but I had too much movement on the front on braking into the corners and couldn’t improve my lap time and lost a few places. The grip is going to improve a lot and after equalling my best result in Texas I am going to go for it and try and secure a top 10.”

Michael Bartholemy: Team Principal

“We are satisfied to see both Tito and Mika inside the top 10 because it has not been an easy first day here in Argentina. The track layout is fantastic but it is not easy to find grip and the tyre performance drops quite a bit after a few laps. Tito was still quite strong in both sessions but this morning Mika was really struggling and his crew drastically changed his set-up and he was able to be back inside the top 10 and his improve his pace by over four seconds. The times are very tight and the work we do tomorrow will be important for the race because it looks like the riders that can manage the tyres the best will be the strongest. Livio also did a good job because for a long time in FP2 he was in fourth position. Today was the first time we gave him new tyres at the end of practice to try and help him achieve better laps in the end of the sessions. It was new for him and I am sure in the future it will be a good strategy to help him also be ready for qualifying.”


ANTONELLI AND BASTIANINI GET ACQUAINTED WITH THE NEW TERMAS DE RIO HONDO CIRCUIT

The first two 45-minutes practice sessions of the Grand Prix of Argentina allowed today Niccolò Antonelli and Enea Bastianini to familiarize themselves with the new Termas de Rio Hondo track, where the third round of the 2014 Moto3 World Championship Moto3 will be held this weekend.

After the first morning session, raced on a still very dirty track, the lap times dropped significantly in the afternoon: Enea Bastianini adapted himself quickly to the track, closing this first day of practice with an excellent 1’51”359, resulting seventh fastest and second best rookie, beaten by only another debutant, Karel Hanika, who set today the fifth best time .

Competitive during the first session, his team-mate Niccolò Antonelli, closed the first day of action slightly behind, slowed by a choice of gear ratios which turned out to be not suited to this track: 1’52”208 his best time, the 15th in the combined classification of the two free practice sessions.

NICCOLO' ANTONELLI (15th - 1'52"208)

“The track is very nice and funny: the first free practice session was good, then in the afternoon we made ​​some changes to the gear ratios which actually ended up to slow us down, so tomorrow we will come back to the previous setting. Therefore we remain confident: tomorrow we will have to improve a lot to be on top, but I’m convinced that we can do it. My left knee is still a little sore, but luckily it’s not a problem when I’m riding”.

ENEA BASTIANINI (7th - 1'51"359)

“It's been a very good day! I'm happy because we are in the top positions and the bike already works very good. Tomorrow we will only work on some details to try to improve in the final sector of the track, where I lose a bit of time. This afternoon the track was already much faster, with more grip than in the morning, so I expect that tomorrow the situation will improve further, with even lower lap times”.

FAUSTO GRESINI

“Once again, Bastianini is surprising everyone with his speed. Enea is already at ease with both the bike and the track: he’s losing a bit of time in the last sector of the circuit, but for the rest his lap times are similar to those of the fastest riders, so there’s a great potential to be exploited. Antonelli closed this first day a little behind, having failed to find the right gear ratios: this slowed him down in the second free practice session, so now we will have to analyze the situation ahead of tomorrow's practice. No doubt that Niccolò can be more competitive, I am convinced that tomorrow he will be back on form”.


TERMAS DE RÍO HONDO WELCOMES MOTO3 RIDERS FOR FIRST TIME

Juanfran Guevara twenty-first as he learns new track and plans improvements under braking for day two

The Termas de Río Hondo circuit hosted its first ever day of World Championship action on Friday, marking a return to Argentina for the first time since the last race at the old Buenos Aires track. Today the Moto3 riders had their chance to experience the track, with their times in the first and second sessions varying by between 1.5 and 2 seconds. That was largely due to the dirty asphalt surface in the morning and increased familiarity with the previously unfamiliar layout. Jack Miller was the quickest rider in both sessions, with Efrén Vázquez nipping at his heels. The best lap time of the day was a 1.50.367.

Ninth in the opening session of the day and twenty-first in the second, Juanfran Guevara had a mixed opening day at Termas de Río Hondo. A completely new circuit did not daunt the MAPFRE Aspar Team rider, despite his placing far down the order. A brief adaptation period is needed, and so tomorrow Guevara will continue working in the hope of gaining more confidence under braking.

21st Juanfran Guevara 1.52.836 (32 laps): “Our first contact with the track here in Argentina has been positive. I had a good feeling this morning but got a bit stuck in the afternoon. We have had a change made to the geometry and I don’t feel comfortable when stopping the bike. I’m losing a lot of time under braking. I suppose that it’s normal, as everything is new and we are in a process of adaptation. Tomorrow we will go back to a similar setup to what we used in Austin and continue working on the front end to gain more confidence on the brakes."


FIRST IMPORTANT FREE PRACTICE SESSIONS FOR SIMEON AND BALDASSARRI IN ARGENTINA

Xavier Siméon and the Team Federal Oil Gresini Moto2 raced today for the first time on the new Termas de Rio Hondo circuit, home of this weekend's Grand Prix of Argentina. After finding difficulties with regard to tyre wear during the morning practice session, the team was able to make the most of the second practice session in the afternoon, working a lot on the Suter of the Belgian rider and finding a good balance. Siméon finished the day with the 11th fastest time, 1’45”689, just over 0.6 seconds off the fastest time, using the same hard tyre throughout the entire second session.

In the Team Gresini Moto2 garage, Lorenzo Baldassarri brought his Suter machine in 17th place with a best time of 1’45”853, with very limited gap from the top, less than 0.8 seconds. The young Italian lost a bit of confidence with the rear end between the first and second practice session, so he will try to overcome this problem tomorrow, working on the bike set-up.

XAVIER SIMEON (11th - 1'45"689)

“This morning, after the first free practice session, I was very worried about tyre wear: actually, it was raelly impossible to make a few laps to learn the track and improve. In the afternoon, the track conditions improved, but especially we have improved a lot the bike set-up: we changed many things and now I am quite satisfied, because I was able to use the same tyre for the entire second session, also lowering my lap times in the final stages. The track, however, is a nice surprise: yesterday when I made a walk around it, didn’t seem to me so hard; but today, riding, I realized just how technical is, with several places where you can make the difference. I like it a lot”.

LORENZO BALDASSARRI (17th - 1'45"853)

“The outcome of this first day is positive, even if I’m not completely satisfied. Although I have improved my time in the afternoon, compared to this morning my feeling with the bike is worse, especially with the rear end: it’s trange, but I found myself more comfortable in the morning, when the track was still very dirty. Tomorrow we will try to solve these problems by working on bike set-up”.

FAUSTO GRESINI

“Unfortunately this morning Xavier was straggling a lot, but luckily in the afternoon we were able to find the right direction, working well on the set-up, so I think that tomorrow we can be more competitive. The gap from the top, moreover, is very limited and we used the same hard tyre for many laps. Baldassarri went really well in the first session, then in the afternoon he lost a little bit of confidence with the bike, even if his times still remain very good. It should not be forgotten that his apprenticeship is not over: I think that he is the less experienced rider in Moto2, so his performance is still very good. And he has a great margin of improvement”.


Round Number: 
3
2014

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